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We’re ready for an exciting 2018! Are you? By now, you know that we have a brand new name. But that’s only the beginning. We have a ton of other plans in store for the year. This week on Grow Live, get an inside look at some of the awesome new changes for Spinstak in 2018. Matt and Renia are thrilled to share the full story!

Watch, listen or read now and learn more about:
  • What sparked our decision to rebrand
  • How we chose our new name
  • Helpful hints for renaming your own company
  • The exciting changes and plans we have for 2018

“We’re looking at what is a holistic approach to marketing and sales,” — Matt Johnson, CMO & Managing Partner at Spinstak.

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Today’s call to action: Have you seen our new Spinstak Hype video? Check it out and tell us if you have any experience with rebranding. We want to know how the transition went for you. Get a snazzy Grow Live mug if you like and share the video!

Don’t miss next week’s follow up show! Our new team member, Natalie, will be here to share her tried-and-true tips for rebranding and making your message stick. We’ll see you then!


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Renia:

In this episode of Grow Live, Matt goes back to our origin stories and shares our new brand with you. Matt, what does Spinstak mean?

Matt:

You'll have to watch to find out.

Renia:

Join us in the show, guys.

 

Welcome to Grow Live, everybody. You might have noticed a brand change on the Facebook page, but we're still here with you, it's Wednesday at noon, to walk you through Grow Live. We're going to tell you today what all this new Spinstak stuff is all about. I'm Renia Carsillo, director of digital strategy here at Spinstak Growth Agency, and I'm back with Matt Johnson, our CMO and managing partner. How are you doing today, Matt?

Matt:

I'm doing awesome, Renia, and very excited about the brand change that we've implemented this past week, and excited to share some behind-the-scenes information with the audience today about how that all transpired, and maybe even some painful things that we went through as we updated the brand. It's a big project, and we're still going through it. It's a transition, but definitely exciting times around here.

Renia:

Awesome. If you are new to us today, you can, of course, watch us here on Facebook live, or you can catch the whole show on YouTube in beautiful HD. It's great to have a digital crew. You can also listen to the podcast on iTunes or wherever you get your podcast, and we would love for you to interact with us in the comments below. Tell us if you've ever been through a rebrand as we're talking today, and tell us how that went for you, or if maybe you're thinking about doing one in the future, why that is coming up for you. We'd love to know, and we'd love to have you ask your questions or share your feedback in the comments below.

 

Now, Matt, as we jump in here, rebranding is a really big thing. I mean, we've all read the Nike versus Reebok case studies where Nike's so much more successful because Reebok's rebranded so many times. What made you feel that this was something that you wanted to do?

Matt:

Absolutely, it's not something that you take lightly, by any means. When you're ... Sometimes, you might just change your logo, and a lot of people do that. We need to update our logo from time to time to stay with the times, so to speak. That's an important thing to do. I understand why brands do that. The most iconic brands have done that even very sparingly over the years, and that's why they are so iconic.

 

But for us, this was kind of deeper than just the skin-level of the logo change. In fact, you'll notice that our brand, our logo itself didn't change very much, just the words and the typography of the logo itself. For us, it was a little bit deeper than that.

 

This was about realigning the company and our company around the revitalized mission and vision of Safety Marketing Services, now Spinstak. That, to me, was the reason why we decided to do this. This was something that was decided last year, and we've been leading up to this moment. It's been pretty thoughtfully planned out, although it was also, if I'm honest with you, it was quick. It was a quick launch, but it has been thought out. There's a lot of intentionality behind why we did this, and like I said, it really gets back to the idea of who we are and how our name reflects the most current mission and vision.

Renia:

That makes really good sense. We're going to talk a lot about ourselves today, and I know we're going to go a lot deeper into that. We don't normally talk about ourselves quite as much as we-

Matt:

Right. So embarrassing.

Renia:

... as we're going to today, but remember, if you were with us all the way back in episode one, and if you weren't, you can check it out on our YouTube channel.

Matt:

Ooh.

Renia:

We talked about origin stories and about how important it is to us to share those values, share that origin story, and to be where you are to show you when we're going through transitions, too. We thought that bringing this story to you today was important. We're hoping that you will give us some grace for talking a little more about ourselves than we normally do.

