The plan and process
Step 1. discovery
All client work starts with a detailed discovery session or sessions. In Marc’s case, we had three discovery sessions together to help us understand him, his business and his goals. With his help, we created the CARtoons brand persona, understood his long-term goals, what the subscriber/advertiser/artist brand experience looked like, and other confidential information about the magazine operations, distribution and sales.
With an existing readership already in place, we needed to know who they were, what age group they are in and why they are readers of CARtoons magazine. We crafted two surveys that were distributed to the CARtoons Subscribers and the CARtoons Artists. We wanted to understand who they were, why they purchased or got involved with the magazine and their thoughts on the new version of CARtoons Magazine.
We had a 30% response rate from the subscribers and an 85% response rate from the Artists. The data demographic and behavioural data we collected helped us formulate a plan for moving this storied brand forward.
Step 2. analysis
Our next step was looking through our old magazines from the late 80s and early 90s and their new issues—tons of memories flooded into your minds. After the walk down memory lane, we started auditing and analyzing the CARtoons brand in great detail. We documented and assessed every existing marketing piece and brand touchpoint.
During our audit, we had to ask hard questions:
- Why should anyone care that CARtoons is back?
- Why should anyone buy a subscription?
- Who is currently buying the magazine?
- How likely are old fans willing to purchase the magazine again?
- What’s being done to retain subscribers and make them repeat buyers?
- What is CARtoons saying to new customers, and does it compel people to want to learn more?
- What is the buying experience from start to finish?
- Does everything align with the goals of CARtoons?
We looked through their website design and messaging. We also analyzed their eCommerce platform, social media channels and sales pieces. Our audit revealed several holes that had to be addressed to help CARtoons stand out, attract and retain the right people.
Who do you work with?
We work really well with automotive business owners and companies that fit the following criteria:
- They have 3-50 employees.
- Their business has been operational for at least 2 years or more.
- The company is cash-flow positive.
- The business owner has a yearly marketing budget of $25,000 CAD or more.
- The company is going through some sort of transition - moving, growing, changing direction, franchising, selling, purchasing a competitor, expanding operations, etc.
- Lastly, they are an automotive company in the aftermarket industry - they manufacture, distribute, use, buy or sell automotive specialty parts/accessories. Or they make 4-wheeled vehicles look better, go faster or become something new. This might be a performance shop, parts manufacturer, car repair, parts distributor, etc.
There are many amazing automotive business owners in different types of journeys. We want to help as many of you as we can. Please tell us about your journey!
How much does it cost to create brand?
We like to look at branding as an investment, not a cost. Because you will get a return on investing in your brand. In most cases, branding services require an investment anywhere from 3-10% of your annual gross revenue. Our minimum level of engagement starts at $5,000 CAD and can go up from there depending on the size of your company and the scope of the complete project.
Is branding really that important?
We believe it is in today's economy.
It's no secret that everyone's BS radar is on high. Authenticity is being scrutinized. Transparency is being celebrated. People crave to support and be part of communities. Your business and brand are a community.
What do your customers say about you when you are not in the room? How do they feel when they look at your image? What's the retention rate of your clients? Do they scoff at your prices or are they happy to pay you what you feel you are worth? How do your employees feel when they work for you? Do you have high turnover with staff or extreme loyalty?
These are questions that can be addressed with a well-executed brand.
You see and hear about other brands all the time. You may have been jealous or curious about these other companies and what they have achieved internally and externally. It's cult-like. It's a community and it's so fucking powerful when done right.
Learn why it's important by reading this article we wrote.
How long does it take to brand my company?
Branding can take as quickly as 30 days to complete if you need accelerated services. Generally, each project takes 30-120 days and becomes a long-term relationship. Business owners and key decision-makers are required to be involved with the process because our approach is very collaborative.
What ROI can I get from Branding?
We have seen increased sales & referrals occur to clients after they launch their new image and brand. Their perception increases. Customers become more aware. Customers find their new image more appealing to their needs. Business owners and employees shift mentally. There is increased engagement from staff. Owners become inspired once again. They no longer see themselves as the ‘little guy’. They are more confident. They become proud of their image. If you are looking for revenue gains and other numbers and statistics, please call us. We have case studies we can share.
I already have a logo and website, can you work with my company?
Absolutely! We can work with your existing visual identity quite easily. Our brand development services create the foundational elements that are often overlooked or simply put together haphazardly. We can bring consistency to your brand by including the existing visuals of your company.
Can you help me even if I am not in your country?
Yes we can. Technology has made it very easy for us to give the same experience to clients outside of our country. We can video chat, conduct phone calls and if required, travel to your city. If you need more information about our services for clients, please contact us.
I have an in-house design team, can you work with us?
Absolutely! Here's something you may not know. Our owner Dennis Michael started his career as an in-house creative so he understands the department and dynamics. We can work side-by-side with your in-house team in a collaborative manner. We can also offer training, systems & processes refinement and mentorship to your team if required.
Who does the work?
We focus on what we are really good at and nothing more. When it comes to graphic design, website development, marketing services, writing, SEO, etc. We bring on only high-quality, personally vetted, trusted professionals to help with the work that is beyond our scope. Think of us as your creative director/project manager when other services are included in your scope. If you have an in-house team, excellent! Let's work together.
We have a lot of working knowledge in all areas of design and marketing (enough to make us dangerous) so we can ensure our clients are being served very well. It allows us to communicate with our partners effectively, maintain a high level of quality and create a level of accountability.
What is the difference between branding and logo design?
Branding is more than visuals. It's the complete ecosystem of your company that makes up the brand. What people say, think and feel about your company.
Whereas logo design is one element in the whole brand experience. It's an important one though because your logo is your workhorse. It will be applied everywhere and act as your first point of contact with any prospect.
Do you participate in RFPs?
It is our policy to not participate in RFPs.
I have someone who needs branding help but they're not an automotive company. Can you help them?
Absolutely! We can refer you to one of our many supporting partners who can help you with your non-automotive company.