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Our services

From strategy to execution

brandengage

BrandEngage. Strengthening the core of your organization.

Brands with a strong core stand for something real, and inspire deep loyalty. Our brand engagement process involves everyone with a stake in the brand and helps uncover what is truly unique and relevant about a company, a product or a service. The end result is a magnetic brand that motivates staff to pull in the same direction, create meaningful customer experiences and generate lasting equity…

We strengthen our clients’ brand and business core from the inside out by focusing on leadership, alignment and communication. Invariably, the approach needed to grow a strong brand that people will remain loyal to is the same one required to build a great organization. A respectful, inclusive process is what works best and it’s how we approach it every time. We work with you to uncover your core strengths and values and then use these to define, differentiate, execute and communicate an authentic, dynamic brand that everyone can get behind. The result is a sustainable brand and a strengthened core.

How we do it

We start by asking better questions, challenging your assumptions and helping you to imagine new possibilities. Our process includes your leadership team, your people, loyal customers and yes, even unhappy customers. We facilitate interviews, survey stakeholders and look at your business from every perspective, absorbing what we can and making people feel included. Then, we shape what we’ve learned into a brand strategy that becomes your roadmap for the future. We create an exciting new visual identity that we apply to everything you need branded—from stationery and your online presence to everything else, like advertising materials, point of purchase displays and wearables (ask Caroll how we branded a fleet of semi-trucks). No brand will acquire equity unless it is presented in a consistent fashion. For this reason, we prepare an easy-to-follow “brand standards manual” and a web portal for you to access all of the digital files (see “Marketing Toolbox” below). Additionally, we’ll work with you to develop and implement internal rollout and help you plan the launch of your new brand in all markets and media.

  • Brand and communications audit
  • Marketing research and planning
  • Interactive brand input workshops
  • Employee and customer surveys
  • Brand strategy development
  • Visual identity design
  • Brand guide, toolkit and portal
  • Brand champion training
  • Launch plan and implementation
  • Ongoing brand and technical support
transitionpath

TransitionPath. Integrating brand and culture in merger & acquisition.

A good brand process helps people understand how to act during times of uncertainty. Is your company planning on merging? Too many companies lose market share after a merger or acquisition — failing to preserve the important brand equity and values as their company expands. Our proven, timely and efficient brand transition program can help to mitigate these risks by engaging the right people early in the process and establishing clear expectations…

All the while keeping the organization informed and motivated during the process. In as few as three months, we can have your new locations transitioned, your staff trained, plus signage, fleet, collateral and online presence switched over — all ready to launch themselves under the new brand in your community. And we can handle the unveiling too, by way of staff events, public relations strategies and a variety of traditional and nontraditional marketing campaigns.

How we do it

We start by working with the leadership team to understand each of the merging companies as well as the new business strategy as it crystallizes. Ideally, our Taiji team of specialists become part of your integration team, working alongside HR, IT, Legal, Investor Relations, Sales and Marketing, etc. We conduct leadership workshops, interview stakeholders, survey staff and tour operations to gain an objective view of the deeply rooted values and each organization’s points of difference. Respectfully taking the best from all worlds, we assimilate our findings into a compelling brand blueprint that contains clear statements of purpose, values, promise, positioning and personality. At every step in the process, we help you communicate internally about the work we’re doing – to help calm nerves and build engagement around the new vision. Our most effective tool is a microsite that employees can use to stay current, give input and ask anything from “where is my company going” to “what logo do I put on my business card.” Next, we develop a portfolio strategy that determines how your various brands will fit together — what is retained, what is joined and what is started from scratch. This comes together in the form of an updated visual identity including brand name, symbols and key messages that we apply to everything you need branded — from stationery and your online presence to advertising materials and vehicle graphics. We bundle the work up in a practical brand guide and web portal for easy access any time you like. We also develop and implement internal roll-outs to get everyone inside the organization pulling in the same direction. Finally, we plan and implement a customized brand launch campaign in specifically targeted markets using an appropriate media mix. With the systems we put in place for you and your team to follow, subsequent brand management becomes straightforward.

