This is how brands attract and retain world-class staff, develop consistent, cohesive messaging, grow revenues, and create loyal, raving fans.
Would you like to know how to turn your company into “The Choice” instead of “A Choice”?
By presenting meaning in clear, consistent, and immediately understandable ways that will connect with employees and clients at a deep level…
…so you can take the next step to become more visible to the right customers, connect emotionally with them to gain their trust, loyalty, and advocacy, and overcome their price concerns so you can make more sales.
But, There’s a Problem…
Without a strong brand built on what is truly the heart of the business, many companies consistently change from trend to tactic, chasing success in marketing instead of connection.
Your brand not only becomes unrecognizable, it also causes customers and prospects to question what the company stands for. The quality of your services will come under the microscope, followed by your customer service expectations and, finally, your customers will be asking whether your company is still the right place for their money.
Those are not the questions you want your customers asking. And these feelings are not limited to your external audience…
If your employees and stakeholders question, or fail to understand the promises your company makes, they’ll begin searching for an alternative; one which clearly stands for the values they share and, which they used to find in you.
All too often, this problem is compounded when you get too focused on creating a product or a service instead of building a brand. The days of a strong product being enough to sustain a brand are behind us.
At it’s core, the most common reason that brands fail is a lack of understanding of what a brand really is, so, while many professionals are now realizing the importance of a brand…
…the confusion lies with the concept of branding.
If you believe the majority of designers, you’ll be misled into thinking a brand is defined by a logo, some ‘cool’ campaigns, colorful brochures, and so on, instead of thinking of it as a set of principles, values, goals, supported by a cohesive visual identity.
But, here’s the thing, great, valuable services are everywhere now and, hundreds more will pop up before you even finish reading this page. Your staff and your customers want more…
…they want to connect emotionally with organizations who share their values and who excite them with their personalities.
Ignoring your brand in favor of focusing on your product or service is a pathway to certain business death. The moment a competitor arrives on the scene — and believe me, the more successful your product is, the faster that will happen — your audience will begin to disappear.
Worse still, in the brand-focused competitive landscape, the competing service doesn’t even need to be as good as yours, if it has a strong brand identity, your company’s in for a world of hurt. Great, valuable services are certainly part of the equation but, on their own, they will not automatically become the market leader, strong brands will.
That’s why we developed Launch Deck, a unique, powerful process to uncover the existing truths in your brand, define your personality, tone, and voice, and create a clear foundation for all of your messaging to based upon. Following this process, you can ensure your brand remains relevant, your message is engaging, powerful, high-converting and, most of all, authentic!
The resulting brand will be one which you can stand up for and defend, meaning a brand whose values you not only share but, you truly believe in. And, by extension, a brand that your employees, customers, and key stakeholders can rally behind, support and advocate for!
This is how a recent client described his results:
After speaking with half-a-dozen agencies, we began to see the same reoccurring theme of companies who still believe in traditional brand thinking. This is the notion that visual identity will lead to bigger and better things. We disagree wholeheartedly. Brand is the sum of all experiences and interactions with AudioConexus. This requires strategic thinking, not Adobe Illustrator.
We needed fresh thinking and a company that had the right mix of knowledge, expertise, creativity and vision to help us with our strategic branding initiative.
We chose Whiterock Reid and we’re so glad we did! Whiterock Reid has succeeded brilliantly by getting to the heart of how we expand brand relevance and brand resonance by starting from within. Their pivotal insights are game changing for us. If you’re growth-minded, hire Whiterock Reid. Commit yourself to their process and do the work. They just don’t roll out a process and deliver a report, they add immeasurable value every step of the way.
Whiterock Reid made a big impact on our business that will pay dividends for years to come.
-Jonathan Stanley, CEO — AudioConexus
Why It’s Beneficial To Build a Strong Brand
Over the last 10 years, we’ve heard the question of ROI in Strategic Branding answered in many different ways, from, “it’s impossible to calculate,” to “it’s your reputation, it’s priceless!” (no kidding, we actually heard that). Here’s the thing, you’re absolutely right that DOLLAR based results are tough to derive from some brand initiatives…
…but, not impossible.
Increased clarity, insight, team alignment, messaging and positioning can definitely be linked to metric-based results. Let’s take a look at the financial benefits your business can receive from a strategic branding initiative.