Matt:

Yeah, absolutely. I do feel a little self-conscious about the episode being about us, but at the same time, I realize that part of this show, at least in my mind, Renia, is about documenting the process of running this agency-

Renia:

Absolutely.

Matt:

... running a business. Me being a business owner, and Renia and her role here as, in production and in leading our team, this is about us coming together to share behind the scenes what's happening. I feel like you could maybe learn something from that and even if it's through some of our goofs. That's really the reason why we're doing this. Typically, the weeks that we are up here, we're talking about actionable tips that you can put into practice right now. This is really more of a situation where I'm going to just tell you what we were thinking about, and hopefully, that is helpful in some way.

Renia:

I think it'll be really helpful, and I'm excited to go through it, but before we do that, do you want to give them something really cool that was ... Maybe frame this conversation for them.

Matt:

Yeah, yeah. To get us ready for this conversation, I want to set the table and get you guys pumped. We created a Super Bowl ad. Obviously, it did not run during the Super Bowl, but it's our version of the Super Bowl. It was launched on Super Bowl Sunday. This is us doing a hype ... what I call a hype video about the new brand, about the mission, about the vision, and we're going to roll that for you now. Go ahead, guys. Roll that clip for them.

Renia:

We should've made Misty, like marketing manager Mindy, make a cameo.

Matt:

Oh, yeah. Maybe she can come in at the end.

Renia:

Maybe she can come Vanna everybody at the end of the video?

Matt:

Yeah.

Renia:

Is it going?

Matt:

Cool. Rolling.

Lief:

It's going. It's going.

Matt:

And, I'm not on? My mic's not on?

Lief:

It's not on.

Matt:

I always have this fear that you're going to hear me over the video while you guys are playing.

Lief:

Like the guy that walks into the bathroom.

Renia:

Mm-hmm (affirmative)-

Lief:

That's when it starts. The microphone starts.

Matt:

Oh, man. Yes.

 

I've never experienced that, but that has to be hilarious.

Lief:

It's not.

Renia:

Did you hear that mic drop with Wentz and Foles in the Super Bowl?

Matt:

Hmm?

Lief:

You saw it cut out, right?

 

We thought it was our TV and the saw a meme ten minutes later on Facebook, that was like, "I'm sure everybody thought their TV cut out at this point."

Renia:

Mm-hmm (affirmative)-

Matt:

What were they doing, preaching?

Lief:

What?

Renia:

No. He says-

Lief:

In the Super Bowl.

Renia:

In the Super Bowl. He says ... Wentz says to Foles, "Next year that'll be me." On the mic. It caught him on the mic.

Matt:

No.

Renia:

He thought it was out. Yeah.

Matt:

He said, "next year that will be me"?

Renia:

Or something like that. He said something. He leans over and says something to him. It wasn't on the meme, that it said "Next year that'll be me" or something? But he caught him doing something he wasn't supposed to do. Basically.

Lief:

Wrapping up now.

Matt:

Okay?

 

How about that hype video? Everybody's hyped up now.

Lief:

Three, two, one.

Renia:

What do you think, is everybody excited now?

Matt:

Nice, right?

Renia:

You like that?

 

So, Matt, I think we got a little bit of sense of it from the video, from what we're trying to convey with the new brand, of what we can do for people. But can you tell me a little bit about why SMS rebranded?

Matt:

Yeah, so, definitely, I'll plug this now and I'll come back to this later, at the end of the show. I want you guys to know that we did write a blog post about the new brand and why we did it. If you go to our blog at spinstak.com/blog, you will see an article on there called "SMS - Safety Marketing Services is now Spinstak". In that article, I outline three reasons, primarily, why we decided to rebrand.

Renia:

Technical, insert, blog.spinstak.com. That's blog dot Spinstak dot com.

Matt:

Thank you, this is why she's here.

 

Yes. The three reasons, Renia, are ... I broke this down kind of creatively, I will say, using our former name.

 

The first point is that Spinstak is more than safety. This is something that has happened over the course of, I would say, the last five years. It's actually ... It's not dramatically ... It hasn't happened over night. This is slowly been an evolution for us. We have begun marketing ourselves and introducing ourselves and building relationships outside of the safety community. Even though we are extremely proud of our roots in safety, we have intentionally branched out. There are a lot of industrial distributors and manufacturers and wholesalers who are a very good fit for us, in terms of the types of services that we offer. They align very well with our brand.

