Triangle Marketing Club’s meet-up for the month of May will be a little different than our other events. This month, we are excited to welcome not one, but two speakers to come and speak with us. Creative Director Dean Logan and CEO of Chartreuse Moose Jim Hickman are going to talk to us about rebranding- the good, the bad, and the ugly. I was given a chance to talk to both of them.
Tell me about yourself and your career.
“I am a marketing professional and I have been in the business for several years. I have been the creative director at a number of agencies in the triangle since 2005. I have done pretty equal measure for a variety of industries including tech space, healthcare, life sciences, and consumer finance,” Logan.
“I am the owner of Chartreuse Moose, which is a creative agency that I founded 5 years ago. I started this agency after working for other advertising agencies over thepast 25 years or so. My background is on the design and creative side of things, so I started as a graphic designer and worked my way up that chain. I have worked for both B2B and B2C agencies, and I have also worked in both print and digital over the course of those years,” Hickman.
What made you interested in branding?
“I was always drawing things and making posters and stuff like that as a kid. I grew up in a house where my mother was a portrait painter, so art and visual expression was always part of my life. Later, when I got into graphic design, I found I was always gravitated towards those kinds of projects where you had to take a central core solution, whether that was a logo or a positioning line, and then apply it to all these other different channels and platforms. So in design school, usually you would start with a logo, but you had to make that work on a t-shirt and see how it looks in an ad or on a pen or how does it look on a business card, all those kinds of things. So that, for me, grew into a much more sophisticated interest in branding: how to take a central offering product service positioning and apply it to any medium that it needed to, but still have a very close relationship to the mothership, as it were,” Logan.
What makes Raleigh a good area for your work?
“I started in advertising in Salt Lake City, Utah in the 90s. Then I moved to Raleigh and worked for an agency here for a short bit of time and then moved to Austin and was a creative director for an agency in Austin, and then came back to Raleigh again. There is a really good spirit of collaboration here that doesn’t exist in a lot of cities, which is nice from a design perspective because it’s always good to see what other people are doing and kind of get a larger perspective of what’s happening. There’s also sort of an innovative boot-strap type atmosphere here where everybody is just trying to make the best of everything, which I think from a design perspective is really helpful. There’s not really a hard line between design and other professions so it tends to sort of bleed over into other professions, so I think that’s helpful for designers as a career move but also just for gaining better perspective,” Hickman.
What did you study in school and how did that lead you to where you are today?
“I’ve got two degrees, a fine arts degree, which was classic art, and then a graphic design degree on top of that. I found that when I learned a little bit more about the business industry in design school, it looked really fun. It looked like a great way to make a living. When I got out of college, there weren’t a whole lot of job postings for people with a fine arts major. But, there were plenty of postings for graphic designers with computer skills. So for me it was like wow I can actually be paid to do this? How cool is that? And off I went!” Logan.
“I always took art courses in school that was always the way I understood. This was in the 80s and the 90s and the profession was much different back then and so art was really kinda my introduction to that. The thing that kinda set me free in terms of design was when I was in college I was working at a kitchen and bath store where I would help people lay out their kitchen and bath and I would help lay out their room. They brought a computer in and they sat it down on the desk and they said, ‘Hey we got this new computer system where you can draw up the kitchen or bath and draw it all up on the computer and then output something for your client,’ and that changed my perspective quite a bit. I thought ‘I can not have to sketch everything out but I can do this thing in half the time and give them a better product.’ So, that kinda got my wheels turning about what i could do from the digital side of things in terms of doing design and that was actually right before I took a job at an ad agency in Salt Lake City because I thought it would transfer really well,” Hickman.
What are you planning to discuss?
“Jim and I are going to touch on some of the reasons that companies should consider rebranding. We are going to show some examples of some really good rebranding cases in the past. People will recognize some of them and may not be familiar with others. And then conversely, we are going to show some reasons to why you should not rebrand and we are going to show examples of companies who have made that mistake and how it affects them. And then we’re also going to try to wrap it back around to how everyone in the audience, regardless of what their position or part of the company they work in or what it is they do, can apply some branding principles to themselves. Whether that’s your personal brand, or your two person company, or your 20 person company. We’re going to try to provide some useful information that people can take back with them and go all right, here’s something I can start doing today that can help me better brand my business or myself,” Logan.
Why are you excited to work with one another?
“I’ve never worked with Jim before, but we met before and reconnected through this partnership that Triangle Marketing Club has put us together with and we got along really well. I think we think alike and we have some of the same thoughts and opinions of what good branding is and should be. He’s just a hell of a nice guy and I am really looking forward to him,” Logan
“Obviously, he is a seasoned professional and he has been doing this for a long time too. I think it’s going to be interesting to see how our experiences fit together and show a different end of the spectrum. I think we both kind of have a lot of years behind us but have taken different paths, so I think that’s gonna be cool to see how we approach branding. But I think it’s going to be good, he’s a fun guy and I’m a fun guy so we’re going to try and have as much fun with it and give as much good information to people as we can,” Hickman.
What is one key takeaway you hope the TMC audience leaves with after hearing your presentation in May?
“For me, it would be that if you’re going to rebrand your organization, your company, yourself, or whatever it is, you need to do it for the right reasons. You need to ask yourself, ‘alright, am I wanting to do this just because I am bored with my brand right now?’ More often than not, that’s not really a good reason. So, we are going to try to instill in people, okay if you are going to do this, make it for the right reasons,” Logan.
“That brand applies to everything, from a personal brand all the way up to a big giant Fortune 500 brand. And the rules are relatively the same, whether you’re trying to apply it to one or the other, the things that you have to be mindful of and the rules that you have to play by are kind of all the same. Understanding what those are and knowing how to apply what you’re doing to those guidelines is going to be what I want people to understand. Specifically, we’re talking about rebranding. So, that’s taking what you’ve already done or haven’t done and applying these rules and sets of guidelines and sticking to it so that when it’s all said and done, you have a better representation of who you are as an organization or an individual,” Hickman.
I want to thank Jim and Dean again for taking the time to speak with me. We are looking forward to hearing them speak on May 22. Be sure to RSVP and we hope to see you there!