McStain Neighborhoods Emerges Fresh and Strong from the Housing Crisis with a Brand Update and Capital Raise Deck

With Brand Iron’s expertise, the savvy Colorado real estate developers and home builders have a strategic plan to drive business success, raise capital and invigorate their communities.

For McStain Neighborhoods, 2017 is looking bright. They have a shiny new brand and logo, their business pipeline is strong, and they are emerging resurgent in a housing market in full recovery mode. In fact, only four years after hitting historic lows, 2016 saw the biggest increase in national home prices in nine years.

The national rise in real estate prices is encouraging the creation of more housing communities, and developers in affected markets are again beginning steady construction. McStain Neighborhoods is one such developer. Since 1966, the Colorado Front Range builders have maintained that homebuilding is more than just a business – it is a passion fueled by the belief that a better world can be built by rethinking the very nature of community.

Mcstain creates places where people feel more connected to each other, and that’s why it felt natural for us at Brand Iron to help them rebrand and position themselves for capital growth and resurgence in a recovering market.

“This was not your typical rebrand experience. It was engaging, robust and invigorating. Other branding agencies only focus on the pretty picture and one message. With Brand Iron’s process, important questions are answered and you complete the entire business cycle: internal, investors, trade and industry relations.”
-David Ware, CEO of McStain Neighborhoods

The McStain team had been working closely with Barb Anderson, president of Anderson Marketing Solutions, and they came to us in order to redefine and reinvigorate their brand positioning and stance in a sophisticated and challenging market. In order to do so, we determined that, in an industry defined by community, human capital is paramount and would contribute to McStain’s new strategy above all else. So, we crafted strategic messaging that was consistently “people-centric” in order to create business and drive revenue.

It was also crucial to create a brand that would “measure out,” i.e. not only position the company for growth, but also create a meaningful platform that every member of the McStain team could stand behind. We did this by integrating the entire company into our shared process, from internal HR to the builders themselves. We also designed a new logo and developed an in-depth, market-specific plan to raise money and position the company for growth with a Capital Raise Deck.

“When looking at your business across all avenues, working with [Brand Iron CEO] Michael Doyle is important because he is not from the creative side of the marketing industry. Brand Iron embraces the reality that there is a business to run and the priority of impacting ROI for us and our investors. The capital Raise deck created by Brand Iron was an important component of that.”
-David Ware, CEO of McStain Neighborhoods

With a holistic, collaborative process, Brand Iron and McStain Neighborhoods worked together to develop a collective strategic business strategy, capital raise presentation and an overall company brand that will continue to be an integral part to their success. We wish them the very best, and we hope that, in the future, your organization is proactive in taking that first step toward achieving your full potential.

Mistress Brewing on Display for First Time on Liquor Store Shelves

Brand Iron helped a craft brewing startup create a scandalous new beer brand, and now their bottles are on full, ample display.

All the way back in 2016, The Brand Iron team had the chance to work with Mistress Brewing, a mischievous craft brewing outfit from Ankeny, Iowa who gives whole new meaning to “adult beverage.” As a startup, we helped forge their brand from scratch, including label design and messaging that gives each of their signature brews a unique beersonality (did we just coin a term? I think we did).


Up until December of last year, these beersonalities were on display on tap in growler filling stations and at restaurants/bars. Now, Mistress Brewing has officially rolled out their 22 oz. bottles, which means you can find, purchase, and relish all of their tempting brews via liquor store shelves for the first time.

Glasses up to Mistress Brewing for keeping true to its new, one-of-a-kind brand and message, staying dangerous, and following through to commercial success.

 

 

 

Keep an eye out for more Brand Iron/Mistress Brewing collaborations in the near future – at Brand Iron, there’s always a provocative new project right around the corner…

Brand Iron Partners with US Transport to Deliver New Brand and Website

As lovers of transportation, solid business, and cool trucks, Brand Iron was pleased to help US Transport deliver a new brand, messaging, positioning and website.

US Transport, a top-of-class strategic bulk transportation services provider who takes your company and products where you want to go, is one of the best of its kind west of the Mississippi. With the unleashing of their new brand, messaging and website, they are poised to expand that designation to the other side of the river. READ MORE

“Brand Iron was instrumental in sculpting our new brand, including creating an attention grabbing website, state of the art logo, and providing long-term market expansion to differentiate ourselves from the competition.”
– Steven T. Nelligan, President and CEO of US Transport

The newly re-branded company hauls cement, fly ash, coal, aggregates, lime, glass, asphalt, urea and sand through their 12 terminal locations in the Southwest, all with a steadfast commitment to driver and public safety as well environmental sustainability.

2017 seems poised for goods and services and a narrowing-in on domestic success. We applaud US Transport for being poised and ready to grow their business. It was a real pleasure to work with this team.”
– Michael Doyle, CEO of Brand Iron

 

 

 

We’d like to thank US Transport for choosing us, and we look forward to working with you as you expand and grow your business alike – contact us

 

 

 

Great Brand Champions Know the True Meaning of Good Old Fashioned Holiday Spirit

Best Buy etches its spot on Santa’s “Nice” list with a generous dose of holiday giving.

