Your Email Signature Matters to Millions

Your Email Signature Matters to Millions

You probably don’t think of your email signature as a valuable brand asset. But you should, and here’s why.

According to the Email Stats Report by the Radicati Group, the average employee sends:
36 emails per day = 10,000 emails sent per year

If your firm has 100 employees, that’s 1 million annual brand impressions. Not just random impressions, your emails arrive targeted to clients, vendors, teaming partners, and potential employees.

1 Million

Consider improving email signatures across your firm beyond an obligatory formality. Email signatures are the most prolific brand touchpoint you own.

To help you, I’ll identify common email signature mistakes. Then, I’ll share how to create a powerful email signature that enhances your firm’s reputation.

Common Email Signature Mistakes

1) Inconsistency
Email signatures aren’t the place for personal expression. You don’t allow each employee to craft their own version of your logo, so don’t allow it with email signatures. All your brand touchpoints should speak in a consistent, professional voice.

Avoid a variety of fonts (unless you are writing a ransom letter)
Avoid too many colors (we love rainbows too, but not in emails)
Avoid too much variety in size, bold, and italic (if you emphasize everything, then nothing stands out)

2) Images
Avoid including company logos, social media icons, project photos, and charity logos. Images in email signatures can flag your email as “spam,” sending it directly to the Junk folder. Plus, it is annoyingly difficult for email recipients to decipher your intended attachment files from your email signature image attachments.

3) Including Your Email Address
If someone receives an email from you, by default, they now have your email address. Including it in your email signature is redundant. If they want to reply to your email, guess what, they will hit “reply” within their email software.

4) Inspiration Quotes or Sacred Spiritual Passages
Don’t impose your personal beliefs in a professional setting.

5) Legal Disclaimers
You know the ones, similar to seen on faxes circa 1989, stating “this email is only intended for the recipient…blah, blah, blah” Since these have become so banal, nobody reads them. As a result, they become ineffective within a legal setting.

 

How To Create Your Firm’s Email Signature

Be respectful of your reader’s time and visual landscape by making your email signature as concise as possible.

What you might include:
Your Name
Your Pronouns
Title (only if informative and consistent with your firm’s culture)
Firm Name
Phone Number
Website URL (only if different from your name@URL.com)
One Variable Link That Changes Monthly (recent blog post, project case study, speech, or primary social media channel)

Here is my email signature:

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
David W. Lecours
Principal | LecoursDesign
phone 760.500.8818
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Recently Designed Website:
psomas.com
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

I recommend using grey, or a quiet color, to distinguish between the email signature and the body of the email. I also use the dotted lines to separate the signature from the body.

Use only keyboard elements, not images, to create typographic rules within your email signature. Typography rules, aka borders, can be created by repeating glyphs like these:
+ + + + + + + + +
>>>>>>>>>
///////////////
^^^^^^^^^
* * * * * * * * *
= = = = = = =
o o o o o o
. . . . . . . . .

For consistency across your firm, create a master template of your new email signature. Then copy and paste it into an email sent to your IT department, or each employee, for implementation. Obviously, each employee should replace your individual contact information with their own.

More more detail on How To Create an Email Signature, check out our coding partner Noble Intent’s post here.

Your Reputation is at Stake

Your firm’s reputation is the sum of all experiences a person has with your brand. Since email signatures make millions of impressions, show that you care about your reader with a simple, consistent and well crafted email signature.

True, email signatures aren’t your most glamorous brand touchpoint. But, as Orrin Woodward says, “Success is the exponential effect of little things done consistently over time.” (Just don’t use this inspirational quote in your email signature.)

Food Guide to Encinitas

This is a highly biased guide to eating in Encinitas written by a local (me, David Lecours).