Brand Recognition = Reduced Marketing Spend
One of the most well-known benefits of strategic branding is increased brand recognition. But, what does that mean for the bottom line? When your brand presents a compelling, consistent, clear message alongside a professional identity, you’ll instantly become more memorable.
Prevailing wisdom says that successful organizations need to invest 10% of total revenue into marketing. However, by remaining in the minds of your target audience for longer, you can reduce your marketing spend, on average, between 10% and 30% while still enjoying the same results. For a business with one million dollars a year in revenue, that represents a saving of between $10k and $30k per year.
Increased Perception of Value = Increased Price
Does your product or service suddenly get more valuable as a result of your strategic branding? Yes, and no. Part of the process involves developing a deep understanding of your ideal target customer. By targeting the specific, qualified audience who get maximum value from your solution, then, yes, your product did just get more valuable…to them!
However, we’re talking numbers here. So, since your product is considered more valuable, by virtue of a specific audience receiving higher value, then, on average, we see price increases of between 2% and 4% after branding. For our previous example of one million in revenue, that’s an additional $20k to $40k on your bottom line.
Defined Purpose = Increased Buy-In and Performance
One of the most exciting benefits we see from strategic branding is allowing a company to attract and retain world-class staff. Many leaders struggle with finding staff as committed to the organization’s success as they are. Although it’s easy to blame the employee, we believe this relates to the brand, and more specifically, the brand’s purpose. If your staff don’t share, or understand leadership’s vision, they’ll never put in the additional effort required and you’ll never attract the rock stars!
How does that affect the bottom line? Studies show that better, more dedicated staff can increase an organization’s bottom line by at least 3%. In our example of a company doing one million dollars in revenue, that equates to an additional $30k.
Here’s What To Do Next.
We’re excited to work with leaders we genuinely believe we can make a difference for.
The best way to ensure we’re a good fit and we can genuinely help you build a more profitable, engaging brand is to get down and detailed on your current reality, and formulate a strategy for your business to move forward.
Ready to get started?
Otherwise… take a second to keep reading!
We launched Whiterock | Reid because we understand the power of branding and how it elevates a business above the competition by offering a unique and powerful message to a specific, target market. We believe that brand’s are the drivers of change — social, cultural and economic but we got tired of seeing agencies and designers taking advantage of professionals, convincing them that a new logo would focus their message and pretending it would develop new business.
It simply doesn’t work that way. If you want to increase revenue, attract high-value clients, develop an enviable company culture and attract world-class talent, you’ve got to give them a legitimate, value-based reason to work with you.
Strategic branding provides the roadmap to getting everyone personally invested internally, understanding your clients’ motivations, and providing a meaningful communication platform with your prospects.
We know from experience that branding allows an organization to run up a flag, tell your audience what you stand for, show them your personality and very clearly define what makes you different and better able to solve their unique problems.
In fact, recently, we were chosen to create the campaign and slogan for a five-year $65 million hospital funding campaign, which, within months of launching the five-year campaign, had already reached over 50% of the campaign total and they were forced to reduce the campaign length. Not a bad problem to have, right?
And, if you need a guarantee, we have one for you. Obviously this is business, and there are no guarantees in business… we can’t guarantee that you’re going to make a million dollars, be successful and that everyone’s going to want to buy your solution.
But here’s what we offer. We’ll work with you to uncover the existing truths of your brand through a Launch Deck and then, we’ll survey up to 30 of your clients, suppliers, and partners to validate our findings. If our decisions come back off base at all, we’ll take that insight and, we’ll get together again and we’ll re-do the Launch Deck so we’re sure we got it right. Your brand is the biggest asset your company will have, so it’s vital we get it perfect.
How Does it Work?
Launch Deck centers around a series of facilitated sessions with your organization’s leadership and members of your executive branch, which we call the Branding Team, followed by developing a unique, impactful logo and visual identity system. Guided by our Founders and Brand Strategists, Bruce White and Joanne Reid, who each bring 10+ years of leadership and brand expertise, this process uncovers important truths about your organization and leads to understanding, ownership, and a rock-solid foundation for moving the organization forward.
At the beginning of your Launch Deck, we focus on gathering the right information and asking diagnostic questions. We’ll go through a series of structured exercises about:
- Market and internal perceptions about your brand…
- Your brand personality…
- Your brand’s core values…
- Your brand’s humanistic traits…
We will begin defining the required steps towards growth while coming up with immediate answers during this session, the focus is primarily defining the gap between who your brand is and who it needs to be.
