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Monthly Archives: April 2010

Brand aid: brand building opportunities

Something you should know about me, as a general rule of thumb, don’t make fun of my family. I can make fun of my family, but if you do, the dukes are raised. When I say family I use the term loosely. Family means friends, my company, or for the purpose of this post my home town.

Although I now reside in Vancouver, BC, I grew up in the heart of the Canadian Prairies in a little city called Regina. For the record, I have had to defend Regina more than I have ever had to defend my family. This morning I was at the Speakers’ Spotlight Showcase West Event. The event allows the bureau to showcase some of its talent and give us, the people that hire the speakers, a real taste of what we are recommending to our clients. Today, on multiple occasions, Regina was the butt of the joke. Of course, I was offended. Ready to raise the dukes and start belting out our “Green is the Colour” football song to all in attendance. I silenced myself however when I introspectively observed that I had been working on this post not long before I had to leave for the showcase.

So, now I go on to point a finger at my family, that just hours ago, I was ready to defend in the closest back alley.

Regina, you really missed the boat on an amazing brand building opportunity. This morning I opened igoogle to see an article from a blog called Brand New, that provides opinions on Brand Identity. This morning when I opened my igoogle and saw the latest feed, I actually wondered if I read something wrong. The title was, “To Regina and Beyond“. This is an American written column and I figured they must be referring to another Regina, but when I clicked the link and saw the infamous, I Love Regina logo, I knew they were talking about my Regina.

Regina has unveiled a refreshed identity. I am not hear to discuss whether or not the new logo is well designed. I am hear to discuss how Regina missed the boat on an amazing brand building opportunity. They outsourced the logo design to McKim Cringan George, a Winnipeg based Marketing & Communications Company.

In my opinion the number one factor that separates good brand building from great brand building is just how authentic the brand is. In other words, do they walk the talk. I personally know a number of talented designers in Regina. Why would Regina feel the need to outsource this to someone, not only out of city, but out of province? These are hypothetical examples that require much more development in the strategy area, but as an example why would the City of Regina, not have used this opportunity to engage its customers, residents of Regina, into the process. Opportunities to leverage new social media outlets such as Facebook to have residents vote on the Top Five selections or to at least create a contest for emerging new Regina designers to create the “winning” new identity.

I admit, I sit here in Vancouver drinking my Starbucks and playing armchair quarterback to something that I found out about this morning. Perhaps there is a lot more to this story than I know. So, do enlighten me with the details if you have insider details on why this course of action was taken.

The moral of the story is that in order to build a successful brand we must think outside the box. A great brand is more than a pretty logo. It tells a story. Don’t let a brand building opportunity pass your company by.

Creating Excellence dives into social media

Social Media has been part of my Marketing Plans for clients for a while. But, I don’t like feeling like “dabbling” in something gives me the right to consult my clients on how it can play into their business. In late 2009, I decided that I would pursue further education in this area and enrolled in the University of British Columbia’s Award of Achievement in Social Media. I firmly believe that Social Media is here to stay. What it will look like 2 months or two years from now, I am unsure. The one thing I can be firm on is that is has changed the way we communicate. We are an instant gratification society and social media is only fueling this further. We can ignore or worse yet, fear the unknown world of Social Media or we can decide to educate and embrace this new channel. For clients of Creating Excellence, social media has now officially been added as one of our core offerings so that we can continue to provide you with the highest level of knowledge and expertise in all our core offerings.

If you have a minute watch this fantastic video on the social media revolution.