Brand Iron’s 15 Ways to Improve Your Brand

It’s Brand Iron’s 15-year anniversary (man, we’re old), and we’ve learned a lot over the years. Here are 15 ways we’ve approached our own brand and the brands of our clients:

Revenue – Because, of course. We aren’t trying to sound superficial here, but there’s a reason “driving revenue” is plastered in our tagline. At the end of the day, your livelihood depends on it. Keep your marketing strategies fresh and contemporary, take care of your brand, and continue to care deeply about your customers, and that’ll go a long way toward keeping the business coming and the cash flowing.

Results – They’re all that matter. It’s easy to get bogged down in day-to-day business tactics, but it’s hard (and necessary) to constantly be evaluating whether they contribute to some kind of overarching strategy for your brand – after all, without strategy, there are no results. And without results…well, you know the rest.

Revolutionize – Improve. Innovate. Make something yours. In a business world saturated with redundancy and stale, overused ideas, how will you make your brand stand out? What will you do that will turn people’s heads and make them rethink how it’s done? Think outside the box. Do things differently. Be unique. Pick your favorite cliche, and go with it.

Refine – Never stop working to make yourself and your brand better. Even if you think you’re doing it all, we promise, you’re not. There is always something you can do, whether it’s updating your collateral, enhancing your website, or tweaking the way you pitch to prospects, to keep things fresh.

Reposition – Sometimes, you just gotta pivot. You should constantly be evaluating where your brand sits, stands, or lays in your given landscape, and never hesitate to make changes. It’s this flexibility that will always keep you one step ahead of the pack, and your brand one peg above the rest.

Revise – There’s a reason it’s called new and improved. Your mentality should always be fluid, and you should never be afraid to revisit something with the end goal of improving your brand message in the short or long-term.

Recharge – Sometimes, you just need a break. Don’t be afraid to take a step back, inhale deeply, and think about something else for a bit. Your brand lives and breaths off the hard work of humans, and humans get tired every once in awhile. Go on a hike. Get some coffee. Pet a puppy. Make like a battery and recharge, then come back to your brand with a fresh perspective.

Recount – When it comes to your brand’s performance, always look back fondly on the good times, because every good flow comes with a couple ebbs. Also, always recount. Literally. Always count more than once. No one wants to be the guy/gal who prints one too few copies of that sales presentation, or who finds themselves one slice of cake short at the office birthday party.

Refresh – You know that feeling you get after getting up from a really great night’s sleep? Us neither. But we really try to harness that sensation at work. Take care of yourself and your staff so that you can provide your brand the attention it needs when you get to work.

Recover – How you recuperate from brand lulls are what can separate you from the rest. A resilient style of dealing with occasional failures leads to a resilient brand.

Revive – Every once in awhile, your brand just needs a little energy injection. Give it a boost by thinking about your business offerings in new ways, distributing them differently, redefining your target audience, etc.

Recycle – It’s not only good for the environment, but it’s good for your brand. Whether it’s to save time, money or both, it can be to your benefit to turn old ideas into new ones.

Relinquish – As important as knowing when something is needed, knowing when to let go can be the launchpad for fresh concepts and a boost for your overall brand. Ideas don’t always work, and when they don’t, you’re better off retiring them and starting from square one.

Remix – Take some old ideas, take some new. Use what’s worked for your brand in the past, and then try what’s unknown. Mix and match, because that can be the quickest way to find what works for your unique brand.

Refocus – Brands have a tone, voice and texture that are all part of the customer’s experience. Over a period of time, it’s easy to let your brand stray from its established persona. It’s important to take time to hone in on what has been successful over time and make sure that’s the path you continue down.

We feel incredibly fortunate to do what we do, and even luckier that we’ve gotten to do it for 15 years. Part of our secret is to always keep focused on what’s really important and to remember who we’re really doing this for – our clients. Here’s to the next 15 years and the opportunity to help you achieve your anything!

CRS Rebrands to Promote a Fresh, Bold and Community-oriented Approach to Insurance Brokering

Brand Iron teamed up with the local insurance brokerage to craft a new brand, website, and bold exterior signage that sell their relationship-driven services.

For the past six months, Brand Iron has been working with CRS Insurance on a total re-brand. As our team started learning all about the local insurance brokerage, what stuck out most was how much they care about celebrating their community. Through dedicating time and resources to charities and other philanthropic endeavours involving children, shelter and second chances, they say many of their favorite corporate memories revolve around time spent inside their community and outside their office.

This was a sizeable factor to consider when the re-brand began. A lot of businesses dictate the importance of being active in their communities, but it was immediately apparent that CRS walks the walk.

Of course, from time to time, you gotta get down to business, too. We started by matching the symbol of CRS, their new logo, with the company’s emerging bold and “active” business identity in an attempt to make it more recognizable within their field.

We followed suit with their new website, sticking with strong colors and impactful typefaces, and making sure potential customers are drawn to a visual and intellectual message.

Finally, we developed signage that is currently on display at CRS’ Denver office and proudly displays a new era for the company and its identity.

“Everyone here at CRS is really excited about our new brand.  The infusion of color and simplicity really stands out compared to our old logo and the majority of our peers.  Brand Iron was thorough in their research of our company, our processes, our industry, and our competitors when creating our color scheme, logo, and website.  Their input was instrumental in helping us clarify the message that we put out into the world; how we are different and why that is important.”
– Eric Johnson, CRS Insurance

CRS earns its livelihood by working to alleviate the pain that keeps businesses from reaching peak profitability and efficiency. This level of care toward their clients, partners and colleagues was apparent throughout the re-brand process.  We are eager to watch CRS move forward anew in an exciting and invigorating market.

Brand Iron Partners with ZUUS Dynamic Scheduling to Help Empower Service Managers and Enhance Customer Experience

When ZUUS Dynamic Scheduling developed their proprietary and innovative employee scheduling software, their grand intent was to empower restaurant and retail managers to make sure their customers never have to wait too long for the best possible service. The foodie, shopper and overall line-lamenting side of the Brand Iron staff quite liked that idea, but more importantly, so did the brand development side. So, when we partnered with ZUUS to develop a new look and website, we thought it important to tag that concept right on the homepage.

And it’s true – At ZUUS, service industry customers do come first, and this is possible via an expansive and user-friendly scheduling platform that boasts five differentiating features to help managers capitalize on efficient and real-time staff scheduling and make sure the appropriate staff  are at the appropriate places at the right times.

We also helped ZUUS devise headlines, copy and overall messaging for their new site that relates to industry professionals and clearly communicate what ZUUS Dynamic Scheduling is really all about.

A native of Australia who opened for business in the United States in 2014, ZUUS is one of our truly national clients. Their main vertical markets are restaurants and quick service, and we in Denver know how robust and competitive the current food scene is. With their new look, we think this is the perfect place for them to call (2nd) home and a great home base for deployment of their game-changing business tool.

Along with the new site, we also embarked on a video production project that combines unique animations and screen capture to illustrate ZUUS’ extensive functional suite. Stay on the lookout for the official releases soon.

 

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…

 

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.