The season of giving is back. For proof, look no further than a Best Buy store in Long Island, NY. Employees of the big box retailer noticed that a local teen had come into the store every day for a month to play the new Nintendo Wii U display. Warm with holiday cheer, they all decided to pitch in and purchase the $300 console for the teen and present it to him next time he came in to play.

The teen, confused and speechless, humbly accepted the gift and shook the hand of a Santa mysteriously dressed in Best Buy blue.

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If this was just an example of community giving and selflessness during the holiday season, or even customer service well beyond the norm, that would be more than enough to warm our hearts. But the actions of these Best Buy employees highlighted something else, something people like us here at Brand Iron know as being great Brand Champions. The unsolicited actions of a few people at this one location speaks volumes for Best Buy as a whole and a corporate culture that truly puts their customer first.

A jolly shout out to goodness from us here at Brand Iron. Look around for your chance to pass along the holiday spirit, and we’ll be here as always to help you Achieve your Anything.

Have a great holiday season and a happy New Year from all of us here at Brand Iron!

 

Brand Iron Helps SafeRx Launch a New Weapon in the Fight Against Opioid Addiction

A new brand, corporate identity, and website puts SafeRx in the trenches in the battle against drug addiction.

Every so often, a client’s project gets the Brand Iron team inspired. SafeRx is one of those clients. They are taking the fight against opioid drug addiction directly into the medicine cabinet with their patented Locking Prescription Vials, or LPVs. LPVs keep your high-risk medicines safe by allowing access only to those to whom the prescription belongs.

Safe Rx Website Launch

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Considering 90% of drug abusers start in their teens and the number one source for teen drug abuse is pilfering from family medicine cabinets, helping market this product was a no-brainer for Band Iron. We were honored to assist SafeRx in developing a new brand, corporate identity, website and sales materials to help take LPVs to market. These small devices have the potential to save $33 billion in excess healthcare costs, return $23 billion to the economy in recaptured productivity and reduced criminal justice expense, and prevent 5 million 12-17 year olds from initiating drug abuse. The moral of the story is that what SafeRx is doing matters. The launch of their new brand not only helps in the fight against an epidemic, but it also supports industry professionals in prevention and education.

At Brand Iron, we always aim to do work that makes both us and our clients proud. But sometimes, it goes deeper than the work itself. Whenever we can help a business help society in the way SafeRx does, it adds an extra level of pride, and that comes out in our work.

Check out the recently launched SafeRx brand and follow the progress of LPVs as they do their part in protecting our society from a sweeping epidemic.

 

 

 

The Resignation of a Brand Champion Affects Company Performance – Even in the Stock Market

Starbucks shares fall on announced CEO departure

We know that every brand needs a Champion. Someone who stands behind their company’s distinct identity, who wholly engages it, pushes its message, and makes sure it is at the forefront of everything the company does. For Starbucks, that person is none other than Howard Schultz. For more than 20 years and through two separate stints as CEO, Schultz has provided invaluable vision, guidance and leadership for the Starbucks brand. In turn, we think it’s fair to say Starbucks has done pretty well selling a fair amount of coffee.

But a Brand Champion’s actions don’t just define company performance in terms of products sold or customers served. When the news came out that Howard Schultz is stepping down, a different Starbucks metric took a hit – their stock. The departure of Schultz, a clear Brand Champion in the eyes of company shareholders, caused an initial stock plunge of 10%. Shares have since recovered, but not fully, and only because Starbucks coffee is so darn good. However, it’s clear that investor confidence took a hit after its Brand Champion announced his resignation, and that is telling of his instrument to how the company is perceived.

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Starbucks shares fall on day of Schultz resignation announcement 

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Stepping in as CEO is soon-to-be-former President and COO Kevin Johnson. At Brand Iron, we’ll be watching to see if he can take the brand reigns and keep an already prosperous company on the path of prominence. We know one way he can do that, and it has something to do with becoming Starbucks’ next biggest Brand Champion…

 

Fresh Branding: New Brand Iron Leaders and Team Members

Brand Iron is growing.

We’ve been evaluating our goals for company expansion and providing our clients with the greatest brand experience we can offer. Without further ado, we are pleased to present new senior leadership and some awesome new team members!

Patti Sundaypatti

We recruited Patti Sunday to be our Vice President of Brand Experiences. Patti specializes in brand, cause and real estate marketing in predominantly Hispanic markets, transactional strategy and ROI. She also has a deep background in print, direct, mail and radio advertising.

 

Mimi Gonzalezmimi

Mimi Gonzalez comes to Brand Iron as our Director of Service and Production. Mimi has utilized her skills as an entrepreneur, designer and media buyer in often multicultural Hispanic markets. She has worked in special events and interior design and excels in brand and hospitality management.