Next, we’ll begin developing your brand messaging, review the competitive landscape and get in-depth in identifying, testing and defining your unique brand positioning.
- Develop messaging: what the organization does…
- Analysis of competitive landscape…
- Identification of competitive opportunities…
- Understanding of positioning categories…
- Unique brand positioning…
- Simple but complete plan for claiming and protecting your positioning…
By the end of this session, you’ll have one of the most valuable assets a brand can have: a unique, compelling point of differentiation. Your Positioning Statement stands for one unique element, something no one else can say, that will give your organization a competitive edge.
It gives value to the brand.
With our complete understanding of your brand, we’ll develop a complete understanding of your target clients as well as defining the differences between them and your users. We’ll also discuss the journey your customers need to take to move from unknown prospect to profitable, loyal brand advocate.
- Define your target client…
- Develop and understand your ideal user profile…
- Prioritize the goals between users and brand…
- Understand and control the user’s journey from prospect to advocate…
You’ll finish the brand strategy sessions with a solid understanding of your brand’s audience, which can then be used for aligning all staff and stakeholders on an ongoing basis as user interaction takes place, online or in person.
Visual Identity Design
Now that we’ve identified your unique brand message, we’ll move onto translating that into an impactful visual identity that transmits that message to your target audience. We’ll narrow the look/feel and visual direction that is in alignment with brand and customer’s expectations and provide you with a “stylescape”— your brand articulated through visuals (textures, color, typography samples, packaging, etc…)
We’ll move through logo design concepts where you’ll be able to provide feedback, preferences, and direction for an additional round of refinement. Once completed we’ll provide you with:
- Logotype (scaleable vector, PDF, Jpeg & PNG versions for use across all channels)…
- Primary and Secondary Color Palettes…
- Primary and Secondary Typeface Definitions…
- Stationery and Required Initial Application Designs…
You’ll finish with a package of every file type and format required to begin executing your brand identity consistently across channels.
Visual Identity System
To ensure smooth future development, your identity project should always include guidelines that provide an overview of design patterns, fonts and styles, layout structure, color palette and a list of technical considerations and constraints.
These guidelines typically include designs for all of your required collateral and promotional materials, such as business cards, letterhead/envelopes, email, powerpoint, etc. and any application materials you require.
This allows your Brand Guidelines to work as a brand “how-to” manual for both internal and external stakeholders. We often see these guidelines being used successfully for everything from staff onboarding to supplier regulation when reproducing brand materials.
The single biggest point of failure for branding programs is the lack of long-term consistency and this vital manual ensures you develop a maintainable and structured brand identity for use across all channels consistently.
Here’s an example of the Brand Guidelines we designed as part of our National-Award-Winning Branding Project for The County of Frontenac.
What’s The Bottom Line?
The Launch Deck investment looks like this…
The Launch Deck core process will produce a complete brand to successfully launch or relaunch your business on.
The total cost for the complete Launch Deck branding process, including your brand strategy, visual identity, and message/content strategy is just…
*Your Inspiration Lab investment will be discounted from your total.
Yes, that is a great price.
We’re deliberately keeping it very, very affordable because we know that once you commit to this process, you’ll be a customer for life. (The majority of our business has always come from repeat customers.)
In order to define (or redefine) your brand, we need to begin with what makes you different and how you add value for your customers. An Inspiration Lab allows us to uncover your current reality with some tough questions, including, “Who is your brand? What is your offer (hint, this is not your product), Who is your target audience? What do you believe in/stand for? The Inspiration Lab is designed to help you get real, uncover your goals and identify the roadmap for moving forward.
Q: What do you offer that others don’t?
Actual strategic experience and expertise. Unlike the multitude of designers relabelling themselves “branding firms,” Whiterock | Reid was founded by two strategists. We’re thinkers first, and we’re passionate about getting to the truth of your brand.
We believe that instead of focusing so much on promoting products and services, organizations need to start revealing more about “who” they are as a company and how that relates to the product or service, so that customers can connect with them on an emotional level. The best-known brands with the most loyal fans share their authentic characters and personalities with their customers.
Q: The last time I tried to work on my branding, a graphic designer sent me a questionnaire and then presented me with three different logos to choose from. How are you different?
You’ve just touched upon the very reason we launched Whiterock | Reid. We’ve seen that ridiculous approach from both the outside and the inside, even as bad as the same logo, presented in three different color schemes followed by the question, “which one do you prefer?”