Breakfast
101 Diner
552 South Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, CA 92024
Get the cilantro hollandaise benedict, german apple pancake, or corned beef hash

El Nopalito
582 Santa Fe Drive, Encinitas, CA 92024
Get the breakfast burrito, then hit the fresh salsa bar for roasted salsa
pick up a bag of chips and fresh guac from the reach-in “˜fridge

Good On Ya Deli
1051 South Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, CA 92024
Super healthy, organic, and delicious

Swami’s Cafe
1163 South Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, CA 92024
Originator of the Acai bowl, great egg dishes, smoothies

Honey’s Bistro & Bakery
632 South Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, CA 92024
Omelettes, scrambles, croissant sandwiches all good

Le Papagayo
1002 N. Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas, CA 92024
A unicorn- equally good for breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Order the chili verde benedict on sopes

Coffee
A Better Buzz
578 South Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, CA 92024
all those fancy, hipster coffees

Lofty Coffee
90 North Coast Highway 101 #214, Encinitas, CA 92024
Baristas have PhDs in coffee. If crowded, go across Hwy 101 to:
Lofty Coffee Roasting Works
97 North Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, CA 92024

Gordy’s Bakery & Coffeehouse
441 Encinitas Boulevard, Encinitas, CA 92024
get the plonk muffin, sausage roll (reg. or veg.), shortbread, lunch lady, or banana bread

Bakery
Gordy’s Bakery & Coffeehouse
441 Encinitas Boulevard, Encinitas, CA 92024
get the plonk muffin, sausage roll (reg. or veg.), shortbread, lunch lady, or banana bread

Darshan Bakery & Cafe
949 2nd St., Encinitas, CA 92024
best Chai outside of India, spiritual sweets

Pannikin Coffee & Tea
510 North Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, CA 92024
the greek eggs and bagels are good too. Great outdoor vibe at a converted train station.

St. Tropez
947 South Coast Highway 101 #103, Encinitas, CA 92024
get the french onion soup & salad, or quiche and salad, combo. Nice outdoor patio with fountain

French Corner
1200 N. Coast Highway, Encinitas, CA 92024
get the quiche, olive drop coffee, breakfast crepe or banana bread


Mexican
El Nopalito
582 Santa Fe Drive, Encinitas, CA 92024
Get the california burrito, tacos, or plate lunch. Pick up a bag of chips and fresh guac from the reach-in “˜fridge. Note: there is a restaurant and market named El Nopalito in the same strip center

Jorge’s Mexicatessen
417 Santa Fe Drive # B, Encinitas, CA 92024
Get the chicken soup, rolled tacos, or any burrito

Haggo’s Organic Taco
1114 N. Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, CA 92024
carne asada is deelish

The Taco Stand
642 S Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas, CA 92024
Authentic street tacos. I love the al pastor. Get the corn on the cob too.

La Especial Norte
664 N Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas, CA 92024
I love the Tlapeño soup. Chicken Tortilla soup is amazing too.

Death by Tequila, sign reads ‘DxT’
569 S Coast Hwy 101 Encinitas CA, 92024
Modern Baja cuisine and tequila bar. Get the Hawaiian ahi crudo, guacamole flight, cuatro tacos

Moonage Food Co.
1114 N Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas, CA 92024
A funky food truck and picnic tables with tabletop fire pits. Get the taco trio or Electric Totem pole burrito.

Asia
Birdseye Kitchen
540 North Coast Highway, Encinitas, CA 92024
Thai + Vietnamese, get the drunken noodles, pho, mussamun or yellow curry, spring rolls, and coconut gelato

Thai Society
1070 North El Camino Real, Encinitas, CA 92024
Get the pad thai, red or yelow curry, or thai steak salad

Chiko
101 N Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas, CA 92024
Get the orange chicken, cold peanut noodles, brussel sprouts and the custard dessert.

Indian
KC Tandor
1070 N. El Camino Real, Encinitas, CA 92024
Try the Masala Dosa. Chicken Tikka Masala always good. Quality fast food indian.

Himalayan Kitchen
1337 ENCINITAS BLVD. ENCINITAS, CA
Delicious Nepalese and all the Indian classics. Get the veg samosa, chana masala and chicken tikka masala

Pizza
Blue Ribbon Artisan Pizzeria
897 South Coast Highway 101 #101, Encinitas, CA 92024
They make their own cheese, dough, sauce, charcuterie
Try the deep friend brussels sprouts, staff’s favorite or my father’s pizza. You must get the salted caramel, butterscotch pudding for dessert

URBN Coal Fired Pizza
764 South Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, CA 92024
Chopped italian salad, peppered salami or mashed potato pizza
Nice selection of local craft beers on tap

Buona Fochetta
250 N Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas, CA 92024
Pizza oven made in Naples. No reservations and hard to get a table ‘cuz it’s delicious

Pizza Corner
1246 N Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas, CA 92024
Get the Killer Bee

Peruvian
Qero
564 South Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, CA 92024
Good place to take a date, or spend your prize money

Fish
Encinitas Fish Shop
1010 South Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, CA 92024
Get the fish tacos or mahi mahi salad

Fish 101
1468 N. Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas, CA 92024
Surfy vibe. Fish ‘n’ Chips is tasty

Italian
Buona Fochetta
Pizza oven made in Naples. No reservations and hard to get a table ‘cuz it’s delicious
250 N Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas, CA 92024

Alice’s Italian Gourmet
252 N El Camino Real, Encinitas, CA 92024
Get the lasagna and the sliders.

