It Takes More Than Pretty Colors to Create a Useful Logo
At The Wendt Agency, we understand that a client’s logo is a living, breathing, reflection of their brand. It tells the world who they are and what they represent – sometimes without any words at all. Six years ago, we began working with a new client, at the time called Montana Family Education Savings Program (MFESP).
One of our first projects was a comprehensive rebrand, including a new name and logo. We worked closely with internal stakeholders to build a brand truly reflective of the organization’s mission and vision – changing the name from Montana Family Education Savings Program, which doesn’t quite roll off the tongue, to the more emotionally connected and aspirational one of Achieve Montana. The new name highlights the positive results of reaching a goal, such as saving for higher education.
Next, our creative team envisioned a new logo – simple, compelling, and memorable, using every element to tell the story of Achieve Montana.
We carried the new name and brand image into all aspects of outreach using strong imagery, meaningful headlines, informative copy, and an inviting call to action. All of it centered around the dreams and aspirations of both children and their families.
Of course, this logo works in all sizes and across all Achieve Montana’s communication efforts. You can check it out on the website.
The closing of one year and the start of a new, is often a time of reflection, goal setting, and new perspectives. While one may be reflecting on their personal growth over the last year, setting resolutions for a healthier diet and more exercise, or vowing to watch fewer cat videos on YouTube, the new year is a chance to start fresh. It is a time to orient yourself toward new goals and commitments. The same holds true with marketing and advertising. It is a time to reflect on the campaigns that were completed throughout the year and evaluate their performance – who your message is resonating with and what tactics are driving the most awareness and sales. However, the end of the year is not the only time these types of conversations and evaluations should be taking place. We are huge proponents of digging deep into data and gathering insights and measurable outcomes of all marketing campaigns – whether in the first quarter or fourth, there are always lessons to be learned that will guide future marketing decisions and strategy.
With all marketing efforts, the goal should always be to optimize your strategy. This is impossible to do if you are not measuring results on an ongoing basis. In addition to campaign completion reporting, it is critical to constantly monitor and optimize your advertising. Regularly view your analytics to understand how people are reacting, measure the conversions that are happening during the campaign, optimize creative assets that are having stronger performance, monitor social posts, and proactively respond and adjust as needed in real-time – all examples of data gathering and reporting that are invaluable to the success of any marketing campaign. Reviewing data such as website analytics, blog leads, email open rates, social media engagement, conversion metrics, and SEO performance on a regular and frequent basis will help align your decision making and strategy with your defined goals and KPI’s.
So, if you find yourself still in the new year mode of creating those resolutions and are not already conducting regular reviews of your marketing activities, consider developing an action plan around the types of data you are able to collect. Then schedule regular check-ins to review this data, gather insights, and use these to shift your future strategies as needed.
Jennifer Fritz, Vice President of Client Services
The Wendt Agency
“No one can do everything, but everyone can do something” – Max Lucado
During a period of transition my family experienced years ago, I found myself in a place of need that I had not anticipated, and this brought me a great deal of embarrassment. We were struggling to cover our day-to-day expenses, and we did not know how we would give our children the magical Christmas we had experienced as children. Someone in the community had heard of our situation and asked if we could use additional gifts for our family. I declined as there were certainly families with a greater need than ours. However, this “angel” did not take no for an answer, and a few weeks later called with pick-up information for our family’s gifts. I, again, told her other people were in greater need than us, but she stopped me and said, “There is a point of grace in receiving, and you will pay it forward in the future, I have no doubt. “
Fast forward to 2020 and I am so thankful to be spearheading the Wendt holiday giving program this year. As a new employee, I was not surprised to learn that Wendt has a tradition of giving during the holiday season. Each year we strive to give back to our community in a meaningful way.
Giving Back to Our Community
This year we chose to adopt the Youth Resource Center and our team collected items from the center’s wish list to aid them in their mission of, “Meeting the physical, social, and emotional needs of vulnerable youth in a low-barrier, safe, secure, and loving environment.” The YRC provides access to a hot meal, snacks, laundry, internet access, and even a shower to disadvantaged young people in our community. In addition to basic needs, they also provide service coordination so a young person in need of medical, dental, or even behavioral health services can receive this assistance right there at the center. The Wendt team loaded up the center’s shelves with canned food, snacks, water bottles, gift cards, and so much more. By giving just a little, the Youth Resource Center will be able to do so much for some of the most vulnerable in our community.
With all the challenges 2020 has brought, I believe it has also strengthened our sense of community. We are looking out for each other more than ever. There have been numerous opportunities for me to give and receive through the years. I am so thankful to have found a company that values community and looks for ways to give back all year long. No one knows when they may be the one that needs assistance. It is essential that we all show grace and compassion as we move through this life. If we keep our eyes open and our ears tuned, we will be sure to find a need we may be a part of fulfilling.
