Cultural Alignment and Controlled Growth

Our relationship with Somatic HVAC started in 2012 when they were looking to change their name and rebrand. We have watched them grow from 8 people all the way up to where they are today at 60. It is great to watch a company become stronger year after year.

Growth never happens by accident. In December 2017 we were contacted again by Gilbert and Patrick to help them define their core values and strengthen their culture. We happily took on the challenge and began a six-month intensive quest to engage with their team, their clients, and various stakeholders. The truth of a company is spread out through many people and it is key to identify and communicate with them.

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Scale up and dominate your Industry

“How do we know who we are? What if we’re believing our own BS?” This is one of the first things Christian Chia said to me. He has a great point and it is one we take very seriously. In fact, when we rebranded our own company we worked with an outside agency for the same reason.

OpenRoad is BCs largest vehicle retailer and they intend to keep growing, for this to happen alignment became of critical importance. They have over one thousand employees and over twenty vehicle brands each with their own store, management, and teams.

What is the grand vision for the company? What are they going to rally around? What makes them different and why do customers buy from them when they could easily go elsewhere? All of these questions point to what we refer to as a companies Core Brand Concept. This is that little bit of magic that makes each company unique. Let me explain. OpenRoad sells the same cars, in the same city, with the same sales training, same stores, and the same prices as their competition. Imagine that!  With this in mind, they have grown faster than almost all their competitors and in the span of twenty years earned the top spot in regards to the number of locations.Read More

Brand Storytelling

Telling stories has become a strategic priority within direct and indirect brand marketing initiatives. Through social media and content marketing stories, there are opportunities to emotionally engage customers in ways that extend to offline brand experiences.

The attraction is not as measurable as many marketing initiatives with a push for sales and an ROI. Rather, this kind of communication speaks the truth of a brand, infuses it with personality, empathy and shared values.

Storytelling is about showing how your company’s actions demonstrate your promised brand experience. It is about attracting like-minded customers, employees and strategic partners.

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Give a Little Bit of Heart and Soul

One thing that we always create for our clients is a clear, visual, Core Brand Concept. This is the birthplace of the brand strategy and all marketing & communications to come.  This shows the boiling point, common denominator, feature shared by staff / stakeholders / client, and depicts their relationship one another.  What makes each company tick is unique.  The model has a few key contributing factors; your products & services, beliefs & core values, what your clients are actually thinking, and what problem you solve for them. Your brand is a combination of all of these groups.

To truly understand the nature of your companies brand you must first examine what got you to where you are. Here are the three starting points; 1. you, 2. your stakeholders, 3 your clients. Deeply understanding your motives by looking for evidence in your past can really shed light onto where you’re going to end up.  As we have found time and time again – your past dictates your future. The more you understand about your thought process, your stakeholders thought processes, and of course your clients then the more you can actively control your outcomes.  If one or all three of these things are a mystery to you then the inevitability of your future can move away from your control.

Digital Dialogue Interview

Digital Dialogue is great series put together by Bosco Anthony that centres around thought leadership. Bosco has a long list of interesting people that have been on his show including interviews with Mark Brand and Brian Scudamore.  I spent Sunday morning with Bosco putting together my segment for next season. He is a very thoughtful and intelligent chap who really takes the time to do his research and shows a genuine interest in all his guests.

It was a an interesting experience and I look forward to seeing the final result in the next few months.

Have a look at some of the previous interviews here.

The laid back approach to his interviews really helps you to get inside the guests heads and learn how they think.  If you are in business and looking for some insight this is a great way to start.  Lots of rich content from people who are active in the entrepreneurial space.

Pacific Coastal Airlines new Digital Foot Print

Pacific Coastal has been a long-time client of ours and we are very pleased to announce the launch of their new website. One of the key strategies of the site planning was to invite people to spend more time on the site and not just book their flights. The home page uses tiles with a filter to help people get fast access to the exact information they are looking for.

The former site only had booking capabilities on the home page, on this site the booking ribbon was created and designed seamlessly into every page. No matter where you are on the site you can book a ticket. We felt this was key to making the site more accessible and easy to use.

Pacific Coastal had unused items that didn’t have a long-term home. In this site we created many areas to leverage the years of content creation and make it accessible to the general public. A great example of this is Kids section with colouring books and puzzles that were put together. We also collected up all past issues of Soar Magazine and gave them a home.

Last but not least is the Fares & Passes. With Bravo, Classic, and Encore to choose from we really wanted to make it easy for people to figure out which one makes the most sense for them and their family or business. With all information readily available and with clear visual aids to help out the section has now been brought to life.

Top 10 lists: Traffic source or waste of space?

Top 10 lists are the fast food of the article world. They’re quick to write, people can skim them and feel they learned something, and it’s easy for the writer to position themself as an expert or someone with unique knowledge. But these articles are often misleading and provide limited (although often targeted) information. Does society prefer superficial knowledge? Noam Chomsky refuses television interviews because, “nobody wants a real answer, just a sound bite – if you ask me [Noam] a question I will give you the full answer. It may take a while.” Facebook overflows with top 10 lists. Are they empty and useless or a great way to spread your message?

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The Anatomy of a Compelling Company Story

Every company has a story. Some are exciting like Virgin’s, some tug at your heart like Tom’s shoes, and others are more utilitarian (important note: confusing “utilitarian” for “boring” is usually a mistake). The most successful companies spend time finding their niche in our world – following market trends while looking beneath the surface of their product or service to uncover the true value of what they offer and why consumers should care.

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