WHY WE BUILT A BRAND DEPARTMENT
Since the jump, POOLHOUSE has delivered world-class strategy and storytelling to candidates, causes, and companies. Those marketing services consistently moved the needle for our clients. But we wanted to do more. Over the last two years, we’ve been building an in-house brand and design department that is taking our campaigns to the next level.
For starters, let’s all get on the same page about branding. Specifically, what it means. Branding is an exercise in defining a company’s purpose, and it clarifies why people will care in a crowded, competitive market. It’s more than creating a logo. It’s helping a company articulate its mission and values in a way that people can connect with.
While our marketing efforts have always been tactical and fluid, our branding efforts are foundational. They set our campaigns up for success.
The addition of a brand and design department has elevated the campaigns we run across the board: defining big issues, launching new companies, and helping candidates build authentic connections. Here is a quick overview of how our process works.
Believe it or not, most brands haven’t figured out what they are really all about. Discovery is a collaborative process where we align with our clients and learn about why they’re in business. We use tricks like “The 5 Whys” to get clients to dig deep, and explore the real motivations behind what they’re building. Through the process, we figure out the answers together. To document our findings, we deliver brand direction in the form of a Creative Blueprint— a presentation that defines crucial brand elements like mission, values, audience profiles, and communication style.
Here is an example from our work with Paystar. We worked with this B2B startup’s founders to uncover their core purpose, defining a clear mission statement in the process. Through stakeholder interviews, a product audit, and by gaining an understanding of their optimal user groups, we determined that Paystar’s branding was too dated and their comms strategy too complicated to resonate. By identifying a market opportunity to provide an accessible, modern platform that puts the customer first, we aligned the brand around a philosophy of simplicity. The Creative Blueprint we delivered spells it out.
A brand’s identity is how we describe its identifying characteristics. Typically that means the way a brand looks (although it can also mean how it sounds or engages with its employees and customers). To most of our clients, the lynchpin to their identity is their logo. At POOLHOUSE, we take a comprehensive approach to the logo design process. We work with our clients to define pillars, or core tenants, that guide our design decisions. Pillars like “sophisticated,” “friendly,” or “nostalgic.” From there we present visual style scapes to help us hone in on look and feel, before concentrating our attention on creating a unique logo mark. Our identities are delivered as systems, complete with color and font selections, usage guidelines, and contextual samples to help our clients visualize their logo on business cards, t-shirts, and even billboards. It’s everything our clients need to jumpstart their marketing efforts and gain buy-in from their employees and stakeholders. At POOLHOUSE, our brand guidelines are a signature service and a guaranteed way to elevate your marketing efforts.
Check out how our brand direction informed the evolution of the Paystar logo, from traditional, complicated transactions to modern and simple payments. We presented the new logo system in our signature brand guidelines, including Pantone color selections, custom iconography, and company swag.
Brand building is where the rubber meets the road, as POOLHOUSE’s team of strategists and storytellers unite to run compelling campaigns with quantifiable results. We set key performance indicators (KPIs) around engagement goals like impressions, acquisitions, or donations. Then we deploy our team to maximize your brand’s impact and earned media opportunities. We’re known for our video work, but with the addition of our brand team, we’ve added display, social, print, and web to our formidable list of offerings. The result? A return on your investment in the form of brand awareness and audience connection that simply wouldn’t be possible organically.
For Paystar, we killed two (actually multiple) birds with one stone. We designed a killer marketing website, then leveraged it to create an asset library for use in printed sales sheets, social media advertisements, and editorial campaigns. All important parts of a multifaceted launch campaign.
If you’re contemplating a run for office, eager to influence a constituency, or excited about launching your brand, let us be your first call. Our team takes pride in educating our client partners on the ins and outs of building their brands with intention. We are the experienced team hell-bent on your success.