Bistro
Valentina
810 N Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas, CA 92024
Get the wiener schnitzel, spicy caesar, corn soup,

Herb & Sea
131 W D St, Encinitas, CA 92024
Get the roasted baby carrots, crispy boardwalk potatoes, pizzas and bucatini puttanesca

Third Corner Wine Shop & Bistro
897 South Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, CA 92024
Good place to take a date, or spend your prize money
Get the cuban sandwich, fries, goat cheese salad, grilled chicken penne, short rib, or NY steak

Craftsman Tavern
267 N. El Camino Real, Encinitas, CA 92024
high-end burgers, brussels sprouts w/ bacon, and fried chicken

Union Kitchen & Tap
1108 South Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, CA 92024
Great breakfast, lunch and dinner menu too. Cool, good-looking youngsters frequent

Healthy (Vegetarian & Vegan Options)
Good On Ya Cafe
1051 South Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, CA 92024
Super healthy, organic, and delicious.

Lotus Cafe & Juice Bar
765 South Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, CA 92024
Get the Tofu tacos, smoothies, juices, salads, huevos rancheros, pancakes. A rare gem that is good for breakfast, lunch or dinner

Plant Power
411 Santa Fe Dr, Encinitas, CA 92024
Get the holy guacamole, buffalo ’66, and iconic fries

Burger, Chicken & Beer
Crack Shack
407 Encinitas Blvd., Encinitas, CA 92024
Richard Blais (top chef) fast casual. Fancy fried-chicken.

Encinitas Ale House
1044 South Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, CA 92024
Get the sweet potato fries, harmonica bill burger, or buffalo chicken sandwich. Impressive beer list

Regal Seagull
996 N. Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas, CA 92024
Pub food. Tasty Philly cheese steak

Fast Food Burger
In-n-Out
130 Calle Magdalena, Encinitas, CA 92024
If you are from out of town, and have never had one, it may change your opinion of fast food. Get the double double animal style, fries, and a chocolate shake

Ice Cream
JoJos Creamery
937 S Coast Highway 101, Suite 106, Encinitas, CA 92024
Get the cayenne sea salt caramel, nibby chocolate, or honey lavender

Gelato 101
480 South Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas, CA 92024
Get a cup and sneak it into a surf movie at La Paloma across the street

Cali Creamery
9o North Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, CA 92024
I like the coconut cream pie flavor, nearly always a line

Bars & Cocktails
Bier Garden
641 South Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, CA 92024
next to Whole Foods
Normal people frequent, good people watching

Union Kitchen & Tap
1108 South Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, CA 92024
Great breakfast, lunch and dinner menu too. Cool, good-looking youngsters frequent

Culture Brewing Co.
629 S Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas, CA
Get pizza from next door and eat it with your beer.


Surf Shops
Encinitas Surfboards
107 North Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, CA 92024
small shop, local shortboard vibe, great service, iconic Encinitas Surfboards t-shirt, hat or hoodie

Hansen’s
1105 South Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, CA 92024
huge shop, local longboard vibe, they have it all for all ages

Yoga Studio
Gather
http://gatherencinitas.com/
Luke, Daniela, Aubrey are all great.

Markets
Lazy Acres (delicious poke bowls)
El Nopalito Mexican (warm homemade tortillas)
Sprouts
Jimbo’s
7-11

Beaches
Moonlight State Beach (official SoCal Classic beach)
take Encinitas Blvd until it ends

Swami’s State Beach
1298 South Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, CA 92024

Sights
Self Realization Fellowship Gardens
215 West K Street, Encinitas, CA 92024
koi pond, gardens, and cliffside view from Oceanside to La Jolla

San Diego Botanical Garden
230 Quail Gardens Drive, Encinitas, CA 92024

AEC Firm Differentiation

AEC Firm Differentiation

Slide Deck, video and links from David Lecours’ SMPS Pacific Regional Conference closing keyote speech:

Stealing From Surf Brands for A/E/C Firm Differentiation
Surf brands and A/E/C firms compete in crowded markets. Surf brands do a great job carving out distinct brand identities to differentiate their surfboards, board shorts, and wetsuits. David Lecours, surfer and A/E/C branding consultant, will share examples of cutting edge graphic design, iconic people, founding stories, messaging, and archetypes that help surf brands and A/E/C firms stand out from the pack. You’ll return from the conference ready to shred with new techniques. Expect a wave of improvement in your SOQs, proposals, websites, presentation decks, videos and advertising.