 

Aaron Bronsonaaeaaqaaaaaaaaehaaaajdvjzwi1mji4ltiynwetndi0mi1hnjcxltbjyznlzgm5mzhlng

Aaron Bronson is our new Creative Manager and has a breadth of experience in design. He received his BFA in graphic design from Bowling Green State University, where he was the recipient of a James W. Strong Studio Achievement Graphic Design Award. He also won a Student Bronze ADDY Award (also shown: Knox).

 

Brand Iron welcomes these new team members, and we all look forward to serving you, our customer, and helping you to Achieve your Anything.

Site Redesign for 14ers.org Hits the Peaks

In order to take a good cause to new heights, Brand Iron equipped 14ers.org with a site rebuild.

Several years ago, Brand Iron partnered with the Colorado 14ers Initiative, a mountainous effort to protect and sustain Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks, which sit squarely underfoot an estimated quarter million climbers per year. As a company native to Colorado, Brand Iron deemed this a cause worthy of promotion, so when the organization wanted to redesign their website, we jumped at the opportunity.

The result is a brand new platform that showcases the unique and delicate ecosystems of our highest summits and spreads awareness of the initiative’s sustainability efforts. With a look that is raw but elegant, the new 14ers.org appears just like the mountains it aims to protect.

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Whether it’s a non-profit like the Colorado 14ers Initiative, a startup, or a large corporate entity, Brand Iron cares deeply about its clients, and we relish the opportunity to help them Achieve their Anything.

What sets the marketer and the snake oil salesman apart?

Results. Very few companies want to come off as used car salesmen, but branding and marketing are a few of the hardest things to track in terms of measurable results.

At Brand Iron, we have this little thing called BrandGO. BrandGO connects your business to your Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs. Basically, it’s the dashboard to end all dashboards. By bringing your data to life, you can clearly see how specific marketing initiatives and tactics are moving the needle and affecting your bottom line. Oh yeah, did we mention that your KPIs will finally be all in one place?

That’s all good and swell, but you’re probably asking yourself, “What’s in it for me?” right now. Let me walk you through the benefit break down.

Track Your KPIs: This equals you staying up-to-date so you can rock your company goals. Now you can see which mediums and Call to Actions are actually working and which ones aren’t.

Move The Needle: With a fancy schmancy Brand Activation Score, you can see the bigger picture of how each and every core division of your company interrelates to the next.

Ensure Accountability: We’ll cover all your bases, from sales, marketing, and operations.

Return On Investment: “Business talk” meaning more dollars in your pocket by using BrandGO. With the power of information, you can see exactly how your marketing is getting you concrete results and generating ROI.

Bottom line: You come out on top, looking like a boss.
Just like your burrito at Chipotle, BrandGO is completely customizable. Track what you want, and prioritize by what’s most important. By connecting, tracking, and growing your business efforts, Brand Iron helps you Achieve Anything with BrandGO.

 

Ready to get started? Check out our website for more details.

 

 

 

Marketing Yourself As An Alternative Investment

 

Marketing lives in a completely separate world from Private Equity, Real Estate Investment, and Venture Capital. However, each discipline is a different exposition of core strategic thinking. Two industries, each faced with a vast sea of competitors, deciding how to stand out from the crowd. After years of picking up new investment firm clients, it’s still difficult to change their minds when it comes to effective marketing. Let’s start with a few basic initiatives that alternative investment firms need to take to heart.

Competing For Investment $$$

First things first, you have to know where you stand. Alternative investments have a hard time defining their competition. It’s nice to think that your brand is an island in itself, untouchable. However, alternative investments not only compete with other alternative investments of all types but also against traditional investment firms as well. Your company is competing for dollars against all of these other players and in order to grow, you have to know what you’re up against.

Brand Strategy Shouldn’t Be An Afterthought

Branding an investment firm is just as important as branding any other company. Firms need to engage people in order to answer the age old question of “What’s in it for me?”. Try adding a splash of life to a dry brand story. It might surprise you how intriguing a well thought out investment philosophy can be. If you’ve got an airtight message, you’ve got it made, as long as you can communicate it effectively.

“If you’ve got an airtight message, you’ve got it made, as long as you can communicate it effectively.”

Find What Really Differentiates You

From a marketing perspective, finding what differentiates you is easier said than done. What if you have 645 years of combined experience? So does nearly everybody else. Your track record of sound investment decisions is unbeatable? Give me a break. Take some time to dive deeper and consider the little things that seem insignificant. Transparency is a scary word, but baby steps can bring you a long way in the eyes of the public and your potential portfolio investments.

Play In The Hay

Economic markets affect all of us. For investors making smart marketing moves, this public interest denotes two things. Firstly, the potential for content creation is infinite for your industry. From blog posts to podcasts and more, people always look for the most up-to-date financial information out there. This leads to my second point, which gives you, the creator of this content, the prestigious title of financial expert. Capitalize on your investment cred and create engaging content that puts you and your firm at the top.

For investment firms, marketing initiatives of any kind can make a huge impact on the industry, and for the most part, are long overdue. Communicating the message of who you are and what you believe is key, and if you’re worried, Brand Iron is always happy to help.