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One Thing You Need to Know About Great Client Collaborations

Best practices for search engine optimization

Is effective collaboration a predictor of campaign success? We like to think so. Generating creative that is meaningful and provides value to the consumer, while meeting the client’s expectations, takes input from all parties involved. We’ve learned that the best client collaborations happen when you have an engaged client and an innovative team that are open to ideas and partnership.  So, what’s the one thing you need to know about great client collaborations? It can lend itself to producing superior creative.

We recently had the opportunity to develop new creative messaging for the Montana Lottery’s Big Sky Bonus game — a Montana-only game that offers a state-wide progressive jackpot. For this campaign, we produced a collaborative commercial, both our agency and the Montana Lottery team were excited to have created together.

Collaborating with Clients to Make Magic Happen

Having worked with the Montana Lottery for the past seven years, we have a history of launching successful campaigns for them. (Read about our recent Montana Lottery: Mega Millions – Always Big Communicator Awards and Telly wins here.) The process for the Big Sky Bonus piece was just the most recent example of a very collaborative effort between our team and the Montana Lottery, from the conceptual phase through production of the commercial. In this instance, the Lottery team had a vision for creating a “winner’s factory” that showcases the high number of winners being created. Our team took that vision and ran with it to bring the concept to life.

We created a “Willy Wonka” style Big Sky Bonus factory that magically made winners for the commercial. The production itself was complex and required a depth of planning. It involved a mix of practical props and special effects. The location was also key in making the concept come to life. We had to find a unique setting with dynamic architecture and interesting angles for filming. The resulting commercial was a playful creation that delights viewers.

Great client collaborations like this one develop easily when you have two teams working towards a shared vision. As a creative agency, it’s our job to dive in and work with the client to flesh out concepts that drive strategy. It’s also our job to take our client’s ideas and turn them into magic. And magic is what happens when teams are open to ideas, open to collaboration, and open to partnerships.

2021-08-12T13:45:16-06:00August 11th, 2021|Clients, Wendt Buzz|0 Comments

Leadership Montana: Pulling Iconic Elements into Logos

Creating an Independent Logo Under the Umbrella of an Established Brand

A premier leadership development program, Leadership Montana, is a collaborative organization that brings Montanans together to build partnerships, strengthen leadership skills, and foster personal growth. The organization’s goal is to nurture thoughtful leaders, helping them better understand Montana’s issues as a state.

Within Leadership Montana is the Masters Class program. Only open to alumni of Leadership Montana, the Masters Class allows participants to further their education and continue a more in-depth leadership experience. Not only does The Wendt Agency have several alumni of the Leadership Montana program, but also have alumni of the Masters Class itself.

Leadership Montana asked the Wendt team to develop a distinct logo for the Masters Class. In taking on this project, it was our goal to create a logo that fit within Leadership Montana branding and would be independent on its own.

One of Wendt’s core pillars is to create strategies and solutions that build connections. We are grateful for our partnership that continues to help Leadership Montana grow their brand. Want to learn more about Leadership Montana, Masters Class, and see the logo in action? Please visit www.leadershipmontana.org.

2021-04-09T09:50:20-06:00April 9th, 2021|Clients|0 Comments

Creating a New Business Logo Steeped in Meaning

Bluebird Law logo breakdown

Using a Logo to Set the Tone for a New Business

A new business is literally a clean slate. There are no long-standing processes, no boxes of letterhead; there isn’t even a name. It’s both an exciting opportunity and a daunting challenge. When Ariel Overstreet-Adkins decided to open her own law office and reached out to us last year for help with the branding details, we knew our expertise could create a logo that would be both memorable and meaningful.

Overstreet-Adkins had already chosen a name: Bluebird Law & Public Affairs. The name resonated with her because her Grandmother Smitty loved bluebirds, saying they were good luck. Skiers refer to a good day on the slopes as a bluebird day. Just the sight of a bluebird still brings Overstreet-Adkins a spark of joy and excitement and signals spring and new beginnings. Certainly appropriate symbolism for a new business!

The Wendt creative team used all of those emotional connections as the foundation of a logo, sure to stand out in a world of mostly drab and staid law firm logos.

2021-04-06T15:46:16-06:00February 24th, 2021|Clients|0 Comments

Using Logos to Tell a Brand Story

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.

2021-02-24T09:34:05-07:00February 3rd, 2021|Clients|0 Comments

A Q&A Session About Marketing Part 2

We are back with more answers to the most-searched questions about marketing as determined by Google’s Autocomplete.

Q: How marketing agencies get clients?

