What's Next for Braid Creative & Consulting | Branding for Businesses

what's next for Braid Creative

Over the past 5+ years at Braid Creative we’ve helped hundreds of creative entrepreneurs blend more of who they are into the work they want to be known for by collaboratively and methodically designing and writing their brand platforms, identities, positioning, and messaging.

Braid started as two sisters who harnessed an untraditional combination of experience: strategy methodology + creative execution. Our vision was to carve out our own work and life so we could help others do the same for themselves.

After five+ years, we’re proud to say mission accomplished. The vision we launched with has grown into something much bigger, and we’re looking forward to what’s next. (“So what’s next?!” you say. I’m glad you asked!)

We’re now working with businesses and organizations

We’re known for the space we’ve carved out helping hundreds of creative entrepreneurs with their personal brands, but what you might not know is that behind the scenes we’ve been working with people-driven businesses and purpose-driven organizations to bring more clarity and personality to their brands as well. From A Good Egg restaurant group in Oklahoma City to Brené Brown’s Daring Way and Courage Works to the University of San Francisco to a credit union in Texas. More of that, please!

We’re bringing on a partner!

We’re proud to announce that Holly Arter is joining Braid Creative as a partner. Holly Arter is a marketing and media strategist that not only brings research, goal-setting, and big picture guidance to our clients, but rounds out our capabilities as a branding agency now offering advertising on TV, radio, and web with her extensive background as a media director. We love the confidence she brings to decision-making here at Braid and the businesses we work with.

Holly Arter

Holly Arter at Braid Creative

“Branding begins from the inside out – so my favorite thing about taking organizations and companies through the Braid Method is getting their team on the same page and leaving them with a deeper understanding of their brand and what their business can really accomplish.” - Holly Arter, Braid Creative

We’re expanding our team and capabilities so we can offer full service beyond branding, but what’s staying the same is our own brand of bringing who we are to the table – we’re insightful, generous, and smart (if I do say so myself). We’ll continue to bring our logical and collaborative method to every client we work with – whether or not they define themselves as creatives, entrepreneurs, or companies – and we’ll continue to share our gifts of knowledge and insights through our articles and newsletters.


P.S. If you’re a company or organization be sure to sign up for our newsletter – we’ll deliver weekly articles on branding, marketing, and company culture straight to your inbox.

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How A Rebrand Should Roll

Let’s say you’re about to take a leap into the future – a project launch, a new collaboration, a complete brand overhaul. You might be a small independent, yet established business who outgrew your logo along with your first office-space years ago.  Or, like many of our microbusiness and artistpreneur (one-person-show) clients, you’ve finally grownup enough in your confidence, expertise and offering that your website your college roommate’s cousin designed for you just isn’t hacking it anymore.

Regardless of your small business style, or size, it’s a great day when you can finally close the gap between the brand you’ve always wanted and the one you’re finally about to get. So it stands to reason, that if you’ve spend the time, effort and money to take your brand to the next level, you want to share it with anyone who will look or listen. The more attention the better, especially when it comes to all your dream customers-to-be out there.

We don’t disagree. But before you share your rebrand with the world, you better stop, drop and roll it out to the people who matter most.  A brand update, facelift, or just plain reboot means a change (even if a good one), to an existing brand (even if a bad one), that your employees and customers have gotten used to. Which is why when it comes to a rebrand, you should roll it out to your inner circle before it ever rolls out the door.

Start With Your Inner Circle

So the idea of a roll out isn’t rocket science.  Obviously there are some pretty great reasons to give the people closest to a brand a sneak peek.  To get buy in.  To help them better communicate the brand themselves. To get their shirt sizes so you can give them a new logo tee.  And, well, to just get everyone rallied around something you spent a good amount of energy creating. 