Our founder, Bruce White is actually semi-famous for saying, “I don’t care if you like it, does it work?”
Of course, that doesn’t mean we’re not interested in your feedback or anything silly like that. Just that designers tend to get enamored with their own work and forget that the audience is not them, or even their client. The audience is their client’s client. And the logo MUST stand as a visual representation of the company’s unique values, personality, and positioning. Nothing more, and certainly nothing less.
Without defining your brand foundation, don’t even think about a logo or color scheme. There’s no room for just drawing pretty pictures in branding.
Q: How often do I need to revisit my brand?
Many large firms take the opportunity to refresh their visual identity every 7–10 years, but, rarely, if ever, will you see a major change to their values.
You should think about the visuals, fonts, and colors if your identity is looking dated or stale.
You should consider the more strategic elements — personality, values, positioning — if your company has undergone a transformation like a merger, a new product line, a name change, or new audience.
Q: Do I need a new logo?
Maybe, maybe not. In our experience, however, even if we’re not doing a complete redesign, there are always improvements we can make to a visual identity, whether through identifying and defining your primary and secondary color palettes, or even creating your assorted logo file types for consistent use across all media. Of course, if your logo is outdated, or wasn’t designed by a pro in the first place, we’ll definitely want to give it a new look. Most importantly, we have the experience and empathy to accomplish that without losing any equity in your existing identity.
Q: What can I expect if I work with you?
Over the last decade, we have developed a highly structured process, designed to create your brand as efficiently as possible. We know how to approach your project as unique so we identify your company’s strengths, weaknesses, target audience, and goals. We take a highly collaborative approach because we aren’t here to ‘create’ your brand, we’re here to uncover the authentic existing truths of what’s there, and then show you how to use it to attract the right, highly-qualified, valuable audience.
Here’s another recent customer’s thoughts on branding:
When I made the leap from wage slavery to entrepreneurship, I had no idea where to start. I had nothing but my knowledge of chocolate, a couple of tempering machines and a vision. Apparently, that is all I needed as I walked through the door at Whiterock Reid. When you tell someone that you are a chocolatier, a smile instantly springs to their face. Meeting 1: there I sat with my vision and the idea of chocolate (not even a box of samples!) and they instantly lit up like New Year’s fireworks. They understood my vision and picked up on my passion, and voila – I was on the way to becoming a brand.
I identify myself with what I create. When Whiterock Reid presented me with their pitch, placing my nascent logo amongst the big names like Laura Secord and Lindt, I saw myself. What seemed like a fanciful idea in my mind turned into a brand that people could identify with, could be drawn to, and one that would someday bring my dream to fruition.
I must thank Whiterock Reid for their guidance and expertise. They have helped me network with others who I will need to help grow my business, they have been the voice of optimism when I have expressed doubts, and above all, they believe in me. They show it in everything they do. They are not only highly skilled professionals, but they are wonderful people who obviously love what they do.
-Audrey Brown, Chocolatier — CocoaBistro
What if You Don’t Rebrand?
What would it mean for you if you could attract and retain more qualified staff without having to rely on big bonuses and salaries alone? What if you could offer a premium service for a premium price because you completely understood your Ideal Clients’ real motivations, pains and goals? Or, if you could increase your results without increasing your marketing spend?
What if your brand was so attractive that people were lining up to work with you, both internally and externally? In this competitive environment, what if you could pick and choose who you worked with, eliminating the price-shopping customers and time-clock watching staff from the conversation altogether?
Wouldn’t that make life easier?
I want you to think about the fiscal and financial goals you have for yourself.
How much do you need to live? How much do you personally need to enjoy life? $3000 a month? $4000? $10000?
What do you need to pay for today, tomorrow and in the future to give yourself the life you want and deserve? Kids need school stuff, your family needs vacations, you need to pay the mortgage and rent and bills.
Now I want you to think about how much your business needs to make. Can you afford better staff, tax, bills, expansion, tools, resources? What do you need to bring in for the business to grow?
Combine that with your personal financial goals. Are you there yet? Do you have regular, recurring monthly payments going out? Do you have predictable leads and their associated revenue coming IN?
Even if strengthening your brand only helped you increase your prices by 10%, wouldn’t that make the investment worth it?
You have an opportunity to attract more prospects, convert more leads, sell more products, increase your monthly revenue and drive more profit.