 

One of the things that I have always run into, historically, as I'm out there talking about our company, is the fact that the name, our name, being Safety Marketing Services, was confusing to a lot of people. If I would go into an industrial space, for example, and I was talking to industrial distributors who, for them, safety may be just one product line of many. They were confused. They thought I was selling safety products. I had to always explain myself, "No, no, no. We're not just for safety. We grew up in the safety industry. We're engineered to help you grow." That was the thing I kept on saying.

 

It was important for me that the new name did not limit us in terms of our market. I would say that is an important thing for you guys to consider, if you're a marketer, if you're an owner of a business. Think about your name. Are you limiting your potential market size? Are you capping yourself into an area where maybe you need to expand outside of that? If you only do JanSan, but you know that you can help other companies with your product line, then maybe you need to make sure that your name doesn't reflect strictly janitory [sic] and sanitary products.

 

That is why I think it is very important that your name reflect accurately the type of market you're going after.

Renia:

So you're saying we were very firmly rooted in safety but that we needed a little bit of space to grow and blossom?

Matt:

Yeah. That's a great way of saying it. We did not want to be confusing to the potential customers that we might be serving.

Renia:

It had nothing to do with text messages?

Matt:

That's right. That was the other thing. Because nobody wanted to say Safety Marketing Services, everybody called us SMS. It was nice to be able to get away from that, because that added another layer of confusion. If your name is generally confusing people, that may be an indication that you need to think about rebranding.

Renia:

Such a great point, Matt, because I think that was a big part of it for me, for being excited about the rebrand. Our name would confuse people occasionally. It was kind of difficult in a Google search. That's a great point.

 

Can you tell us all a little bit about where the Spinstak name came from?

Matt:

So this could be an entire episode on its own, Renia, for sure, because this is about the creative process. We definitely went through a thorough creative process to pull out a name that would best reflect who we were, and what we were trying to accomplish. Most good names today are some sort of mash-up of two words or a combination of different types of words, that may not make any sense to you when you first hear it, but when you explain it, there may be some reason behind it. Not all brand names have that. Ours does have that, to a degree.

 

We were looking for a word, two words, that would reflect what we do and who we were. Who we are and what we do. That's important to, I think, our customers and our market.

 

What we do, is that we offer a full stack growth solution. What that means, Renia, is that we don't just offer one type of marketing service. We offer the strategy portion of it. We offer the implementation of it. We offer the training of marketing. And we offer that throughout the entire growth funnel. From the very top, in terms of search, and social, and content, all the way down to the bottom of the funnel, in terms of helping salespeople actually close those opportunities.

 

We wanted to explain that we were a full service, a full stack solution. That's where "Stak" comes from.

 

The word "Spin" really reflects this idea of our energy. We are an extremely fast-paced, energetic group. It's one of our defining characteristics. We're playful. We say that we're playful, not painful to work with. We say that we are growth driven. We are always moving forward, always spinning, always evolving.

 

Those two words, "spin", "stack", coming together best reflect who we are and what we offer.

Renia:

I think that's really exciting and it's beautiful to think about the way that ... I don't usually do the brainstorming side of the business, so it's beautiful to think about the process you guys went through to get there.

 

How many different variations of names did you guys try on to get to Spinstak?

Matt:

So many. So many. I think we might have had, at one point, 200 different words on the white board. We would go systematically. We narrowed them down based on whether or not they were good fits. First we looked at what would realistically be the best words that would reflect who we were and what we did. And then we had to filter them through a couple more parameters to make sure that they were going to work.

 

The number one parameter is that we can actually find a URL that is still available. That's a very important thing these days. That was something that our grandfather branding predecessors never had to worry about. We have to think about, is that URL available? Is there copyrights on it? Is it trademarked? Is it being used out in the world wide web.

 

Spinstak was available. It really came down to a couple of different terms. That was the one that had all of the parameters met. It had the URL. It was unique. It was memorable. It represented who we are and what we do.

Renia:

That's a really great point, because in my career I've come across a number of companies with new names that clearly didn't do a Google search before they named their company.

Matt:

We were doing that right in the session.

Renia:

Tell me a little bit about the site launch that went along with this. Because a rebrand is a big enough thing all on its own, right? We also built a brand new website to go along with it.