Slide Deck

To download the slides, click the LinkedIn logo (“˜in’ square above). Within Slideshare, click “Download” button under the title.


 

Surf Brands Featured
Town & Country – https://www.tcsurf.com
Volcom – http://volcom.com/
Surf Ranch Pro – https://wslsurfranchpro.com

 


 

A/E/C Firms Featured
Rapt Studio – https://raptstudio.com
Foster & Partners – http://fosterandpartners.com/
Clark Construction – http://clarkconstruction.com/
Arcadis – http://arcadis.com/
Stantec – http://stantec.com/
LMN Architects – http://lmnarchitects.com/
Array Architects – https://array-architects.com
Populous – http://populous.com/
Murraysmith – http://www.murraysmith.us
Fanning Howey – https://fhai.com
Sellen Construction – https://www.sellen.com
Schmidt Design Group – http://kaadesigngroup.com/
TEECOM – http://teecom.com/
Lake | Flato – http://lakeflato.com/

 


 

Homework: Books & Podcast
Influence by Robert Cialdini
Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard
The Power of Moments by Dan & Chip Heath
PSM Show with David Lecours and Josh Miles – https://psm.show
PSM Show with Ryan Suydam on Client Experience – https://psm.show/127-client-experience/
PSM Show with Nicole La on Recruitment Marketing – https://psm.show/109-recruitment-marketing/

 


 

Videos Shown in Keynote
Patagonia wetsuits from plants – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6WVtLdXqDk
Lake | Flato Hotel San Jose experience – https://www.lakeflato.com/video/hotel-san-jose-transformation
Surf Ranch Pro Contest Felipe Toledo – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2-Qe2rOwT8

 


Watch the Keynote Video

LecoursDesign Goes 3 for 3 at National Awards

LecoursDesign Goes 3 for 3 at National Awards

LecoursDesign teamed with our client Murraysmith to enter three submissions for the national SMPS Marketing Communications Awards. What happened? We won all three!

Best Corporate Identity/Rebrand

Murraysmith rebrand before and after logo

Jurors said they loved the fun, engaging, impressive impact on recruitment and retention. It was comprehensive in approach and implementation. Another stated “Great job! Logo and materials look great, and the entry was very responsive.”

See More

 


Best Website

Jurors enjoyed this new site and their graphic approach “the visuals are fresh and unique”.  Great research and planning, tied nicely to strategic plan! They clearly set out to rebrand their website as a recruitment/retention tool – did a good job at each stage. Outstanding results!

View the Site

 


Best Print Recruitment and Retention Promotion

Murraysmith Core Values

One juror stated “What a great award submission – it made me want to work for MurraySmith! It’s clear that a lot of time and effort went into developing and refining each core value. And this set of coasters was a creative, perfectly executed way to help communicate your firm’s personality.

See More


View the Case Story

 

It must have been the lucky socks (that we designed).
““David Lecours

AEC Rebranding Murraysmith Case Story

AEC Rebranding Murraysmith Case Story

After speaking at the SMPS Pacific Regional Conference in Portland, Irina approaches me saying, “I read your article on AEC rebranding in the PSMJ Newsletter.” Upon handing me her business card, she confesses, “I know, we need your help.” Irina’s card reads Marketing Manager at Murray, Smith & Associates, Inc. (aka MSA) an 8-office, 120-person civil engineering firm located in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho.

MSA business card (before rebranding)

While Irina’s Marketing Department understands the value and need for branding, many of the firm owners are reluctant to invest in a rebrand when “business is good, why should we change?” Plus, an attempt at DIY rebranding, and hiring a consultant unfamiliar with A/E/C marketing, had both failed.

