The Evolution of Our Branding From Tactical Social Media to TSO Media
Updated 17 February 2019
Branding is critical. It helps identify you. It is the first step in an effective brand marketing campaign.
As your brand grows and evolves, so must your branding. Ours has changed over the years and we thought it helpful to give you an idea how and the inspiration behind our logo and map.
The reason behind the brand name change was predicated by the services we were providing for clients. Social media marketing is still at the core of what we do, but it must be integrated with content and branding. Online marketing is a system. To be successful, all elements must work together. As we added services, we found the need to provide full branding and website development options. With those well out of our areas of expertise, we needed to enlist others.
Rather than bring teams in-house, we opted for an agency role. We design and oversee the entire process. We chose the partner best suited for your needs. It’s been a perfect arrangement ensuring our clients’ every need is met to beyond their expectations. We now have an amazing core of outsourced graphic artists, videographers, photographers, website developers, content writers, and social media content creators as part of our team.
The move began back in early 2018, with most of the work to get this new website and our branding up and running done starting in December 2018. It was more of an undertaking than anticipated. To make it happen, we again turned to Rhonda Negard over at Fat Dog Creatives.
This time she was tasked with more than a logo. She and her team designed our new branding and this website.
The rebrand still incorporates our map, but it is now an inlay over driftwood. The darker tones and the wood help create a stronger image and a more solid foundation – what we provide for your online marketing.
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 shortening and 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.
With a shift to include branding as part of our core services, it was time to create a logo. We turned to Rhonda, the brainchild behind Fat Dog Creatives. She was tasked with designing a logo around 4 specific elements, then left her to it. We added no other input, implicitly trusting her! She worked her magic and captured our vision perfectly.
The logo has 4 distinct elements at the core of its design:
A kayak. Tied directly to my obsession and fits with the nautical chart.
A compass. This grew out of the initial compass rose idea I considered.
The PNW. Pointed northwest symbolizing my location in the PNW
An eye. Harder to see, but it is there. Focused on where I am going.
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 of the move is the location on the water. It’s provided for a rather unique lifestyle allowing me to fish off the deck and easily indulge in my sea kayaking obsession.
As the sea kayaking became a bigger part of who I am, it became part of the branding for Tactical Social Media. A nautical chart was chosen for the new map. This firmed up our brand identity and brought back the ‘tactical’ concept. Nautical charts, even with having GPS) are always carried when sea kayaking. They are indispensable for navigating and charting courses.
The map features a compass. Salmon Beach can be found at the bottom point of the compass.
In 2014, I uprooted my life and moved to the Pacific Northwest.
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. The goal this time was to start exploring immediately. I fell in love with the place and it has become ‘home’ for me.
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. (A few may still exist!). The big shift in this map was losing the ‘tactical’ concept.
The concept of the map was introduced as a tie into the ‘tactical’ and ‘strategic’ aspects of how we 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. (ANY image you use in your social or web content is free from copyright restrictions or you have permission to use them. Images pulled from Google CANNOT be used.)
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.
Original publish date 12 October 2015