Updated 26 November 2017
THE EVOLUTION OF OUR BRANDING
Your branding is critical. It helps identify you. It is the first step in an effective brand marketing campaign.
Like you, however, your brand evolves. Your services, your focus… and as it evolves, so must your branding. As we have grown, our branding had to evolve, and it continues to do so. To make sure it was done right, we enlisted the help of an expert, and tied her creative genius to our online mastery – and our story…
Why The Map?
The original – January 2015
The map was introduced to tie into the ‘tactical’ and ‘strategic’ aspects of how I approach social media marketing.
The original concept which came to mind was the old military maps – maps you would see Generals standing over, planning troop movements.
Unable to locate something royalty-free, I chose a planning map for the Battle of Monmouth in the Revolutionary War and located an image in the public domain from the Library of Congress. (Side note – make sure ANY image you use in your social or web content is free from copyright restrictions or you have permission to use them.)
The significance to the map, aside from the above, is my connection to the area. I grew up in Monmouth County, NJ. The battle depicted specifically took place where I spent my youth. I knew the history and locations.
The First Change – October 2015
In 2014 I uprooted my life and moved with my daughter and her mom to the Pacific Northwest. Unlike pass moves, the goal was to set out and immediately explore the area.
It took 4 years of living in Upstate NY, within a 90-minute drive of Niagara Falls to get there (the week before I left).
The same held true for my time in Tucson, AZ. It took a decade to get to the Grand Canyon.
We fell in love with the place and while life has changed, I’m staying put. The second map was an image from a 3D wood map of the Puget Sound. The idea was to keep with the map theme but bring it closer to home. That map served as the background for our blog post featured images as well as our banners on social platforms. Most of those featured images will remain for a while (at least until I get to updating older content). The one thing missing from the map – that ‘tactical’ aspect.
The Second Change – March 2017
In July of 2016 I moved to Salmon Beach on the west side of Point Defiance Park in Tacoma’s North End. Access to the house is through a gated entrance on the edge of the park followed by a hike in or down 210 stairs (and yes, what goes down must go up). The significance to the move is the location on the water. It’s provided for a rather unique lifestyle that allows me to fish off the deck and indulge in my kayaking obsession. Some people take a break and go for a walk. I hop in a kayak and paddle.
The map I chose is a nautical chart of the Puget Sound used for plotting sailing courses. The full image includes the compass I use for measuring distances when planning kayaking trips. The lower point on the compass is centered at Salmon Beach. The map clearly lays out the area of Puget Sound I call home.
The map, when adding in weather and tide considerations, brings me back to the tactical concept while retaining a close connection to where I live. Now, it is also tied into my outside passion.
Part Of A Bigger Picture
If you have paid attention, the map was part of a bigger re-branding project. We have a new logo and new colors. Over the next few weeks this site will be getting a makeover (our social profiles have already). The logo below is the brainchild of Rhonda Negard over at Fat Dog Creatives. She worked her magic and captured my vision perfectly.
The logo has 4 distinct elements at the core of its design:
The kayak. Tied directly to my obsession and fits with the nautical chart.
The compass. This grew out of the initial compass rose idea I considered.
The compass. Pointed northwest symbolizing my location in the PNW
An eye. Harder to see, but it is there. Focused on where I am going.
The final Design element
Rhonda added a final touch to the re-branding and merged the logo she designed, the map and the ‘look’ of an old, worn map reminiscent of our original map and those of old school sailing vessels.
This has become the backdrop for our letterhead, website, social profile banners, and all PowerPoint slides.
It is the ‘consistent‘ piece tying offline to online. It, tied with our logo makes us instantly recognizable. An effective tactical social media marketing strategy saw to that.
Beyond the design elements – TSO Media
Effective branding is more than simply a logo and color palette. Those are the most visible elements.
Online branding requires more and starts with your URL. It continues with your social profile URLs, a branded hashtag and a short domain for link customization.
Each aspect adds to your brand awareness, image, and consistency.
For us, in keeping where we will be pivoting next, TSO Media was chosen.
Short domain (For all link shortening):
Our branded hashtag:
Shifting to an Agency
The understanding that social media is part of an overall marketing strategy and how it MUST be integrated with your branding, website design and development, and content marketing, we cannot do it alone.
We know have an amazing core of outsourced graphic artists, videographers, photographers, website developers, content writers, and social media content creators as part of our team.
Whether starting out or looking to re-brand, even a simple update, we can design the architecture which frames your online and offline marketing strategy and make it happen.
Original publish date 12 October 2015