But we think the most important reason is this – to make sure your biggest fans and your biggest critics (who can sometimes be the same people, people) feel “in on it.” These are usually either your employees, or your customers, but can also be longtime working partners and vendors, and even friends and family who have supported you along the way. They know the truth of your brand firsthand (even if they don’t call it that). They know the good and the bad and the ugly, the thick and the thin, the richer the poorer and all that jazz. So you want to make sure they don’t feel disconnected or alienated by something as seemingly harmless as a rebrand.  You want these people to feel included, like they are an irreplaceable part of how you got there. Because they are.

So here’s a swell idea. Throw a party. Now this can mean different things depending on your size or style.  But the intent is the same – to create a moment around your new brand.  Create a moment to reflect on where you’ve been and then show where you are going, to say “isn’t this cool!”  For a small business this roll out should start with your employees.  For the microbusiness it starts with your friends, family, vendor partners and most of all your current customers.  But however you define your inner circle, and whatever the scale of this celebration – the key ingredient is appreciation.  

 

Rebranding is a reason to celebrate and appreciate

 

For The Small Business: Employee Appreciation Roll Out

 An all-staff breakfast is one way to make sure everyone can attend before the work day begins (but happy hours can work if you have a smaller group). Give the team a heads up, and send out the calendar appointment a couple weeks ahead of time.  Build some excitement and anticipation around the brand reveal, let them know the “why” of the gathering but don’t give anything away. Keep everything under wraps as long as you possibly can. Now, hopefully some of your employees have had some involvement in the brand development on some level leading up to this point, but we mean keep the final look and feel secret until the end. Remember, your goal is to show appreciation and to create a moment.

Roll Out Checklist

Festivity: Food, music and decorations. Themed along with your new brand is nice, too.

Speech: Short and sweet, but delivered by the leader of your small business.

Visuals: Creative documentation along with a short presentation can include a few slides or even posters on easles showing how you arrived at the new brand. This is a great way to give everyone a sense of the journey. Think inclusive, so if you have any quotes or pictures that bring the employees into that process, definitely highlight those.

Magic Moment: Unveiling the new logo, name, tagline or overall look and feel can be a really cool moment. If you have the budget or means to create a brand video (just 1 to 2 minutes) this can really bring it all to life in a way that is hard to match.  Then you’ll always have it, to use it on your website or in future new business presentations after the roll out.

Logo Gift: It may seem like a small thing, but if you can give at least one small gift to each employee that captures the spirit of the new brand, a tshirt, a framed piece of desk art, a tote bag, along with a note (especially a personal note) conveying your appreciation for them as the biggest part of your brand – it can really help make the new look and feel more tangible.

For The Microbusiness: Client Appreciation Roll Out

If you are just a couple people or just one person running the show, you can take many of the ideas listed above and just adapt them to a happy hour, an open house.  Or you can take it on the road and plan a week where you visit with each of your clients, sharing the new brand. A gift is nice, a bit of that “behind-the-curtain” explanation of how and why you got here is great.  Don’t forget to stress how they helped you get here and don’t create an upsell feeling about it.  Keep it casual and fun.  If many of your clients are from different parts of the country or world, create a nice mail piece and follow up with an email and/or phone call combo.  If you spent the money or time to have a brand video created, by all means, share it.  

 


 

You can push out a beautiful brand, but someone’s gotta catch it.

We recently had a branding client, who after spending weeks developing a rebranded look and feel for their logo suite, sales collaterals and website with us, hadn’t yet gotten around to launching it with their team.  In part, because we hadn’t pushed it, and in part because they got busy, like people and businesses tend to do.

Feeling a little frustrated with the lack of an employee launch, this client told us she felt like we had all spent this time and effort giving birth to this really beautiful baby together, and then everyone let it fall on the floor.  Ouch!  Since then we’ve started planning a belated internal launch together, following the same suggestions listed above.  

But that description will stick with me for a long time I think.  So don’t let your rebrand just roll every which way before you unroll it to the people that matter most.  And don’t let this beautiful little brand you created fall on it’s head on the floor.  Create that moment, give the people in your “inner circle” a chance to be part of it, let them hold it – and then roll that baby out the door.

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