When I returned to Mack­ey Advi­sors in 2009 we had a beau­ti­ful “brand” cre­at­ed by Jon LoD­u­ca and his team at Wis­dom Link. Although we had a mes­sag­ing guide and a logo that were per­fect we were not cap­i­tal­iz­ing on our invest­ment. Our mar­ket­ing mate­ri­als con­tained invalu­able infor­ma­tion, but we were not using our brand­ing toolk­it to make these pieces pop and make peo­ple pay atten­tion. That’s where I came in. I have a back­ground in Inte­ri­or Design and an obses­sion for aes­thet­ics. I mem­o­rized our mes­sag­ing guide and quick­ly start­ed spruc­ing up our web­site, print­ed mate­ri­als, client com­mu­ni­ca­tions, etc. Brand­ing and mes­sag­ing is an on-going process, but from my expe­ri­ence if you take the time to cre­ate a core mes­sage that includes just a few items you can cre­ate a brand that SCREAMS your company’s iden­ti­ty, and makes peo­ple pay atten­tion.

I am not an expert in cre­at­ing a brand, but I do believe I am an expert in brand­ing Mack­ey Advi­sors. With that being said, here is my brand­ing toolk­it for the do-it-your­self mar­keter.

 

  1. LOGO — Our logo was already cre­at­ed when I came back to Mack­ey Advi­sors. A logo is the most impor­tant piece of brand­ing for a busi­ness, but the logo must be mean­ing­ful to be effec­tive. The Mack­ey Advi­sors logo is an abstrac­tion of an advi­sor and his/her advisee sit­ting at a table. Our logo was built around the rela­tion­ships we cre­ate and the com­pre­hen­sive nature of our ser­vices.Mackey Advisors Logo

  2. TAGLINE — This is not your ele­va­tor pitch or your mis­sion state­ment, but it must be an extrap­o­la­tion of both. Our tagline is “Your Wealth Advo­cate”. It is sim­ple, under­stand­able, and opens the door to ques­tions.

  3. MISSION STATEMENT — One could argue that no brand can be cre­at­ed with­out hav­ing a sol­id mis­sion state­ment. Accord­ing to Entrepreneur.com, “a mis­sion state­ment defines what an orga­ni­za­tion is, why it exists, and its rea­son for being”. Our mis­sion state­ment is, “We are Wealth Advo­cates who empow­er con­fi­dent action in our clients, our com­mu­ni­ty, and our­selves”. It explains that we are in the finan­cial indus­try, but that we are about more than just mon­ey and that we care about more than just our­selves.

  4. CORE VALUES — These can seem sim­ple, but even the Mack­ey Advi­sors team has a hard time putting what we intrin­si­cal­ly know about the com­pa­ny into words. This is why we cur­rent­ly have 10. We think this is too many, but it is a start­ing point. Hav­ing a set of core val­ues isn’t just for show. The com­pa­ny must live these val­ues. I find hav­ing a core set of val­ues ben­e­fi­cial in so many ways, but the most ben­e­fi­cial, to me,  is when con­tem­plat­ing spon­sor­ships, dona­tions, or adver­tis­ing. Most small busi­ness­es are bom­bard­ed with requests, and while we always want to help we can’t help every­one.  

  5. COLOR PALETTE — An organization’s col­or palette can be an excep­tion­al­ly effec­tive way of stand­ing out in a crowd­ed mar­ket­place. Wis­dom Link chose two main col­ors for our brand. Our bold, yet not over­pow­er­ing yel­low and a silky, smooth grey (both col­ors are now so burned into my brain that they are pop­ping up in my wardrobe, home, and oth­er work out­side of Mack­ey Advi­sors). Wis­dom Link also chose 5 sup­port­ing col­ors to keep our visu­als inter­est­ing. One thing to remem­ber is that col­ors go in and out of fash­ion. All design firms have research on what is trend­ing and/or what will be trend­ing. My advice would be to leave the col­ors to the pro­fes­sion­als, but of course make your opin­ions known.MA Color Palette

  6. FONT — Many small busi­ness­es rely on Microsoft Word to choose Times New Roman or Ari­al as their font. DON’T DO THIS! Why spend all that time and ener­gy on cre­at­ing a mis­sion, val­ues, logo, etc when you are just going to com­mu­ni­cate with a “default” font. We use Cen­tu­ry Goth­ic. It is clean, eas­i­ly acces­si­ble, and fresh. Once you pick your pri­ma­ry font set every­thing to that font (Word, Excel, Pow­er­point, Email, and hope­ful­ly your web­site). I would rec­om­mend choos­ing a sec­ondary font just for mar­ket­ing pieces that may have a lot of text and need some vari­ety. A best prac­tice for this would be to have a sans serif and serif font.Century Gothic Font

In my non-expert opin­ion if you have these 6 things in your brand­ing toolk­it you can cre­ate a mean­ing­ful brand and out­stand­ing mar­ket­ing mate­ri­als to fill your pipeline to the brim.

I would like to hear from you! What do you love about your brand?

Hap­py Brand­ing!

Grace