Let’s get reflective: 5 tips for holding a successful marketing retrospective

Let’s get reflective: 5 tips for holding a successful marketing retrospective

Branding 101

Branding 101

Branded house

With a branded house model or “one brand” strategy, there is a tight connection with products or services – often carrying forward the company name with a descriptive sub-brand name or extension.

How companies execute on a branded house architectural model can be different. FedEx is perhaps one of the purest examples of a Branded House with its sub-brands sharing the FedEx name with a lock-up of a descriptive product/service name below in smaller text. In contrast, Microsoft moved to a Branded House model several years ago for its main brands such as Windows and Office, but also owns stand-alone brands such as Xbox, yet it still carries the Microsoft logo on communications and packaging.

Pros: With a branded house, you can increase brand awareness because consumers come to recognize the parent brand while the sub-brands feed off the reputation of the parent brand. It is also the most cost-effective and resource-efficient approach.

Cons: Any negative event associated with the company or an individual product can be attributed to the umbrella brand.

Reasons you should update your visual identity

Your visual identity or brand look and feel encompasses your name, logo, colors, fonts, imagery, and graphics. It is expressed in your website and other marketing communications from collateral and business papers to presentations as well as advertising. You should consider updating your visual identity if:

  • Your brand strategy indicates a need based on the examples above
  • It’s out of date – your brand look and feel is dated
  • It’s difficult to execute

Often, companies seek to do a brand refresh versus a brand overhaul to retain some equity in their brand look and feel. This can also be a more cost-effective option.

Naming as part of branding: to rename or not to rename?

It’s a big commitment to rename a business or product – because changing the name can be quite costly and you may have equity in your current name. Some of the most common reasons businesses change their name are that the name:

  • no longer reflects their business or product
  • is difficult to say so people turn it into an acronym
  • is not unique and causes confusion
  • has trademark issues

If you do choose to rename, be sure to identify naming criteria such as trademark and domain availability, cultural relevance, as well as creative likes and dislikes.

How to tackle a rebrand

Your brand strategy should be rooted in research. From this research and agreement on the brand architecture, you should identify naming criteria (if naming is required) and creative likes/dislikes. Once all parties are in agreement on that criteria, you can explore naming and tagline options. It’s in this phase that you should evaluate the names and tagline options against the criteria outlined as well as test the options with your customers. Once you have approval on the name and tagline, you can explore and finalize logo options. Then, it’s a matter of determining what’s involved in terms of implementation and launch.

Companies often find it helpful to work with an external branding partner to tackle a rebrand, name a product, service, or business, and create a logo and identity.

Need a branding partner?

Organizations often know where they want to go, but don’t know how – or don’t have the bandwidth– to get there. GA Creative takes our clients’ businesses to the next level by building brand awareness and generating leads—all to meet and exceed growth goals.  GA helps clients cultivate strategic brand solutions that resonate, drive awareness, and inspire action. Our branding work has helped clients in healthcare, technology, professional services, and nonprofit sectors to foster greater brand awareness, enhance perceptions, drive sales leads, and enable successful fundraising efforts.

We also help drive brand campaigns that help clients grow by outsmarting, not outspending, the competition. GA tells brand stories in ways that work harder by understanding the audience, unifying the message and amplifying the brand in a digital-first world.

Clients value working with GA because of our ability to bring new ideas forward, creativity that shines through in concepts and capacity to drive initiatives forward.

If you need help with branding your company or organization, reach out today!

employee in employer brand setting

The importance of employer branding

The importance of employer branding for companies large and small

AutonomouStuff collateral gets a design refresh

AutonomouStuff collateral gets a design refresh

AutonomouStuff provides solutions that enable autonomous vehicle development for customers worldwide. The team turned to GA Creative for a suite of collateral to support their marketing efforts. The goal was to create a contemporary, sophisticated look within the existing brand parameters and an easy-to-read layout that makes an impact.

Sales collateral matters
The design team at GA started with the most in-depth piece, a complete solutions brochure that provides information on all of the company’s offerings: products, services, software, platforms, and data intelligence. Knowing that a polished look and feel builds credibility, our design solution helps influence buying decisions.


“AutonomouStuff came to us when they saw our work for another client in the autonomous vehicle industry,” said lead designer Jeff Welsh. “Using their existing photography and iconography, our creative team simplified the copy and created a more solid design, anchored by white space with some splashes of color, to lead the viewer through each piece.”

Assisting the sales process
We designed the sales collateral to provide the most value by presenting data clearly enough that buyers can make sense of it even when a sales rep isn’t present. The at-a-glance flyer provides a more high-level overview of the company’s solutions and includes a cycle graphic to demonstrate the data intelligence solutions that stores and analyzes data gathered by autonomous research vehicles.

We also designed a flyer showcasing the Platform Actuation and Control Module (PACMod) 3.0 System that provides drive by-wire control of acceleration, braking, steering, shifting, and turn signals and can be installed into virtually any vehicle.

AutonomouStuff delivers the hardware, software, and engineering services enabling autonomy. And by having effective literature on hand at tradeshows, the AutonomouStuff team can simplify sales efforts and move conversations further along.


eGuide: Marketing your autonomous brand

Instilling trust through your marketing and branding activities