A: By doing excellent work and strategic outreach. Marketing firms are constantly sharing their story – in meetings, on websites, through social media, in an RFP (request for proposal) – and showcasing their expertise. We know the importance of getting the word out about our skills!

Q: How marketing helps sales?

A: Marketing can analyze consumer data to build an understanding of the ideal or potential customer – likes, dislikes, communication styles, media usage, buying cycle, etc. – and create a customized marketing outreach program to bring those customers to the sales team.

Q: How marketing benefits our society?

A: It brings products and services to people’s attention, helping them find things which will make their lives easier. It helps businesses find the customers they need to succeed. It builds ongoing communication between people and businesses to benefit both.

Q: How marketing has evolved?

A: It has become more sophisticated and research based. Successful marketing is not about just throwing a message out there to anyone and everyone. It is a strategically based style of communication involving businesses and consumers in an ongoing two-way communication.

That’s it for this edition but you never know, we might be back with more in the future, so you’ll want to keep checking out our blog!

2020-06-03T11:26:21-06:00June 3rd, 2020|Clients, Industry Trends, Uncategorized, Work|0 Comments

A Q&A Session About Marketing Part 1

Google’s Autocomplete is a great way to speed up your search results since it helps fill in your request with popular queries. We were inspired by the WIRED Autocomplete series and decided to try our hand at answering the web’s most-searched marketing questions. And, people seem to have a lot of questions so, here is part one and you can look for part two in the future!

Q: How Marketing Works?

A: By creating awareness and interest in specific companies, products, charities, ideas, services, or experiences. People cannot buy new tires or set up a 529 college savings account if they do not know their options. Strategic marketing spreads the word and gets people talking.

Q: How marketing is changing?

A: Every day in every way! Marketing cannot stand still. It needs to constantly adapt to the ways people are communicating. Reaching the modern consumer is a complicated undertaking based on research, strategy, and using multiple media outreach channels.

Q: How marketing has changed over time?

A: Marketing has been around for centuries, adapting to changes in how we live and communicate. In our increasingly interconnected world, that means increasing digital marketing efforts to find people where they learn, work, and socialize online.

Q: How marketing and sales work together?

A: Marketing creates the awareness and interest while sales works to sell the specific product, service, or experience. Ideally, both work together to create a seamless interaction with the customer, so interest leads to knowledge which can increase sales and repeat purchases.

If you have a question about marketing, let us know in the comments!

2020-06-03T11:18:32-06:00May 6th, 2020|Clients, Industry Trends, Uncategorized, Work|0 Comments

When Times are Tough, Wendt Knows How to Thrive

February 1st, 1929, was the first day The Wendt Agency officially existed. Called Wendt and Bird Advertising, the agency had roughly 8 months to get established before the stock market crash in September 1929 ushered in the Great Depression. Was the next decade an easy one? Of course not; not for the agency, the state, or the country. But Wendt’s founders and early employees adapted and persevered – taking on event planning, testing cookbook recipes, and even working out of Wally Wendt’s garage for a while.

It is a history all of us at Wendt are proud of and one that inspires us during these challenging times. We are committed to our work, our clients, our community, and the success of each of them. The last 90+ years have seen this agency grow and change in innumerable ways:

  • working in downtown offices, garages, and living rooms
  • handling local, regional, national, and international outreach
  • creating print ads, TV spots, websites, and social media strategies
  • meeting in person, on a phone call, and by video conferencing

What hasn’t changed?

Our commitment to strategic thinking for our clients. Our team of 13 talented individuals might be working remotely these days, but we are still creating, still partnering with each other and our clients in innovative ways. Wendt’s not going anywhere. We are confident our founders would be proud.

2020-05-06T15:27:50-06:00May 6th, 2020|Clients, Industry Trends, Uncategorized, Work|0 Comments

Marketing Successes During a Pandemic

To say the last six weeks have been hard and heavy is an understatement. We have certainly seen challenges and uncertainties, but we have also witnessed brands, teams, companies, and organizations across the world adapt to new ways of working and communicating with each other and their customers. Even though “curves may be flattening”, we all know the challenges and uncertainties will continue.

We also know that history demonstrates that brands who continue to advertise in an economic downturn benefit by long lasting boosts in sales and market share.

Following are a few client success stories we have experienced over the last month and want to share as examples of best practices in marketing during a crisis.

Stay relevant. Provide valuable and useful information. Be creative.

