We have the good fortune of speaking with many practice managers and marketing pros for Charlotte area healthcare practices. We like to kick off those conversations with four questions:
- How are you sharing the compelling story of your practice’s expertise with potential patients and referring physicians?
- Would you appreciate help articulating your practice’s unique brand positioning and key messages?
- Do you have a solid plan to maximize your marketing spending and show a return on investment to your practice?
- When was the last time you were able to pause and take a strategic look at your efforts?
The answers to these questions inevitably lead to conversations that help us understand where they are with branding and marketing. In turn, it helps us develop plans that can help.
With some clients, like OrthoCarolina, we bring our skills and experience and work as an extension of their internal marketing team. With others without marketing staff such as Carolina Asthma & Allergy Center, we act as their on-call marketing department, providing comprehensive marketing strategy and support.
In an extremely pragmatic descision, Stanford University recently changed its logo to make it work better in our digital world.
Not that you asked, but every day at work, I look forward to getting the mail. When 1:30 rolls around, I find myself glancing out our wall of windows here in the beating heart of Matthews, NC hoping to spy our cranky mail carrier in her beat-up white truck. I anticipate getting the latest Communication Arts or HOW magazine to see the latest work from some of the most talented creatives around the globe. (And then there are the checks! Sweet, glorious checks!)
But today, we got neither trade publications nor timely payments from our dear clients. We got stock image coupons. Two coupons in fact, from Shutterstock. At first, I was like, “Hey, cool! We got two coupons for money off images!” It just so happens that we will be buying some photos for folks in the near future so they may come in handy.
Then I looked a little closer.
One of them was addressed to me, Derick, and the other to our company “Opus 59 Creative Grp”. That’s a common thing, really, as different companies parse and target customers differently.
But the kicker was: the card addressed to our “Grp” said we could “Save 20% Today” — but the one addressed to ME said I could “Save 30% Today”. IMHO — to use a texting shorthand like the cool kids — this just makes Shutterstock look kinda silly.
So, be honest: am I overreacting? You know what, on second thought, just agree with me and my feigned outrage.
Unless, you know, the 1800s are new. Check out this article from Fast Company
But don’t take our word for it. Take the word of Frontier Communications. We received their phone book just yesterday — hand delivered by a grumpy, underemployed man in his 50s. And there we were: right there under marketing consultants in the yellowish pages in the back. We. Exist. Ha!
There are fewer more gratifying validators of one’s existence and self-importance than seeing one’s name in the yellow pages.
Correction: there are zillions of things more gratifying than seeing one’s name in the yellow pages.
But I am not writing about those zillion things. This post is about the yellow pages. Like, I don’t know, WHY are they still printing them? There’s nothing particularly nostalgic about flipping through this archaic thing. There’s no hipster vinyl-vs.-CD equvialent argument to be made here. The Matthews/Monroe phone book is of no practical alternate use. Not thick enough to serve as booster for my 3-year-old son. We’ve no wobbly furniture that needs shoring up… Right into the recycling bin. Shame.
Ever since Al Gore invented the internet, this is one publication that should have died swiftly.
So tell us: when’s the last time you “let your fingers do the walking?”
I will admit I was a bit shocked last Fall when Charlotte-based Belk rolled out their new logo for a couple reasons:
• The old mark had years of equity. Sure it was a bit dated, but aren’t we all?
• In the midst of the economic downturn, Whisky Tango Foxtrot are they thinking, spending millions on rebranding? (Store signage alone is estimated to cost $25 million)
I wanted to be a hipper-than-thou, bandwagon-jumping design nerd. I wanted to point out that their “b” looked like a rip-off of Bloomingale’s.
That they used a derivative of Avant Garde. Like Glee. I wanted to Photoshop smart-ass images like this to show how plagiaristic the new logo is:
While all those things may be true, after living with the new logo for more than half a year, I must say that I have come to like it. More than the mark itself, I really like how it has been thoughtfully translated to, among other things: bags, architectural signage, credit cards, in-store signage, and my absolute favorite: television. Having spent a holiday advertising season watching the Belk spots, I think they’ve done a great job. Using the blue petals as a visual device… I love it.
How about you? What’s your opinion about the new logo? Do you think the new mark reflects the customer experience? Does the tag line “Modern. Southern. Style” ring true to you?