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Build Loyalty By Expanding Your Brand

Your brand has seven seconds to make an impression. 

No pressure. 

So, what is a brand and why is it so important to make an impact in 7 seconds? It may seem like your brand only consists of elements like your logo and colors, but your brand is actually the entire identity of your organization. 

Your brand gives you personality, conveys your values, and supports your mission. Social media and targeted algorithms expose your target market to more competitors than ever before, making branding more important than ever. 

Good branding also makes your organization more memorable and generates strong word of mouth with your stakeholders. In fact, over 75% of loyal customers tell their friends and family about a brand they love. 

Thinking about how to improve your brand can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. There are three ways an organization can enhance a brand with minimal or maximum effort, depending on the situation. We are here to share our experiences working with three award-winning brands who Expanded, Refreshed, and Created their brands.

Expand Your Brand 

You don’t have to do an entire overhaul to update your brand. Sometimes when stakeholders are very close to the branding and the logo, it can be difficult or emotional to suggest a change, which would have an adverse effect on your branding. 

In cases like Robbinsdale, a school district in Minnesota and an award-winning branding project, all that was needed to see an immediate impact was an expansion upon the existing brand elements. 

Robbinsdale opted to keep their logo, so CEL explored other options, which included refreshing their color palette to better reflect the vibrant students and communities that Robbinsdale serves. CEL also extended the brand expansion to enhance the district’s website to include the newly expanded brand identity elements for a more effective user experience and functionality. 

See our work with Robbinsdale! 

Refresh Your Brand 

There comes a point in the life cycle of nearly every organization where leadership realizes a need to rebrand. Sometimes organizations just want a new logo, but as we established, a brand is so much more than a logo. 

SoWashCo Schools, a suburban district of almost 20,000 students just outside of the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro, understood the need for a brand refresh in 2019. Rapid growth, a looming referendum, and a growing divide between the north and south areas of the city left the district’s brand in need of a refresh. SoWashCo felt their old brand was not reflective of the progressive goals and changing community the district represented.

Racial equity was a priority for district communications and the voices of their students needed to be incorporated into the brand, helping them feel seen and heard. We also knew that we needed to balance unity across the district since the 25 schools within the district were passionate about their mascots and colors. 

Beyond the new color palette, logos, and website, CEL focused on brand messaging across all school channels, websites, and communications. The new tagline, “Be Seen. Be Heard. Be Bold.” moved SoWashCo into the future as a student-centered district and the brand refresh has been welcomed by the community. 

While purpose, mission, and values are all different components of your brand, they should all work together to tell a larger story about who you are and what you do. That’s what SoWashCo committed to with its brand refresh and is already seeing the dividend in community engagement. 

See more of SoWashCo’s brand refresh! 

Create Your Brand 

As a growing number of parents sought more robust, flexible online learning options during the COVID-19 pandemic, Bloomington Public Schools had an opportunity to boost awareness about its online offering.

In what was suddenly a competitive market, Bloomington Public Schools sought the creation of a new brand from CEL. Before COVID, there were about 15 online K-12 programs that existed in Minnesota. During the 2020-2021 year, more than 200 virtual programs sought state approval. CEL knew Bloomington needed to differentiate itself in a market that was heavily receiving poor reviews and quickly becoming saturated with overnight online schools. 

Bloomington Online School became New Code Academy – a memorable name that helped the program stand out in the competitive online space. Key messaging, fresh designs, and digital marketing tools were implemented to increase enrollment and build a foundation of students for the school. 

The brand and campaign were successful, surpassing the enrollment goal by 9 percent! The campaign and branding consisted of a cohesive look to establish a unique identity in the crowded virtual school market, a logo, an accessible color palette, and graphic patterns and fonts. 

CEL designed a mobile-first website that incorporated the brand elements and key messages, along with a web blog optimized for SEO to boost the organization’s rankings on Google searches. 

Learn more about the creation of the New Code Academy Brand! 

Published on: November 2, 2022