To help the owners make an informed decision on whether or not to rebrand, I propose they commit only to a Discovery Phase. This phase includes a review of their strategic plan, a brand audit rating 75 brand touchpoints, personal interviews with recent hires, and a competitive audit. The main deliverable is a Findings & Recommendations Report. Here is my discovery:


The Challenge

The use of two brand names, MSA and Murray, Smith & Associates, Inc. confuses those unfamiliar with the firm. The acronym MSA is generic, lost among AEC firm alphabet soup names. With no Murray, Smith, or Associates at the firm, this name doesn’t reflect where the firm is headed. In short, two names and both are weak.

MSA logos before rebrand

Internal and external feedback reveal a brand identity that has gone stale. Compounding the problem are the inconsistent versions of the logo (see above). The horizontal lines behind MSA in the logo are problematic at small sizes and when reversed out (white on dark backgrounds).

Old MSA Website

The only thing that everyone at MSA agrees upon is that the website is terribly outdated (see above). The competitive audit (see below) reveals how much the site lacks in terms of modern website attributes.

AEC Firm Website Features

A recent hire shares, “If I were choosing a firm solely based on their website, I would never work here.”

I fly to Portland to share the Findings & Recommendations and Why Branding Matters in a presentation to the owners. The room is filled with mostly smiles and heads nodding in agreement, but there are a few owners with folded arms still reluctant to move forward. The proposal to rebrand is ultimately approved, but for a novel reason. MSA’s rationale for rebranding is not to attract new clients, but specifically to attract and retain talent. I share that the two are not mutually exclusive and that the work we do to attract and retain talent will also benefit marketing and business development.

Rebranding Internal Launch

 


The Solutions

Strategy First

Brand StrategyA strong brand is rooted in solid brand strategy. This means having well-articulated Purpose, Vision, Core Values and Positioning statements.

The following already exists from MSA’s work in the book Traction, by Gino Wickman:
Purpose – Creating Infrastructure Solutions to Help Communities Prosper
Vision – grow 10% per year to 250 by 2025

To develop Core Values and Positioning, I lead a half-day workshop with the newly formed branding committee. Participants arrive at the workshop with previously assigned homework complete. I explain that a positioning statement should define what you do, who for, how you are unique and how this benefits your target audience. We develop a long list of unique attributes and engage in group prioritization exercises to narrow to the top three shown here:

Just the Right Size
We are large enough to employ diverse talent to solve your biggest challenges, yet small enough to genuinely care.

We Keep Great Company
Our people are like super glue. They tend to stick around awhile. And that’s some strong stuff, which means you get a strong team. We take care of our people so they can take care of you.

We’re Invested
We are personally invested in your success ““ for the long term. Not just for your next project. As your projects and challenges evolve, we’ll still be by your side. As an extension of your staff, we’ll work together to help our community prosper.

Positioning
From these three uniques, we develop the following positioning statement as seen on the home page of our new website.

Murraysmith brand positioning statement

Core Values
Our workshop yields seven Core Values that we later expand upon and manifest as a faux craft beer coaster for each of the seven Core Values. Why craft beer coasters? We draw from Just the Right Size, Our Work Goes on the Fridge (Obsession with Quality) and focus on the Northwest. Each of the seven Core Values is letterpress printed (a craft printing technique) with the value on the front, and more detail about what the value’s meaning on the back. To give each value the gravitas it deserves, and to create a sense of anticipation, we recommend the distribution of one new Core Value coaster to each employee for seven consecutive weeks.

AEC Firm Core ValuesWe Make it Happen (Service)
We Invest in Us (Improvement)
Our Work Goes On The “˜Fridge (Quality)
Multiple Minds > 1 (Collaboration)
Work That Works For You (Flexibility)
We Engineer Fun (Fun)
We Give a $#!T (Passion)

AEC Firm Core Values AEC Firm Core Values

Brand Personality
Before developing a new firm name and logo, we establish brand personality attributes. These constraints, along with the brand strategy, help us edit from many options to a few finalists. All future marketing communication should embrace at least one, if not several of the following brand personality attributes. If MSA were a person, she would be described as:

Imaginative
Dependable/Trusted
Relatable
Sincere
Fun

 


Naming
We present over 75 possible new firm name options and refine to seven semi-finalists. After a loose trademark and URL availability search, we whittle down to four finalists. Ultimately, with new brand positioning, core values, logo, and website, the owners are not comfortable with an entirely new name at this time. So we propose retiring MSA and Murray, Smith & Associates, Inc. in favor of Murraysmith (one word, one company, capital “˜M,’ lowercase ‘s’). With the attention to quality and right size, Murraysmith can be considered craft engineers. The -smith suffix suggests being thoughtful makers. Much like the honored tradition of a Blacksmith, Goldsmith, or Alesmith, they are now Murraysmith. While Murraysmith will typically be used as a noun (the name of the firm), it can also be used as a verb. As in, “Murraysmith that curb detail because our works goes on the “˜fridge.”

