Brand Discovery 2021: Q&A

Date Posted: May 27, 2021
Tracy Lay

Get into the juicy details with our panel of branding experts!

Brand Discovery Q&A Transcript:

Moya, you touched a little bit on transitioning from doing a lot of events to a lot of virtual, and I know a lot of people are in that similar scenario right now. What advice would you give people on how to make that work?

Moya: I think the biggest thing is the willingness to try. You don't know if you don't try something. And communicate as clearly as possible what you're doing. What we're doing more so now is creating videos explaining instructions, because there's different types of learners.

Ron: I would back up what Moya was saying if the last 12, 13, 14 months has taught us anything it's to be agile, if nothing else take it as an opportunity, it's an opportunity to reinvent some of your processes as an opportunity to look at alternative ways to engage. The key simply is to find ways to adapt and be again, agile. For every business, videos and having YouTube channels, these are all other ways in which you emphasize your presence online.

Tressa: Videos are a little bit easier to find as well. You can pull up YouTube and click on the video and you can watch it right there. People are more likely to engage with a video, we try to use utilize videos on our social media platforms and our website linking out to our YouTube channel.

Amber: Encourage people to be creative, just because you've done something for so long, the same way doesn't mean you can't change it up. We've all had to cancel events or adjust over the last year, but you can still have those promotions or opportunities for your consumers. You just have to think about it in a different way, in a different manner.

What are some of the other touchpoints we haven't talked about?

Ron: The opportunities for any business today are in the multiples. You don't have to look very far to find ways to extend your brand. Social media is an easy one for us to throw on the wall and say if you're in the business of selling something or you're in the business of a product, you should have a Pinterest page, you should be out there promoting those kinds of things. Because again, it's an extension of ways in which you can show off what you, what you sell. Don't just do it because it's out there be intentional.

As you think, in terms of promotions or ways you give back to your customers or vendors, what do you do (either regularly or occasionally) to build engagement with your brand for your team members?

Tressa: For us at SOLV, we're actually right in the middle of our biannual staff meeting. So it's all day Thursday and Friday, where we bring all of our team members in and we have food and learning and we bring in outside resources. It's really all about team building, bonding, and just learning different ways that we can improve ourselves, improve the company and help customers as part of that.

We celebrated our KPI rewards program that we've put in at the beginning of the year. We thought we'd make a fun game out of it, so we built a program where everybody gets to earn points for different areas of helping the business. You get badges and money for completing a KPI, you get stickers and prizes for leading a Tuesday Teams meeting or doing a presentation or working on a process improvement or working with other people, different departments, as well as getting a testimonial from one of your teammates to say it was fantastic. We get to earn all these points and prizes throughout the year. There's a huge competition going on between all the employees, not only as trying to earn their own points and prizes, but to actually pay attention to their teammates and figure out how they can help each other improve and grow.

Amber: This year we've really taken a step back and focused on education. We have an internal daily communication thread that we call our Daily Huddle. And rather than every department sending out emails, it's all funneled in one email once a day. It makes it really clear and concise for everyone to be on the same page. We've included a little corner of that called our Brand Focus. Like I was talking about how it's so important for your team members to note the ins and outs of your brand. It's also overwhelming for them, especially if they're not utilizing every element of it every day, like we are as marketers.

We've taken that and we've broken it out into bite sized nuggets. One week we might just be focusing on the mission statement and why it's important, how it adds value to your company the next week, we're talking about color schemes and why they're important and different emotions that arise with color choices. We have really focused again on education and just making it clear for our team members to understand and to utilize in their everyday jobs.

I would like to add, incentivizing your team members, you want them to engage in that education or that conversation you're trying to start. And we all know that we work with getting free stuff, that's just how we're wired. Incentivizing them with logo, wear apparel, stuff like that. It's still an extension of your brand, when they're wearing it, others are seeing it. They feel more powerful being a part of the brand. Just little things like that can go a long way.

Moya: I’m kind of like Tressa and I buy them cool things to wear, because they are walking billboards. We'd have breakfast once a month. We would try different breakfast places, because then we're supporting local. One thing that they really like is we pay for Audible, for them. It's for continuing education. It costs $150, but it's amazing how far that goes is paying for the audible.

Ron: I would add to that is, on occasion we have one swag item or another, and I'll tell you that the one great thing about giving stuff like that away, I remember one of my sons saying to me that he saw some kid wearing one of my t-shirts and it said underdog on the, on the chest. He said that he asked this kid, “where did you get that?” And the kid's response was brilliant, he said “I don't know”. It was a wonderful extension of an intention that we really try to stand by. It's something that they want to keep.

Create something that extends your culture. SOLV did these amazing hydroflasks for us, but they're unique items. We did speakers one year for our employees where we had them custom printed, they're Bluetooth speakers that sit on a desk and they pound out the sound. Whatever you put out there, don't make a tchotchke if you can help it, make it worthwhile. So that way it extends not only the value of the item that you purchased, but it extends your culture. And it makes people proud.

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