3 lessons from a marketing company's own rebranding 

Halmyre as a company spends a good portion of time with clients working on issues related to brand: experience, awareness, engagement, activation, conversions and more.

But when the discussion to rebrand our own company developed, the saying that marketing folks are often “the shoe maker's kids” was top of our minds.

It can be difficult to see oneself with the distance and clarity required to position a company, brand or service correctly. So, we committed to a journey of “eating our own cooking” so to speak – to follow the advice we would give our clients.

As our team launches our new brand, Halmyre, to colleagues and friends this month, here is our story of rebranding, expressed in the 3 lessons we’d like to share with all marketers.

1. Trust the branding methodology

This, put simply, is: identify the methodologies required, and then follow them. The process will lead you to the right answer.

In Halmyre’s case, the team had four related processes that guided us, as objectively as possible, to our result:

·       An honest situation analysis: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats and competitive positioning

·       Value proposition development with our customers in mind

·       Brand attributes and positioning analysis

·       Creative strategy and development

These are processes we’re very familiar with deploying for our clients. The results were illuminating to us and we felt the maturation and progression of thought developing each step of the way.

2. Find outsiders who care

We knew that we were at risk of not seeing ourselves clearly enough, not pushing ourselves to parse out important nuance that we take for granted, and not challenging our internal talk track.

While much of our own rebranding work was led by the multidisciplinary team at Halmyre, we selectively engaged trusted partners to collaborate with us.

As we are the “outsiders who care” about our clients, and already have some great partners to work with, this step was obvious and natural for us. Their “outside in” expertise, professionalism and commitment to truth, clarity and the occasional polite “no” to our ideas helped make us better. They encouraged us to reach for expressions of our brand that we would never have had the courage to seek on our own.

3. Great work takes time

This is truly the one of the hardest lessons we had to absorb for ourselves. As an entrepreneurial business, we can empathize with the pressure to get into market quickly and get results.

But we also know of the benefits that time can bring. We counsel our clients to find the time and space to think, reflect, discuss, parse and develop strategic ideas. Success is found in discipline, and nuance and clarity are the result. This always leads to strength of strategy, confidence in execution, and more clearly aligned decisions. Time is your best ROI.

In our project, we quickly threw our ambitions of a Q1 2018 launch aside and heeded our own advice on this front. It took time, exploration, trials, editing, discussion, “arm wrestling,” and polishing.

The extra months will pay dividends with the whole team on board, and a strong brand platform with:

·       A visual style guide built to last

·       A value proposition tool kit and key messages that we are proud of and know reflects who we are, and

·       Clients and relationships that motivate us every day to do our best work.

How did our cooking taste?

One of the hardest things for any client is to step outside of their internal perspective and see, feel and experience their world through their clients’ eyes. We work with clients regularly to provide ways for them to shed their years of experience, of “tried that, done this already” short-hand that can creep in.

For our team, this project was our chance to taste our own cooking and go through what we ask our clients to.

Everyone in our organization has benefited from this process. As professionals we are always learning, growing and developing. After eating some of our own cooking I know we will be even better marketing consultants for it.

About Ursula Green

Halmyre Vice-President Ursula Green, CM is a chief experience officer and is deeply committed to working for our clients' clients. She is an expert in strategic customer-centric service design, analysis and ideation. Ursula is a member of the Canadian Marketing Association (CMA) 2020--22 and is an active member of the CMA - Customer Experience Council. Previously, Ursula has worked for a wide range of brands from household names such as BMW, Mastercard, Home Depot and Canon to service-based organizations such as Women's College Hospital and Confederation College. 

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