Shodair Children’s Hospital – It is an honor to partner with Shodair and watch as they navigate this very difficult situation with transparency, urgency, and grace. Shodair was incredibly responsive to COVID-19 and worked diligently and quickly to implement policies and procedures to ensure the safety of their patients, staff, and visitors. We worked with Shodair to create a special landing page on their website to house information, resources, and tips. Shodair has done a tremendous job of communicating internally and externally with daily updates posted on their public website and employee intranet. Shodair has also worked to develop content that is relevant, useful, and creative. Creating videos with ideas for kids’ activities at home, importance of sleep, hygiene, tips for teenagers, and more, has delivered important content to people who need it, and also helped to maintain the strength of Shodair’s brand and their mission to heal, help, and inspire hope.

Maintain brand strength. Pivot strategy.

West Yellowstone Tourism – Part of our annual strategy for West Yellowstone includes outreach for spring travel, promoting direct flights into Bozeman for a quick trip to West Yellowstone, as well as creating awareness for West Yellowstone as a meeting destination in the spring. This strategy had to quickly pivot as “stay at home” restrictions were put into place and the safety of travel was jeopardized. West Yellowstone chose not to abandon their media, but rather shift the message. Our outreach went from a “travel now” message to a “plan now, travel later” message. It is important for the travel region to remain visible and create inspiration for future trips. A couple samples of this messaging include an HTML email sent to their large database of subscribers as well as dynamic social ads.

West Yellowstone Facebook Ad

Shift in message. Reassure your audience.

Achieve Montana – Each year we partner with Achieve Montana to develop a marketing and communications strategy for increasing awareness of 529 plans, the importance of saving for higher education, and increasing enrollment numbers for the state 529 plan. Spring is always an important time period to promote the Achieve Montana message since it is after the tax season and leading up to national 529 Day. This year we have a lot of efforts planned around promoting plan improvements for Achieve Montana which include lower fees and increased investment options. Within the last month we have continued with these promotional efforts, but we have shifted the message a bit to be sensitive to the current climate. With all the uncertainties and challenges that Montanans are currently facing, Achieve Montana wants to communicate a message of reassurance, security, and simplicity while encouraging people to stay the course with investing for higher education and that Achieve Montana is and always will be here to help people achieve their dreams. Outreach tactics over the last month and continuing into the future include guest editorials, blog posts, print ads, email, digital video, native content, and display/banner ads.

Achieve Montana Facebook Image

Marketing and advertising during times like we are currently facing presents different and new challenges, and we will continue working with our partner clients to shift strategies and messaging as needed to elevate brands, reach audiences, and drive conversions and sales.

2020-04-30T10:26:24-06:00April 24th, 2020|Clients, Industry Trends, Uncategorized, Work|0 Comments

Connecting with Montana Families for a Brighter Future

June 6, 2016

Achieve Montana Girl

Developing creative messaging that motivates and resonates with target audiences and invokes action is what we strive to do at Wendt every day. Being tasked with this responsibility for an organization that helps provide a means for a better life for Montana children makes our jobs even more rewarding.

Achieve Montana, formerly Montana Family Education Savings Program (MFESP), provides college savings vehicles to help families save for higher education expenses and avoid incurring added debt in order to send their children to college.

MFESP hired Wendt as their marketing partner at the same time they were transitioning to a new plan manager with an enhancement in product offerings. With these changes on the horizon, it was the perfect time to go through a rebranding process with MFESP.

Achieve Montana by Wendt AgencyThe first step in the process Wendt recommended was to rename the organization. We presented four options that included taglines and rationales for each recommendation. The chosen name was Achieve Montana with the tagline, “Their tomorrow starts today.” Achieve represents the goals of the savings program: parents want to achieve savings for their children and children will be able to achieve their academic dreams because of the program. It is easy for parents to get caught up in the short-term tasks and concerns of raising children. The tagline reinforces an important message–childrens’ futures are impacted by decisions made today. If you have the foresight to save now, your child will look forward to a more successful tomorrow.

Once the new name was chosen, we walked through multiple branding exercises with the Achieve Montana team to help guide the brand identity and creative messaging. Utilizing strong imagery, meaningful headlines, informative copy, and an inviting call to action, the Achieve Montana creative campaign centers around the dreams and aspirations of both children and their families. The campaign was created to feel touching, empowering, authentic, memorable, and to resonate with Montana families.

For a complete look at this creatively executed campaign and the elements used to establish an emotional connection with Montana families, click here.

2016-10-26T09:28:54-06:00June 6th, 2016|Clients, Work|0 Comments

Who needs an excuse to eat spaghetti?

Country Pastaby Jennifer Fritz
January 4, 2016

Whether you prefer it served with meatballs or a vegetarian marinara, I think we can all agree that spaghetti is one of the most popular and enjoyable meals there is. Whether you top your dish with fresh basil or simply some grated Parmesan cheese, it is a meal that often brings families together. In fact, did you know that in the year 2000, 1.3 million pounds of spaghetti were sold in American grocery stores? That is enough to circle the earth 9 times!