Jennifer Beisecker, Accounting Assistant
The Wendt Agency
And The Wendt Agency has some strong opinions about it
OK, let’s get this out of the way right up front – there are some of us here at The Wendt Agency who think Pantone is cheating with their 2021 Color of the Year since it isn’t A color, it’s TWO colors. Come on – the title clearly says color, singular.
However, we are aware that Pantone doesn’t really care what we think and they have been choosing a Color of the Year for a long time now. So, let’s all take a look at their picks – Pantone 17-5104 Ultimate Gray and Pantone 13-0647 Illuminating. Basically, gray and yellow.
The official company news release calls this combo “A marriage of color conveying a message of strength and hopefulness that is both enduring and uplifting.” Which – maybe? But that isn’t really the way the Wendt team sees it, because the negative reviews far outweigh the positive ones:
- I’m digging it because of the perfect balance of the realism and softness of the gray with the brightness and hope of the yellow.
- Love the gray, but unless you are a daffodil or a bumblebee, stay away from yellow; it’s the devil’s playground.
- A message of strength? I guess I might put those colors in a home gym if I had one…
- I hate the yellow and gray color combo – this was a big trend in design not that long ago and yellow is such a cop-out sunshine color. Stop ruining beautiful shades of gray with yellow!
- Those are basically the colors of a Swiffer duster before and after dusting the entire house!
Still, as Business Insider reminds us, these Pantone picks do have a lot of influence and so, love them or loathe them, we will probably all be seeing a lot of them in 2021. You can get all the analysis here:
This is probably a wrap on the picks for Color of 2021, and we’ve gone from Sherwin-Williams’ Urbane Bronze to Benjamin Moore’s Aegean Teal to Pantone’s Ultimate Gray and Illuminating duo. Not a lot of consistency across the choices, but that should mean there is truly a color for everyone in 2021!
November is the month of giving thanks. And giving thanks requires action.
What if we worked to create a culture of gratitude in our homes and offices? What would that look like? Let’s start with a gratitude definition that I came across recently that helps zero-in on what gratitude is and what it can do for us.
Gratitude is observation. It’s paying close attention. It’s noticing the things that are already here and pausing long enough to see them and think, look at this – isn’t it good? Gratitude is a way of shining a light on things; it’s a way of seeing deeply, and of letting that seeing ripen into appreciation. When we move through the world with gratefulness, when we notice the good things, suddenly good things are everywhere, and the details and the people and the moments of each day transform. They go from being the things we expect to being something exceptional.
Gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. It helps us feel positive, appreciate wonderful moments, improve our physical and mental health, helps us manage challenges, and builds solid and connected relationships. There are so many ways that we can express gratitude:
- A simple thank you, for a simple task
- A handwritten note of thanks and appreciation
- A smile and hello
- A pat on the back – physically or a shout out
- Acknowledgement or celebration in front of others
It’s so easy to show appreciation with a simple thank you.
We should not take others or their actions for granted. Being thankful for your mate for taking out the garbage, for your coworker for making another pot of coffee, your child for getting their homework done. These expected daily tasks should be celebrated and appreciated. It builds trust, connection, and engagement. Simply said, it will lift their day right along with yours.
For many, the holidays can be filled with sadness, anxiety, or depression. Those with severe anxiety disorders hopefully seek and find assistance with professional help. But sometimes we’re just feeling a little disconnected, sad, or anxious. Research and common sense tell us that being thankful can actually lift our spirits. When we focus on the positive things in our lives instead of what is lacking, we can bring clarity and joy to our lives.
So, who doesn’t want more gratitude in life! Here are some simple ideas on how to show it:
- Tell three people why you are grateful for them and why they matter in your life
- Randomly place post-it notes around your work (or home) space expressing gratitude for those on your team
- Try to find the good in someone you don’t like
- Be grateful for yourself! Do something nice for you today
- Create a Thankful Jar – and fill it up
- Surprise someone with a thoughtful, and inexpensive (or handmade) gift
- Create your own list of reasons to be grateful, post it in a prominent place to remind yourself that there is always something to be grateful for – or start a gratitude journal
- Give someone your vote of confidence
- In a group, draw names and write a note of gratitude; leave the note in a place to be found by the person you intended
- Tape gratitude notes to candy bars and hand them out
- Call a friend and tell them why you are grateful for them
- Make an effort to use grateful and kind words in all your interactions today
Thank you for taking time to read this blog and I hope it inspires you to find more ways to show, share, and practice gratitude! What are you shining a light on today?
Brenda Peterson, President/CEO
The Wendt Agency
This holiday season may feel more unique in many ways, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t able to enjoy the warmth and magic we’ve experienced in years past. Festive lights on houses to drive by, and mugs of hot cocoa to sip on. Nights spent by a warm fire or snuggled up next to a decorated tree. Tasty treats to make and comforting smells wafting from our kitchens.