Rebranding Valley Window & Door

Rebranding Valley Window & Door

Established in 1985, Valley Window and Door, a well-established Pembroke business was in need of a brand make-over.

The company logo had strong bones but its application was inconsistent: green, yellow and black on most signage, solid green on job sites, and blue on many of the service vehicles.

When it came to messaging, the most often used taglines — and there were several — were either too vague or too narrow in scope: Windows For Life, and Turning Dreams Into Reality.

Owners Jeff Jessup and Ian Lloyd wanted to rebuild their corporate brand by bringing consistency and impact to their visual identity, and targeting their messaging to better reflect the range of products and services they offer all year ’round.

First we drafted a marketing strategy in which we defined target markets, buyer personas, traditional and online marketing tools and tactics, a 12-month media calendar, and an annual marketing budget.

Logos for Valley Window and Door - old and new

As with any good rebranding project, we started by reworking the corporate logo. We simplified the icon and standardized the wordmark. Then we established a contemporary and pleasing colour palette and accommodated flexibility in its application.

To correct the assumption that home renovation contracting is only a fair-weather service, we drafted a tagline that said it all: Your Home Renovation Experts | 365.

When it came to applying the new brand, we started small by updating the corporate business cards featuring head shots by John A. Butler Photography.

Valley Window and Door Business Cards

Then our Design House team rebuilt the Valley Window and Door website, transforming it from a technical portal into an engaging online portfolio of the company’s product and service offerings.

screen capture of valley window and door website

Wrapping it in the refreshed corporate identity, the new website features a wide range of enticing product photography and concise yet detailed text content.

Google Analytics show that the Valley Window and Door blog, which features helpful posts on how to care for windows, doors, sunrooms and decks is proving to be very popular for visitors to the site. And the Get A Quote form is very effective in capturing leads and contact info of potential clients. On the back end, the customer database is building.

Reflecting the Ottawa Valley culture where personal relationships are key to business success, the Valley Window and Door Facebook business page has always had a solid following of family, friends, clientele and suppliers.

In spring 2017 to count down the end of a two-month window promotion, Design House created a series of boosted Facebook posts that ran one per day.

Thanks to strong visual imagery supplied by Valley’s suppliers and simple bold graphics, this first foray into social media marketing proved to be a very affordable, engaging and successful marketing tactic.

Over time, Design House plans to work the Valley Window and Door marketing strategy by rolling out social media posts and ads that by far out-perform traditional media spends. As well, the new brand identity graphics and colour palette will be consistently applied as signage, store and vehicle graphics are updated.

Watch for it, for years to come — just like the Valley Window and Door staff and job crews — this refreshed corporate brand will be working 365 to boost the success of the longstanding local business that it anchors.

eMarketing – How Much Will It Cost Me?

eMarketing – How Much Will It Cost Me?

It’s never easy to talk about money — but in business it’s always top of mind. So when I put a call out for questions, it was the first one that came in: “How much does it cost?”

Quick answer: “Much less than traditional media.”

I just checked in with a peer who’d hosted a booth at a regional trade show. Their spot wasn’t the greatest. Geographically they were pushing the limits of connecting to their target market. And it cost $2000. My first thought was she could have bought a lot of social media with that kind of money!

Shift Your Budget

Calculate your marketing budget of the previous year. If you’ve been investing in print, TV or radio, I guarantee you’ll reach a more targeted market with less money by switching to online tactics. And if you’ve been using snail mail to deliver your print promotions, then your savings increase exponentially.

By shifting your spend towards an online strategy, you’ll leverage the best of social media: free platforms and low-cost engagement tools to reach an ever-expanding – organically growing — network of family, friends and business connections. That’s why it’s called viral marketing.

Time Versus Money

Social media works best when you share content that provides solutions to the problems your customers are looking to fix. It’s about soft sell and sharing online resources that engage and inform.

If you’re comfortable creating and uploading your own content (text, images and video), with a bit of training you’ll save money by doing much of the work yourself. If you don’t have the time or inclination to do so, then we can help by setting up a monthly media calendar and sharing quality content on your behalf.

Geared to Your Business

To get started you need the basics: a bit of a plan, a good website and an active presence on one or two social media platforms.

