As we slowly (or shall we say “bolt like we are breaking out of jail) emerge from one of the most disruptive marketplace events in recent history, it’s time to get back to business! And for many businesses this has been a great time to reevaluate how we do business, how we position against competition, and how our business can regain momentum and/or capitalize on new opportunity.
In a phrase, this is a great time to take a fresh look at your brand!
But what defines a “brand” in the first place? We answer that question in this month’s issue…and more!
Click into this month’s topics including:
- What defines your brand
- An established business gets a brand facelift
- In the “Andy’s Idaho segment this month, he and Helen explore Idaho’s season “crop” of morel mushrooms
What Defines Your Brand and How To Build It
In a recent article published by Hubspot - a leading marketing company that provides software solutions for inbound marketing automation - “brand” is defined as “the first impression customers have with your company” and it not only includes the visual elements of all of your marketing assets, but your brand “portrays your company’s mission and values”.
So your brand not only names your company but positions it as credible, trustworthy, authentic, different or special, and engaging…or not!
We’re biased of course, but we believe you really shouldn’t take your brand for granted. It requires special attention and thought if you are serious about carving your own, unique place in the market. But more importantly, if not tended to, it can actually work against your best efforts to retain and grow a viable business!
So let’s make a quick checklist of what defines your brand, Score yourself from one to five: 1 = we’re missing the mark completely, 3 = we’re doing ok but can do better, and 5 = we’re killing it - our competition doesn’t have a chance!
- Logo: Does your logo express the energy and values of your company in a glance, and does your tagline deliver a promise for an outcome that is compelling to prospects and customers alike?
- Colors and Fonts: Are your brand colors and font styles attractive to the eye and do they strike the right “tone” or image you wish to portray? (Hint: Google “psychology of colors in marketing” to pull up several good articles on how colors impact your success in marketing.)
- Consistency: Is your brand consistent everywhere people might look? Are you recognizable everywhere your brand shows up?
- Visibility: Is your brand everywhere people might be looking: outdoor signs, inside signs, colors and decor of your shop or location, handouts, give-aways, staff apparel, vehicle wraps, banners, etc.?
- Uniqueness: Does your brand differentiate you from your competition, or does it instead look like everyone else, look “stock” or “elementary”, or appear it was put together with little thought?
If you scored lower than 15, we recommend that you pull together a meeting with all of your key people (even if that is just you!) and brainstorm improvements. To have even more impact in your brainstorming session, include two or three of your best customers and get their input!
Not only have we rarely - if ever - experienced the business challenges we have recently navigated, we also have rarely had this exciting opportunity to recalibrate how we define “business as usual”. Here’s to “business as unusual!
An Established Business Gets a Fresh Look
Recently, Stacey Irish from the Pioneer Title office in Nampa, contacted our marketing expert, Tom, with her desire to have their brand looking nice and visible in the area of their office where they do the title signing process with their customers.
Tom immediately arranged a time to meet with Stacey at her office to get an idea of the type of space they had in mind for a new all sign. Tom evaluated the best placing for a new sign, addressing visibility, size, balance, and impact.
During the discussion, Stacey noted they had recently updated their logo and it was important to build this sign to be consistent with the new branding. As well she expressed that she was looking for a non-lighted, nice dimensional company logo and name on the wall, with a nice professional look to it.
Tom and Stacy reviewed the wall space where she wanted it and due to some existing things on the wall, the way furniture within was laid out, instead of centering in the whole wall space, together they determined the best area to center the sign within that wall area.
After that meeting onsite, Tom created a proof option for her review and approval. He discussed the material options with her and settled on going with ½” thick acrylic, painted logo blue and solid black for their letters. He presented her with an estimate based on the proof and materials and installation, stud mounted flush to the wall surface. The logo pantone color from their Brand guideline was referenced for painting the logo.
The letters thickness was selected based on a few factors like, existing signs within the space, area where sign was to be installed and visible, along with install surface and budget requirements.
The end result was that the vision Stacey and her team had in mind when they had initially contacted us checked all of the boxes. They were very happy with their new brand on the wall for their customers to see during the title signing process.
Below is a picture of the Pioneer Team with their new sign installed. Great work Tom, and thank you Stacy for your trust in us!
As springtime rolls into summer in Idaho, and for those adventurous souls willing to do a little hiking and searching, mother nature has a real treat in store for you.
We're past the Morel Mushrooms season now, but it's never too late to plan for the next harvest! Morel Mushroom hunting provide the perfect excuse to take a nice break and get up into the mountains for some short walks and hikes and enjoy the fresh air. Along with that, you get a chance to bring home what some consider the ultimate treat, a delicious fresh fungi. So back to that time of year to find them and how to go about finding them? Maybe you’re a veteran morel picker or maybe you never did it. Either way we hope you find a few good tips within. You might have heard go looking in the burned area’s of the forest. That is true for sure in regards to finding morels, burned area’s can have loads of morels, along with the loads of commercial pickers out there and other people. Along with that, picking morels in burned area’s, its just plain hard to keep them clean without ash and burnt pieces on them that need to be cleaned off. We like to find morels growing in non burned area’s, just nice natural place so they are nice and clean when picked and easier to get into that frying pan. Peaceful areas with few peoples to enjoy all the spring birds, animals and flowers out during springtime. Older burn area’s from 5 or 6 years ago are another good place to find morels as the plants start to grow back.
So when can you find Morels? Well that really depends on your location, but generally in Idaho the peak times are middle of May through the middle of June. I really depends on multiple factors, the weather temperature and moisture and then elevation you are looking. Sure in late April, down in the valley you can find some morels down by the Boise river sometimes but generally people go looking up in the mountains at around 4,000 to 5,000 foot elevation areas in mid May to start finding morels. Generally when and where we are finding morels at, there is usually some snow still around in the shades areas, with temps in the 60 during the day and above 40 during the night
Where to start looking, People are secretive about their morel spots, so unless some real close friends, most of the time you have to find your morel locations on your own. A couple of key points.
- Look in moist area’s, that do have spotty area’s of sunshine(That warms the ground to help them sprout earlier)
- You should be seeing other kinds of mushrooms when looking. If you don’t see other mushrooms it is probably too cold in the area yet at night.
- Once you find some morels, go back after into that same area, you will be amazed at how many morels you will find where you thought you just picked them all. This is one of the best tips to get more morels during your trips.
- Once you find some morels, go up and down the hills in that area, generally you will find more of them above and below where you found them.
- When you go back in the next few weeks to those area’s, you probably will need to be at a bit higher elevation. Most experienced morel hunters will follow the snow line higher in June so to keep finding them as long as possible where it will be warm enough along with enough moisture.
If you don’t know anything about morels but, want to try it out, check out some youtube video’s to educate yourself.
Here are a couple to check out?
What do you need to take?
A nice sharp folding knife black, for easy cuts and less dirt.
A nice mesh type bag to put your morels in. You want to use mesh, so you are spreading spores around when walking for next years mushrooms.
A nice cooler and some containers, to store your prizes in for the ride home.
Pack a lunch and cooler with beverages and some lawn chairs to take some breaks near your vehicle, enjoy the day and time for rest between some short hikes.
How to enjoy them:
Use them like any other mushrooms for cooking and seasoning your dishes.
They are excellent when deep fried.
They go great when cooking with steaks and deer and elk meat also.
We like to dehydrate them and grind them up like pepper to use for seasoning our meats prior to grilling, for some real good strong mushroom flavor.