AEC Firm Naming - Murraysmith


Logo
We begin sketching rough logo ideas, which get drawn digitally in Adobe Illustrator, then refined, and presented as 7 explorations in grayscale. Based on feedback, we refine three finalists in color and show what the logo might look like on a business card.

Rough Logo Ideas

logo exploration Murraysmith

Refined Logos

Murraysmith logo semi-finalists

Logo Finalist #1 (below) in Color and Application

Murraysmith logo finalist

Logo Finalist #2 (below) in Color and Application

Murraysmith logo finalist

 

Logo Finalist #3 (below) in Color and Application

Murraysmith logo finalist

The final logo design evolves from prioritized aspects of the Core Values, Positioning Statement, and Brand Personality attributes. For example, We Make It Happen, is represented by the forward moving arrow shape and right-leaning wordmark. With a focus on the Northwest, the green “pin” within the arrow points to the northwest corner of the United States. Being relatable and sincere, we choose lowercase, sans-serif typography for the custom wordmark that reads “murraysmith.” To retain equity from the past, the logo uses legacy colors in use for the past five years. While elements of the logo have meaning, we purposely design an overall abstract symbol that, as Murraysmith continues to deliver on their promises, will gain meaning over time.

Murraysmith rebrand before and after logo


Stationery & Forms
Now the approved logo is ready to be applied to brand touchpoints. We start with the business card because of the challenge to design in such a small space. When the design works as a business card, it will be successful on other brand touchpoints including the entire stationery system.

AEC Firm rebranding

AEC Firm branding

All employees receive their business cards with three different backs to honor the Three Uniques. The cards are efficiently smaller than conventional business cards because Murrasymith isn’t a conventional firm. Upon receiving the new card, a prospect, might remark, “that’s an interesting size for a business card.” Murraysmith staff can then proudly reply, “actually, it’s just the right size” with a wink, while handing out the version of the card with “Just The Right Size” on the back. Employees can then explain how Murraysmith is Just the “Right Size,” or “We Keep Great Company,” or “We’re Invested” depending on the context of the previous conversation with the person receiving your new card. If unsure about which version to hand out, we recommend letting the recipient choose in playful “pick a card, any card” banter.

Brand Positioning - 3 Uniques

 


Website
For simplicity, memorability, and consistency with the new brand name, the new URL is www.murraysmith.us. The previous URL www.msa-ep.com automatically redirects users to the new URL and website. Go ahead, try it!

Using graphic design, color, and typography the new site reflects the new Core Values, 3 Uniques, and Brand Personality. Fresh, custom photography by KLiK demonstrates that Murraysmith is a fun place to work. Featuring responsive design, the site responds to screen size to provide an optimum user experience on desktop monitors, tablets, and smart phones. The main navigation (top of every page) is simple, with only four buttons and a powerful search feature to find anything within the site. As the user scrolls down the page, the main navigation “sticks” to the top of the page to avoid having to scroll up and down. The footer (bottom) of every page contains a Site Map listing all pages within the site to help users find exactly what they are looking for, and discover something new. Here are a few key features of the site, by section:

Great Company – Contains a custom designed overview infographic, Culture, News and a page for each of our eight offices

What We Do – Features our four services, each represented by a new icon. Six “hero” projects for all four services are displayed prominently.

Our Team – Since We Keep Great Company, all 129 Murraysmith employees have their own page on the new site.


Join Us – True to our original reason for rebranding, to attract great talent, the “˜Join Us’ section contains useful information. Potential hires can learn about our application process, the work we do, our 3 uniques, diversity, why work here, benefits, our 8 locations, and of course, job openings.

Website photograpy by KLik


Tradeshow Booth
The tradeshow booth is designed as a simple and bold brand background to complement the human activity in the foreground. The booth is imaginative (less is more) and relatable. It utilizes bright, optimistic colors to attract. Instead of the bullet point lists and small project photos of our previous booth, we prefer to let our people in the booth tell our story.