  • Brand and communications audit
  • Marketing research and planning
  • Interactive brand input workshops
  • Employee and customer surveys
  • Brand strategy development
  • Visual identity design
  • Brand guide, toolkit and portal
  • Brand champion training
  • Launch plan and implementation
  • Ongoing brand and technical support
marketingtoolbox

MarketingToolbox. Communications tools that really work.

Today’s clients want control over their brand universe. We live in a DIY culture. Our clients increasingly want to have convenient access to many of the tools we create for them. Sales managers need to download the company PowerPoint anywhere, any time. Admin assistants need the convenience of ordering business cards for new staff right from their desktop. Marketing managers want to access their campaigns, photo libraries, templates and tools quickly and easily…

There was a time that the design or advertising agency was the sole handler of these tasks. But, to borrow a positioning line from a well-branded hardware store — “You can do it. We can help.” Not only do we create outstanding brand usage guides (that speak in your language, not ours) and bulletproof files and templates, we house it all on a password protected brand portal website that gives you the control over your brand universe.

How we do it

We start building marketing toolboxes for clients after working through a comprehensive BrandEngage or TransitionPath process, or in response to specific requests for new tools to better engage customers and other audiences. Our work always begins by (briefly!) seeking to understand who you are and what you do. In this way, it’s not unlike the first step in our larger branding processes: we start by asking great questions, really listening to your needs and issues and sometimes gently challenging your assumptions about the best way forward. We then put together a project charter based on these preliminary conversations, and ask for high-level sign off to make sure we are all singing from the same songsheet. Our clients tell us this initial step in the process is impactful and time- and cost-efficient. By clarifying and fine-tuning direction, tactics and outcomes up front, we maximize effort and expenditure throughout the project. Next steps are entirely dependent on the scope of the project, and generally involve gathering a bit more information and assimilating findings into a brand blueprint that contains clear statements of purpose, values, promise, positioning and personality. This document becomes the roadmap from which we develop communication tools, including forms and stationery; training and presentation packages; websites, intranets and portals; signage and wayfinding; and branded merchandise, fleet vehicles and templates. Many clients opt for our practical, easy-to-use brand portal that allows 24/7 access to tips and tools. We also develop and implement internal roll-outs and external campaigns in all markets and media.

  • Brand and communications audit
  • Marketing research and planning
  • Interactive brand input workshops
  • Employee and customer surveys
  • Brand strategy development
  • Visual identity design
  • Brand guide, toolkit and portal
  • Brand champion training
  • Launch plan and implementation
  • Ongoing brand and technical support
digitalbrand

DigitalBrand. Websites that echo the brand spirit.

Most customers meet you online first. Your web presence is a test of your credibility. For your digital brand and messaging to succeed, they must be highly recognizable, relatable and engaging. We understand the core of your organization and know how to make it thrive online. Our team can help you create an impactful, intuitive and contemporary online presence…

Our offerings include IA, UI and content analysis; social media strategy; plain language CMS intranet and extranet sites; responsive websites; and custom icons, animation, photography and videos. We specialize in multi-location websites with branded localization. Yes, we’re SEO proficient too. But search-engine-optimized websites don’t need to read like they were written by a “bot”.

How we do it

We’d like to think our depth of branding experience adds value to the task of developing websites and intranets. Our strength lies in our ability to bring strategic clarity and focus to any project. We tell your story online using great design, smart technical programming, compelling imagery, illustration and video and succinct but personal content. The result is a site that fits your brand, excites your people, engages your audiences and delivers bottom-line results. We approach our work with you collaboratively to ensure the end product is user friendly, content-rich and technically sound. All of our website work is done completely in-house, and all of our websites and intranets are designed to be responsive and work on all major brands of mobile devices. We start by fully understanding who your key audiences are and how your online brand will help build lasting relationships with them. Analyzing how your key audiences will use your site forms the foundation of our approach to website development. Our creative team then produces a compelling website design and structure that enhances your brand and integrates with other marketing materials. We work with you to evaluate and edit existing content and produce new content that fits the interests of your key audiences and pays careful attention to search engine optimization (SEO). We build sites on the best platform for your needs, and usually recommend a customized Content Management System to enable you to easily update content. We excel at creating sites that have intelligent, intuitive frameworks that allow for easy self-management.