Once we set your initial plan you’ll want to update it annually. Your biggest investment will be your website, so think of it as a long-term spend that will serve you well for several years. Set a fixed monthly budget — time and/or money — for social media mailings and posts to keep your business top-of-mind.

Remember, we’re shifting your spend to get more bang for your buck – from traditional offline marketing to dynamic online tactics.

By doing it right, eMarketing is sure to pay off!

Top 3 eMarketing Tactics

Top 3 eMarketing Tactics

In a recent session with a potential client, we talked about the various tools and tactics of effective eMarketing. We covered a lot of ground in an hour, so on her way out the door this small business owner turned to me and asked: “If I can focus on only three tactics, what should they be?”

The answer is easy: Plan, Portal, Post.

Start With a Basic Plan

Every business needs a marketing plan even if it’s only one page to start with. Focus on the coming year with an eye to the next two to four. Choose your marketing team, and engage them in a SWOT Analysis — Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Reflect on your goals, target markets, products and services, and the challenges you face building your brand.

Add a 12-month media calendar, and a block budget to track spending. Track your analytics, then update your plan annually to record what works and what you need to change and improve to reap the benefits of a solid strategy.

marketing plan iconSee PAGE 3 to read more about developing your eMarketing Plan >

Invest in a Responsive Website

About 50% of small businesses do not have a website, but it’s the smart entrepreneur who understands the need for an engaging online portal. While the upfront cost can be considerable, think of it as a long-term investment. If you build on a dynamic content management system, your code base should last at least five years.

With the ever-increasing use of mobile devices your portal must be responsive – which means the content reflows to adapt to various screen sizes from desktop through to mobile phone.

Once you launch your portal, remember that websites are organic entities – they must be fed to remain relevant and to increase your chances of rising to the top of various search engines. Make sure your web master optimizes your metadata – better yet, learn how to do the same as you add new content.

website iconSee PAGE 10 to read more about developing an effective website >

Share on Social Media

Social media is a powerful brand builder – statistics show its users are more likely to buy from the businesses they follow than from those they don’t. Determine where your audience gathers based on their interests and relationships, and become an active player in that online hub.

Start with one social media network, scan for problems you can solve, then post meaningful advice. The first step is to earn trust – never overtly oversell. Share original content by linking back to your website whenever you can, but also promote access to relevant online resources that you find useful and engaging.

social media iconSee PAGE 15 for helpful tips on optimizing your social media >

So there you have it: effective eMarketing in three easy steps. Depending on where you are in your brand-building, roll these out in concurrently or focus on one.

eMarketing Road Map: Smart Steps for Small Business

Most entrepreneurs wouldn’t buy a home or draft a will without hiring a lawyer. And at tax time, many of us automatically package up our books so an accountant can file accurate year-ends. We do this because we understand the benefits of professional skill and advice.

Likewise, when it comes to protecting our livelihood and investing in future growth, it’s the smart small business owner who understands the importance of wrapping our marketing budget in a targeted strategy.

But if you have a new business with limited resources, where do you start? Or if you’re well established but overwhelmed with the seemingly endless choice of tools and tactics that are integral to online marketing, how do you choose the platforms that will serve you best?

emarketing road map: smart steps for small business

This eMarketing Road Map is a step-by-step guide to helping small business owners like you better understand the strategies and tools that will help you connect with relevant target markets and give you a leg up on the competition.

Use it to decide which roles you can take on in-house, and when to reach out to a professional marketing consultant to effectively promote your small business.

GET IT FREE! Request your free copy of eMarketing Road Map: Smart Steps for Small Business

Julia Biesenthal – Secondo

Julia Biesenthal – Secondo

I have always interpreted the world through patterns and colours. My studies at the Ontario College of Art and Design University provided the opportunity to explore these creative talents.

As Graphic Designer on the Design House mother-daughter-pug team, I collaborate directly with various clients and team members to facilitate projects from concept through launch.

In addition to my strong design skills, I enjoy a keen interest in various social media platforms that I use as research, strategy and sharing tools.

On my own time, I host a popular Etsy store as an expressive 3-D creative outlet.

Send Julia an email >>