When I started my re-branding efforts earlier this year for my consulting firm, Connect, I had no idea that Gap and The Clorox Company —the two consumer giants in my backyard—were undergoing brand makeovers as well.
Our rationales for our brand facelifts are similar: our current brands didn’t reflect today’s reality. We needed to recalibrate how we define and explain ourselves.
Unlike Gap and The Clorox Company, which sells products to millions of consumers, Connect provides professional services to a select number of businesses. Now, what exactly does Connect do?
Glad you asked! Let me share a case study. One of my clients, a fast-growing Fortune 1000, outsourced its employee travel services. More than a year later, employees were still complaining and looking for excuses to avoid using the program.
The analysis we did showed three trouble areas. Both the travel booking and on-the-road experiences didn’t match what employees expected, based on what the company had told them. Furthermore, the company’s focus on cost savings at the expense of everything else didn’t ring true with the company’s financial success and rapid growth.
We repositioned the program and updated the messaging.
The changes turned the program around. Within months, employee satisfaction and compliance increased to the 90% levels.
With this rebranding, based on market research with clients and other exploration, Connect is now focused on helping functional leaders, such as IT, Finance, HR, Communication and Marketing, get people on board with change initiatives.
By working with Connect, clients achieve their goals without the drama, delays, and distress so often associated with change. They also build their credibility as progressive leaders who listen, involve, and support their team and other employees. And they gain clarity around the change, which sharpens everyone’s focus and keeps them on the same path.
In the almost seven years Connect has been in business, we’ve always provided change communication services. But we’ve also done more, which was diluting and confusing the brand. And frankly, as the company founder and managing consultant, I felt too scattered and not as focused as I should be.
For example, as I wrote in my July newsletter, I was serving two target markets simultaneously: The LEAN COMMUNICATIONS™ crowd and my change clients. The LEAN COMMUNICATIONS™ crowd enjoyed my special tools and fire prevention advice. My clients appreciate my problem solving and fire fighting.
For the LEAN COMMUNICATIONS™ fans out there, please note I will be using the LEAN COMMUNICATIONS™ tools I’ve developed over the years and writing about them. And I’ve got several more under development, which I’m now testing with clients. I’m also using my other innovation, the SILENT, SUGARCOATED MOOSE®. Both the lean and moose tools help build understanding, credibility, and trust.
So is anything else changing? Ah, yes, the new logo and tagline pictured above that support the Connect brand.
The logo emphasizes the word Connect, although Connect Consulting Group remains the company name. (Unlike one of my clients, The Clorox Company, which is lengthening its name to convey its diversified product range, the one word “Connect” better describes what we do around change.)
Also the Connect logo features more color. The mustard joins the deep purple from the original mark. And the logo is more compact with the graphic element (the linking n’s) built within it. The purpose is to reflect the human element of change with a bit of whimsy. (Business and change are serious work; but that doesn’t mean we always have to be dull or drab.)
The tagline “clear credible change” is “descriptive and reassuring” as one individual wrote in my special online survey to test alternative logos.
Ah, the testing! I invited clients, family, friends, and fans (through Twitter and LinkedIn) to review alternative logos that Radiant Brands created. So unlike Gap, I can’t be criticized for not inviting feedback during the logo development phase.
My crowd-sourcing feedback was helpful, yet contradictory. We did make tweaks based on comments. Yet, based on the fervor of some folks, I’m sure they won’t like the final design.
As for whether I would do the crowd-sourcing feedback again and would I recommend it to others, as some asked, I say “yes” to both. Besides giving me input, many people thanked me for asking them for their opinion, which was gratifying.
However, who knows if my new logo will appear on the site Your Logo Makes Me Barf? (Until Gap pulled the plug on its new logo due to negative reactions, much of the site traffic was about the horrific changes to this iconic logo.)
As for my brand journey, it’s continuing. My website designer, Rowboat Media, is now developing Connect’s new website, which is where I’ll be blogging, probably in November.
Thanks to everyone for their support to date and I hope I can count on you to stay with me. While we don’t have the long history of The Clorox Company (100 years in 2013) and Gap (41 years), Connect does have a track record of satisfied clients and excellent results. (The new website will feature their testimonials and case studies.)
Meanwhile, if you want to know more about Connect, this small, privately-held company that operates under the radar compared with these two pillars of the San Francisco Bay Area business community, just email me.
And if you or someone you know can benefit from Connect’s change services, please refer me! Thanks all!
Connect the dots plus dot the “i”s to be more intentional, inquisitive and inclusive
How well are you tapping into the skills and wisdom you need to lead in a BANI world?
All the old playbooks are out-of-date. Instead, you need to reach inside yourself, tap into your wisdom, and connect the dots for yourself and others.
To start, you can use these 5 tips to embrace your humanity and become a better leader.