  • Digital brand strategy
  • Website audits
  • IA and UX design
  • Content Management Systems (eg: Drupal, WordPress)
  • CMS training and manuals
  • Custom programming
  • eCommerce
  • Content planning and copywriting
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Online advertising
  • Website launch planning and tactics implementation
brandcast

BrandCast. Brand stories told through photo and video.

Bring your brand and business to life with exceptional visual tools. Video and custom photography can’t be beat for conveying your brand personality and messaging, and optimizing your online presence. Organizations all sizes benefit from the storytelling power of videos and non-stock photos. We create exceptional visual tools for a wide range of purposes, including websites, promotion, education, training, thought leadership, crowdsource funding and blogging…

Our services including branded strategies, scripting and content, on location and studio shoots, and custom graphics and soundtracks. We specialize in videos and photo banks for industrial customers.

How we do it

Video: Our work always begins by seeking to understand who you are and what you do. In this way, it’s not unlike the first step in our larger branding processes: we start by asking great questions and really listening to your vision, goals and needs. We also seek out details about your key audiences to discover what kinds of information will resonate with them. Our strength lies in capturing stories in an effective and artistic way that conveys your brand and contains your key messaging and personality. We then collaborate with you to develop a tight storyboard and script, to review early drafts and to finalize timeline and output requirements (format for presentations and/or online, video length). Depending on needs and budget, we can send up to two camera operators and a director/producer to shoot footage.

  • Marketing and corporate videos
  • Testimonial and interview videos
  • Presenter videos
  • Multimedia presentations
  • Training videos
  • Mini documentaries
  • Broadcast videos (TV)

 

Photography: At Taiji, we’ve spent many years looking through countless stock photography books and websites, so you’ll have to trust us on this one: finding stock photos that accurately reflect the true essence of any brand is a near impossibility. For this reason we retain talented and versatile in-house photographers and videographers who can personalize your brand and your business. We always have your budget in mind and schedule photo shoots to optimize the number of shots that can be captured at any given time or place. Often our photo shoots are combined with video shoots for value added-benefit. Once the images are processed, we can provide you with a photobank on CD or flash drive, or build you a mini online portal. All images are exclusively yours and are rights free – meaning you can use them indefinitely at no further cost.

  • Branded video strategies
  • On-location and studio shoots
  • Custom graphics and soundtracks
  • Corporate image banks
  • Staff / Board portraits
  • Publication photos
  • Custom photography
  • Advertising
  • Special events photography
  • Stock images
socialsolutions

SocialSolutions. Creating opportunities for online conversation.

OMG, its true: We are spending less time consuming mass media and more of it having one-on-one conversations within various social media platforms. People talk about brands online, they seek opinions of others before making decisions and they trust their peers far more than they trust a brand’s corporate messaging. We help you engage in social media by having honest and meaningful conversations with people and building trust and credibility for your brand…

We do this through influencer campaigns, conversation platforms, advocacy programs, community building and management, social applications, conversation response and reputation management. Mostly, we help you learn to listen as well as talk online.

How we do it

We start with a full audit of your social media presence online as well as that of your market and industry competitors. When assessing social reach, we take inventory of not only your organization’s deliberate social media efforts but also the unintentional positive and negative digital residue of your online behaviour. This all allows us to paint a full picture of your online social brand. From here, we work with you to build a robust yet streamlined social media campaign based on your existing assets as well its overall brand strategy. This brand-integrated approach doesn’t simply leverage social media platforms for the sake of appearing current and with no overarching purpose. Instead, we find the right platforms and messaging to help your organization reach its goals.

  • Online Social Reach Audit
  • Competitive Audit
  • Social Brand Voice Plan
  • Social Messaging Calendar
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