Identity Creative had the honor of receiving the Designing Stars Award at the 2016 MichBusiness Best of Michigan Gala, Dec. 1, at the MGM Grand in Detroit, MI, with Detroit news personality, Murray Feldman.
Building relationships is the most critical part of doing business. It’s also the most fun! This celebration of Michigan Businesses included an evening of creative games, many laughs, good food, and great connections.
MichBusiness offers its members many resources including Thrive Affinity Groups, coordinated by Jan Hubbard. Thrive Affinity Groups offer members a way to build business relationships that inspire and challenge. Thrive groups are growing, check with Jan to learn how your leadership team can benefit from membership.
In May 2016, Linda was invited to the first annual Impact100 Metro Detroit Awards Banquet and was so impressed, she called her husband and business partner, Bill, afterward to tell him she wanted to join the group of compassionate, inspiring women. Impact100 Metro Detroit is one chapter of many that operate on a simple and proven strategy: 100 or more women agree to contribute $1,000 each to a $100,000 grant. We then participate in the grant selection process, developing our knowledge and leadership, and investing in nonprofits in the local community.
Impact100 Metro Detroit Sponsors, Identity Creative, Bill and Linda Kleist
with Impact100 TV Show host, Camille Jayne, on
Birmingham/Bloomfield Cable TV (BCTV)
Linda’s membership and volunteering to serve on the Marketing and PR committee offered the Identity Creative team an unexpected opportunity to make a significant impact in the metro Detroit area. As corporate sponsors, Identity Creative designed the Impact100 Metro Detroit website, with on-going graphic design, and print support. Business turn-around expert, Camille Jayne, chair of the Marketing Committee, worked tirelessly to pull together a cable program, Impact100 Metro Detroit TV, where charitable organizations and sponsors can be spotlighted.
To learn how we fuel transformation in our local community by uniting women in collective giving, visit Impact100MetroDetroit.org.
Come join the women of Impact100 Metro Detroit.
We promise you will experience the joy of united giving and making a significant impact in our community.
We recently ran across this Ford Truck Promo…YIKES!
Ford Truck is using the “Ugly Logo” as a promo for their latest line of trucks, AND they’re asking owners of Ford trucks to submit their ugly logo for a complimentary logo re-design opportunity.
This is a good promotional idea–an out-of-the-box way to get attention because people love “before and afters.” However, I’ve been developing brand identities for over 25 years and I was stunned by their AFTER version — it’s not much better than the BEFORE!
From a professional standpoint, the ‘after’ example shows little – if any – improvement. At best, it’s simpler, but that’s it.
Here are three fundamental problems with the design:
- The lighting bolt is the 2nd oldest graphic in the electricians logo “book,” next to the “happy light bulb.” It lacks any originality, distinctiveness, or creativity.
- Misaligned text and graphic elements further pulls it off the road, and head-on into the ‘bad logo’ telephone pole. This would be a ‘before trophy’ in our book!
- Finally, and very importantly, the graphic design is layered behind the name. Try producing this logo in black and white, or in a single-color reproduction. These are implementation tests that every logo will face.
So Ford is promoting their new trucks–to people who already own one. However, I would caution any business, serious about its corporate identity, to solicit Ford Motor Company to recreate a new one. Their trucks may be “Built Tough,” but if they build you a logo, it may be Built Ford Fluff.
Jason Mautone and his brothers operate the pizza franchise their father, Benito, started in Belleville, MI in 1979. It has grown with franchisees into more than 20 stores. Today, the original round and deep dish dough recipe is used, along with specialty sauces for each kind of pizza pie.
During one brand discovery interview, Jason told us about growing up in the Mautone family and of the trips to visit family in Italy. At one point he closed his eyes, traveled back in his memory, and said, “The flavors…the olive oil and fresh sauces. There’s nothing like it!” That passion for flavor is carried through every menu item Benito’s creates, with superior ingredients for their sauces, salad dressings, cheeses & pastas.
When we asked Jason what he loved most about this business, he answered: “It’s doing something you believe you’re the best at. I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t think we were the best. I was taught to care about what I serve to people. I was taught never to sacrifice quality to make more money or make it easier. There’s a lot of frustrations in the pizza business, but when a customer comes up to the counter and tells you that your pizza is great, or how far they come to get Benito’s, it energizes me & keeps me going. When people ask me what’s our best pizza, I honestly tell them, ALL of them!”
So why did Benito’s Pizza, with its loyal fans and great reputation, decide to update their logo?
Jason, positioning the company for growth, saw issues with the old logo with its limited horizontal orientation. “We have a big square pizza box, and the logo is long and narrow. I envision a logo that has a circular symbol that will cover the box.” Adding to the frustrations of an old logo that was created without corporate standards, each new store presented challenges with signage requirements and other applications that used the Benito’s brand identity.
Identity Creative worked through concepts that included a smiling “B” and a hungry, pizza-eating “B.” The Benito’s leadership team settled on a soft, angled “B” that reflected the fresh dough in a playful way. We updated the colors and provided vertical and horizontal orientations, as well as a standards guide and their logo in every file format that they will ever need for future use to maintain brand identity consistency.
For the Identity Creative team, every on-site meeting offered us an opportunity to sink our hungry teeth into their fluffy & crispy deep dish and to take-out a massive Big Benito to share with the gang. Have you tried Benito’s Pizza? Tell us why you love it in a comment below!
You decide! Which business email address, below, gives a more professional and credible impression?
You’ve seen business cards with email addresses like “email@example.com.” At Identity Creative, we won’t design or print anything with a gmail, yahoo, or any-thing-other-than-your-own-custom-URL email address. Sound harsh? Friends who care will tell you the truth. We want you to stand out as a credible business and we’ll tell you the harsh reality because it matters.
Marty Neumeier, in The Brand Gap, makes it clear, “Trust is the greatest shortcut to a buying decision, and the bedrock of modern branding.”
Your business card is an opportunity to build trust with a credible brand presentation. We meet solo-preneurs and start-up owners who don’t recognize the damage they’re doing to their credibility with the impression a generic business email creates.
Why let this happen, when it’s SO EASY to purchase a custom domain name and set up an email for your business. Here it is in five steps:
1. Choose a hosting company. We use Hostgator because in all the years we’ve hosted with them, their customer service reps have proven to be knowledgeable, patient, and NOT condescending.
2. Purchase a hosting package. For most small businesses and start-ups, their “Hatchling” plan is more than sufficient.
3. Select a domain name, (if you already have one, you’ll just need to direct it to your new Hostgator account. If you have a question about this, comment below. You can search and purchase a domain at any registrar, like dotster.com, or right on Hostgator.
4. Follow their easy video tutorial to set up your email account.
5. One more step will configure the email to the provider you use, Gmail, Apple, Microsoft, etc.
It’s that easy. Now, let’s get back to business!
In our workshops, when we begin working with leaders to develop their core value statements, typical values with vague meaning usually surface. To help overcome this, we developed our Core Value Excavating Tool to help teams explore new ways to uncover & create unique core value statements.
We’ve made it available on our website for your team. Now you can access this complimentary tool to help you think beyond commonly stated values in order to create value statements that authentically reflect your organization. (Your surveys are confidential and emailed directly to you.)
It’s a great first-step to building relevant core value statements that truly mean something and can guide your organization for the long haul.