Show your employees some love. Providing a few unique perks and rewards will help you stand out from the herd, and will create a good reputation for your company. This almost always leads to a growth in employee candidate pools.
As part of our series about “Brand Makeovers” I had the pleasure to interview Shelley Grieshop. Shelley is a former Associated Press reporter/editor who worked for a daily newspaper for 18 ½ years. In 2016, she joined Totally Promotional’s marketing department as a content writer. She assists other staff members as they provide clients with proven advertising and branding strategies.
Thank you so much for doing this with us Shelley! Before we dig in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit more. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Ihave been a writer since serving as co-editor of my high school newspaper in the late 70s. After a lengthy career as a journalist, I decided to depart from the crazy hours of news media biz and take my skills to a promotional products company. What intrigued me as much as the job description was the news that Totally Promotional was about to move into a renovated building that once housed a farm equipment business. Both of my parents worked in this historical agriculture building in their day; my father was an accountant for more than 40 years within the walls where I now work!
Can you share a story about the funniest marketing or branding mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Coming from a job as a reporter/editor, I did not immediately understand the marketing business and what “branding” meant when I began my career at Totally Promotional in 2016. After several months I learned that branding did not simply mean printing a name on a product (as cowboys sear markings into cattle).
Are you able to identify a “tipping point” in your career when you started to see success? Did you start doing anything different? Is there a takeaway or lesson that others can learn from that?
I’ve only been in the marketing field for four years, so I think it’s best I leave this answer to others with more insight.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
I am always working on exciting, new projects for our clients! One of our current projects involves highlighting customers who have excelled by using our products to brand themselves. This mainly involves interviewing clients and sharing their information via blogs. We hope others who are seeking branding strategies are inspired by these stories.
What advice would you give to other marketers to thrive and avoid burnout?
Find a niche that exploits your talents and you’ll be happy and successful. We are all good at something; but sometimes it takes a while to learn how to apply our talents in work that satisfies us.
Ok, let’s now jump to the core part of our interview. In a nutshell, how would you define the difference between brand marketing (branding) and product marketing (advertising)? Can you explain?
Brand marketing or branding is the process used to tell the world (or at least potential clients) who you are and what your mission entails. Product marketing is the process used to promote an item or items. Brand marketing and product marketing are both key elements that businesses need to stay afloat.
Can you explain to our readers why it is important to invest resources and energy into building a brand, in addition to the general marketing and advertising efforts?
The competition for products and services today is stiff. Many consumers research companies and read customer reviews before taking out their wallets. Building a brand by developing a mission statement or other means to promote who you are shows transparency and makes you trustworthy in the minds of consumers.
Let’s now talk about rebranding. What are a few reasons why a company would consider rebranding?
Things sometimes just get stale and that can happen over time to a company’s brand. Here are a few specific times when rebranding may be warranted:
- A subtle change in the types of products or services sold.
- New management.
- An ongoing decline in profits.
- To re-establish a new branding concept.
Are there downsides of rebranding? Are there companies that you would advise against doing a “Brand Makeover”? Why?
Any change taken by a company can have negative repercussions. It’s a risk, for sure. The ultimate downside is an overall loss of business because consumers don’t like your new brand, don’t understand your new persona, or simply liked the old “you” better. I would never discourage any company from doing a brand makeover, however, very well-established companies should never make drastic changes at once.
Ok, here is the main question of our discussion. Can you share 5 strategies that a company can do to upgrade and re-energize their brand and image”? Please tell us a story or an example for each.
5 Strategies to Upgrade and Re-energize Your Brand and Image
- Redesign your logo. Our staff helps businesses create new logos to customize promotional products. In our experience, companies that make only slight changes to their logo’s fonts, spacing and colors have the most success.
- Add a tagline. Totally Promotional in 2017 added a tagline to its logo: “Our Products. Your Story.™” Although it can be hard to judge how effective a tagline is to a company’s success, we feel it greatly enhanced our branding by letting our customers and potential clients know how we view our partnership with them.
- Make a local splash. Regardless if you’re a brick-and-mortar business or an e-commerce company or both, it’s important to be part of your community. Yes, it’s good local PR. But sponsoring a Little League team or passing out customized chip clips at a community festival will create a positive image for you that will spread much further than your city’s corporation limits.
- Show your employees some love. Providing a few unique perks and rewards will help you stand out from the herd, and will create a good reputation for your company. This almost always leads to a growth in employee candidate pools.
- Award loyal customers. Giveaways and loyalty cards are popular for good reason: They work! People love to receive free items and good deals.
In your opinion, what is an example of a company that has done a fantastic job doing a “Brand Makeover”. What specifically impresses you? What can one do to replicate that?
I don’t have a specific example, but just take a look at some of the most sound fast-food chains: McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Arby’s … most have succeeded by following the theory that upgrading their buildings and continually changing their marketing ads to appease millennials will increase sales. Any business can do these things. However, it helps to have big bucks to promote the makeover.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
My suggestion for a movement is a lesson on handling what life throws us: THINK, ACT, SOLVE. Get the facts, do what you can to fix the problem, and move on. In my opinion, there is too much bickering in this world and not enough people trying to find solutions. We so badly want to be right and prove everyone else wrong that we close our minds to others’ ideas and theories. As a side note, I would stress how important it is to admit fault and think about the greater good instead of our agenda or ourselves.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
I’ve been inspired by different quotes throughout my 59 years on this earth. However, one that continues to keep me focused: “Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you respond to it.” (Charles Swindoll)
How can our readers follow you online?
I would invite readers to follow the blog I write on Totally Promotional: https://www.totallypromotional.com/blog/
Thank you so much for these excellent insights! We wish you continued success in your work.