Travis Terlau visits the blog this week to tell the story of his company’s recent rebranding. The financial advisory firm decided to take on a new name—Investment Answers. And, as rarely happens nowadays, they were able to get the perfect URLs to go along with it. (Yes, both .net and .com. Be jealous.)
But as they say, with a great name comes great responsibility. Now that they had a “big” name, Travis and the rest of the Investment Answers team knew they had to build a big brand to match.
Acquiring a big, new name is like this. You are living in a wonderful home that you love. Perhaps it’s a bit lived in, a bit cluttered—but it’s homey. You decide to buy a beautiful Oriental rug that you got an incredible deal on for your small dining room. You bring the rug in, lay it down, move the furniture back in—maybe refresh your floor plan a bit.
You stand back to bask in the glow of your beautiful purchase when you suddenly realize how dusty the furniture looks. So you give the tables and chairs a once-over with polish and a dusting rag. Maybe you sit down and eat in the room to try to get used to the new look. But there’s nothing you can do. The beautiful new rug has made the rest of your furniture look…pretty bad.
A big name is like that. It meets you where you are and then forces you to elevate to the next level.
In many ways, that’s what happened to us. When we changed our name from a good (but overly used) name to a great one, we had a responsibility to our new moniker. This was a name that was made for the age of search engine optimization, one that would drive traffic and instantly tell potential clients what we do. We found ourselves in service of this new name—a name that could encompass so many parameters.
The new name demanded a new brand. And so, we went out to find one.
We knew we could rely on many of our friends who work in web design. Intuitively though, we migrated to BatesMeron Sweet Design to embark on this process with us. They have a straightforward way of saying things that appealed to us and knew would appeal to our markets.
BatesMeron is gifted at creating atmosphere and balance. These attributes were very important to us, as we wanted Investment Answers to be an outpost of helpful financial information on the Internet. One would think that there are plenty of places to go to get information online, but it is surprisingly difficult to find the answers you are searching for in the moment—when you suddenly need them. The other challenge when searching for information on the Internet is when you find some actual content, it is often very obvious that the experience of reading the content is secondary to displaying you ads. We needed our website be credible, to satisfy our responsibility as financial advisors in appearance as well as content.
We had to live up to this big name. Our primary goal for the website was to make it such a pleasant experience to be on the site that readers would come back and visit again. We wanted them to feel good while on the site and remain inspired while moving forward in their day. We wanted the content easily organized and valuable to the reader. After all, what is the point of an “empty website”? Our goal was to create a website that is a breath of fresh air in a sea of drudgery.
Living up to this big name branding, it was important for us to let the “creatives” do what they do best without getting in their way. BatesMeron has this system of drawing out little morsels of inspiration from you. For example, they created a Brand Blueprint for us during the process of designing our brand. This document lays out the core elements of our brand in a format that we can quickly reference when we need grounding or inspiration.
Going through the creative process with them and letting them work within this framework provided the support and the entire experience we needed while rebranding. The process was very linear, organized and very productive. We never had to hear, “That’s a really great idea, but because of the limitations of your site, we just can’t do that.” Our website was created with the adaptability that our brand will need in this ever-changing world.
We remember laughing as we easily took all of the content created during the branding process to develop mission statements, web content, training manuals and marketing collateral. It was very reassuring to see how well we could maximize BMSD’s work into so many working avenues. Even our accounting department was able to look at the large quantity of work produced and say what a great value this rebranding was to us.
We find ourselves constantly reflecting back on the process of creating a brand to live up to this big name. We find ourselves relieved to know the final product reflects all that we had hoped it would and even still, more than we had imagined.
Of course, there is no final product in business and in marketing. Our company is very much a living, breathing entity. It’s so much easier for the intellectuals in the company to see the value of a long-term, evolving marketing plan to work alongside of our business because they see this beautiful representation of themselves and of their company. We love that the new brand makes our team feel so empowered. Watching that force resonate and spill over to our clients and prospects is even more fulfilling.
Investment Answers is a financial advisory firm that helps clients who are in or planning for retirement translate their vision for the future into a strategic, personalized investment plan. We listen, we guide and we make their dreams tangible and achievable.
Financial Advisory Services offered through Brookstone Capital Management LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor.
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