AEC Firm Tradeshow booth design


Print Advertising

 


Brand Style Guide
The Murraysmith Marketing Department appreciates the Brand Style Guide because it helps maintain consistency across the eight offices. It also transfers the brand elements and their guidelines, empowering the marketing department to take ownership of the brand for ongoing communication needs.
Murraysmith brand style guide 1

Internal Launch
An often overlooked, but critical, component of launching a rebrand is first building support within the firm. Having an entire firm of brand ambassadors to evangelize the firm’s message is considerably more effective than the marketing department working alone.

2.5 Months Until Launch
Two and half months prior to the May 1 launch date, I fly to Portland to present at an all firm meeting. Employees travel from all eight offices to take part in a half-day Strategic Plan Update. The Marketing Department and I are onstage in an auditorium sharing the why and how of our rebranding project to date. We present the brand strategy and unveil the new logo and website preview to the entire firm. Change is scary and we know that not everyone will instantly love the new branding. But we ask everyone to trust the experts and prioritize the good of the firm over their personal opinion.

Branding Discovery PhaseNobody cares how engineers look?

5 Days Until Launch
For the five days prior to May 1, a daily email is sent to employees preparing them for the rebrand launch. This 5…4…3…2…1…launch approach allows us to answer frequently asked questions and re-engage the entire firm as brand ambassadors. The emails are timed to coincide with the distribution of new business cards and other marketing collateral. Organized as FAQ, here are some sample questions we answer:
Why did we rebrand?
Why do brands matter, can’t we just do great work?
As of May 1, what will be new about our firm?
What can I do to support the rebrand launch?
Where do I get the new logo files?
What do I do with my old business cards and collateral with the old logo?
What do I have to do to use my new email address and signature?
How is the rebrand being communicated to our clients?
On May 1, do I do anything differently?

External Launch
On May 1, past and present clients receive an email explaining the rebrand. The email contains an important call-to-action button to view the new website

Rebrand Launch Postcard
To reinforce the email message, we mail the postcard below to past and present clients.



Outcomes

The Murraysmith rebrand launched May 1.

Staff Growth
9 months prior to rebrand: +12 employees (net)
9 months after rebrand: +30 employees (net)

Staff Retention
9 months prior to rebrand: 88%
9 months after rebrand: 94%

“The new website is the most important recruiting tool we have. Every candidate we talk with at career fairs and interviews mentions how impressive our website is and how they are excited to join the culture that is reflected on the site. In January, 3 of 10 people hired sought us out because of our website. It makes my job easier.”
““Murraysmith Human Resources

 

Business Growth
Gross revenue: + 30% since rebrand (9 months)

Earnings: + 42.5% since rebrand (9 months)

+12 new clients since rebrand (9 months)

 

Digital Marketing
Launch An­nounce­ment: 50.1% Open Rate vs. 15.3% In­dus­try Av­er­age
24.5% Click Rate vs. 1.9% In­dus­try Av­er­age

14,000 website visits in first week vs. goal of 2500

LinkedIn company page followers: + 32% since rebrand (9 months)

“Marketing team, I have been a part of four rebranding efforts at other firms. All involved a rollout to offices and clients around the country. I can say that your work has resulted in the smoothest and best-communicated rollout I’ve seen. It really does reflect our core values, and positions Murraysmith as the company of choice.”
““Murraysmith Principal

Recognition
LecoursDesign/Murraysmith were honored for three national awards at the 2018 SMPS Marketing Communications Awards (MCAs): best rebrand, best website, best recruiting/retention promotion.

“The website and rebranding is fresh and unique.” Great research and planning, tied nicely to strategic plan! They clearly set out to rebrand their website as a recruitment/retention tool””did a good job at each stage. Outstanding results!”

““MCA Juror


Services For This Project

Strategy – Core Values, Positioning, 3 Uniques, Launch Consulting
Branding – Personality Attributes, Naming, Visual Identity (Logo), Style Guide
Web & Digital – Website, Email Marketing
Print – Tradeshow Booth, Postcard, Advertising, SOQ Package Template, Project Report Template, Stationery & Forms

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LecoursDesign is a branding and digital marketing agency helping A/E/C* firms attract clients and talent.
* A/E/C = Architecture / Engineering Construction (but you already knew that)
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