While spaghetti is a regular dish in our household (at least once a week), the special ingredient that makes it stand out is really the pasta I use. This brings me to a wonderful client Wendt has a great partnership with-Country Pasta. Country Pasta celebrated their 25th year in 2015 and we helped to promote this milestone through their social media channels. I love Country Pasta because their pasta is made with just four ingredients: 100% durum semolina, farm fresh eggs, clean mountain water, and natural sea salt. As if that isn’t enough to be brand loyal, in 2015, Country Pasta performed 25 Acts of Kindness. These efforts were incredibly fun to share on social media and included things like giving away bags of pasta to Glacier National Park visitors, donations of pasta to food banks, firefighters, and local senior centers, surprising shoppers by purchasing their cart of groceries, and giving away a week-long vacation to Montana!

Even though it is an unofficial holiday, National Spaghetti Day is one that deserves celebration! I know I look forward to the bowl I will eat tonight, and I may even clink my wine glass to cheers all the other spaghetti lovers around the world.

2016-10-26T09:28:54-06:00January 4th, 2016|Clients, Reflections|1 Comment

Road Trip’n

roadtripnby Jennifer Fritz
April 22, 2013

Wendt recently went through an RFP process with one of our longest-standing clients – Central Montana Tourism Region. The state of Montana requires a review every seven years on state contracts. Thus, it was time for the Central Montana contract review. We have partnered with Central Montana Tourism Region for over 24 years to help promote this incredible region to travelers. When we started working on our RFP response, we gathered together as a team and began sharing our own personal passions for living and exploring in Central Montana. This is what we came up with:

We do more than just work in Central Montana.
We live in Central Montana.
We share in Central Montana.
We explore in Central Montana.
We love in Central Montana.
Central Montana is more than just a tourism region to us.
It is our home and we want to share it with others.

Writing and designing this proposal was a great opportunity for team building. It was also a time to reflect on all the past work we have done for Central Montana, the relationships we have built with board members and staff and also a time to share memories of personal experiences in the region.

But it was not just a time of reflection. It was an opportunity to create new memories and experience Central Montana with Wendt team members on an out-of-bounds road trip around the region. We took this opportunity to connect with one another while experiencing the region we have been so lucky to promote all these years. It was a content-gathering excursion and we were welcomed by warm and friendly locals and also reminded of the stunning landscapes and true gems in our backyard. The stories we created on this road trip are the types of experiences we hope Central Montana visitors have, and discussions have already taken place for future strategies to incorporate these types of stories into Central Montana’s social marketing.

View our road trip experiences.

And lastly, a big thank you goes out to Central Montana for choosing Wendt as your agency of record for another seven years. I am honored to serve as account manager for this account and I speak for our entire team when I say we look forward to years of success and fun ahead!

2016-10-26T09:28:59-06:00April 22nd, 2013|Clients|Comments Off on Road Trip’n

Employees Make or Break Your Brand Promise

BrandingCowby Jennifer Fritz
October 9, 2012

One of the most important marketing investments an organization can make is by hiring the right people. The right people to communicate your brand promise, the right people to be ambassadors of your brand, the right people to be the face of your organization and the right people to make a strong first impression. It is important to understand that your people are invaluable resources and the future of your organization. So, the burning question is, how do you define the right person? Many adjectives come to mind like motivated, hardworking, responsible, driven, intuitive, knowledgeable, team oriented, strong minded and dedicated. But there is one adjective that stands apart from the rest, and should be the number one trait when defining the right person – PASSIONATE. Passion is not something you can teach, but it is something that can be felt throughout an entire organization. Passion for the work you do and passion for the organization you work for. Having passionate people in your organization speaks volumes about your brand.

A first-hand example of true passionate people working for an organization is very evident with one of our clients. As Yellowstone National Park’s official non-profit education partner, Yellowstone Association is dedicated to educating visitors about the park and preserving it for future generations. Yellowstone Association’s mission and history is so rich and their employees breathe it everyday. I am always so inspired after spending a day with this wonderful client. The passion that each employee feels for the Association and for Yellowstone National Park is so strong – they have bought into the organizations mission 100% and want to share it with the world. It is clients like Yellowstone Association that make our jobs so fun! We love the opportunity to help communicate a brand message to the masses knowing that the brand promise is so strong and the employees have bought into the mission and are incredibly passionate about it.

2016-10-26T09:29:00-06:00October 9th, 2012|Clients, Culture|0 Comments