Matt:

It's unbelievable, these days. It's not easy to rebrand, because it's not just a matter of "I've got to get new Polos", which I do, but it's so complicated and intertwined. There are so many different places on the web that has our name and our logo. There is linking structures all over the place that have to be fixed. It's one thing to build a new website that has a new brand on it, but it's another thing to think about how your brand is being covered out in the web.

 

Of course, if you're a digital agency like us and you're intentional about building a digital footprint, it becomes harder. If you only have a couple different places on the web where your name is there, then, not that bad. We have multiple social channels. We have multiple websites we're being linked to from. The website itself is a massive project. Getting that done on a deadline is always a challenge.

Renia:

It will take most companies several months to update all of those areas. If you still see Grow with SMS some places, or you still see that old name, that's because it does take a long time. Not all things digitally you have control over the update. Sometimes you've got to get other brands to make those updates and things like that. Being really intentional about it. It's a massive-

Matt:

Also not being so neurotic that you can't move forward. I think that's another tendency that marketers might have. They might feel like, I cannot launch this brand until I've accounted for every single piece of collateral. Guys, that's just not going to happen.

 

It's important to remember that you can launch something that is 80% there, feel good about it, and then it covers the majority of your instances where people are going to run into your name. Over time, go ahead and knock those other things out.

 

We're still finding little areas here and there, where our name needs to be updated or our logo needs to be changed. That's fine.

Renia:

Awesome.

Matt:

I'm cool with that.

Renia:

Awesome. Tell us a little bit ... I mean, we went through this huge rebrand. We've got some stuff happening this week. A few, small things happening this week, as well. Tell us what's coming for Spinstak in 2018 that people should be excited about.

Matt:

I am unbelievably optimistic and excited about our future. We've grown double digits over the last three years, pretty consistently. The reason for that is we are undergoing a digital revolution inside of our particular industry.

 

Industrial supply chain is changing. The corporate buyers that are making decisions more and more are becoming Millennials and Gen X-ers who are more digitally native than their predecessors. That is causing a disruption in the supply chain.

 

What we're seeing is the need to create services that we can offer that will help companies adapt to this digital, changing environment.

Renia:

It's a really interesting place to be, right? Because we are standing in this in between place. We call it “tradigital”, right? Between the traditional marketing world and the digital space. There's a lot of relevancy there still in both places for people, that we kind of-

Matt:

Exactly. That's a big part of what we try to do in terms of offering that full stack solution. We talk a lot about the need to be relevant in the digital channels that everybody is talking about. I know you're probably getting sick of hearing it. The idea is, yes, Facebook and Google are two mammoths that you have to be relevant on. We are working with brands that are traditional brands that maybe have not ever had a following. They've never done content on the web. We're creating content. We're building a digital footprint for them. At the same time, we need to recognize that this is a transition.

 

We can't just be so black and white and say, "Now you need to switch everything over to digital." No, there are other mediums that work very well. Printed catalogs. Fliers. Direct mailers. These are all things that can work in ... You know, trade shows, obviously are a big part of what we do. All of these things can work in tandem with your digital efforts. They don't necessarily have to be one or the other. That's the message that I think we're going forward with in 2018 and into the future.

 

We are looking at what is a holistic approach to marketing and sales. Bringing it all together, bringing the traditional with the digital marketing. Making sure that the experience that the end user has is the same from the very top of the funnel where they meet you on Facebook to the very bottom of the funnel when you're getting a proposal out to them, or a contract. Having the sales team work with them digitally. These are all important factors that are going to lead to success. Honestly, I believe that it's going to be the difference between companies surviving or dying off or being acquired in the next five or ten years.

Renia:

I think that's so true, Matt. I love that word that you used, holistic, because I feel like I am always telling traditional marketers, while we're talking, that they need to be more agile and adaptable and move faster. But at the same time, I'm telling digital marketers that they need to be consistent and patient and ... So we really need to bring both together and know when which characteristics are more important. That's really what we're trying to do for people, is bring that whole thing together so we can say, yes, let's move fast. Let's adapt. Let's see what's happening in the environment. But, also, we need to build in that consistent funnel of information so we're not confusing our clients.

Matt:

Absolutely. Perfectly said. There's lots of things that we're doing that ... We're adding new services this year to make sure that we're covering our bases. Content marketing and inbound marketing is fantastic. You have to understand that it takes a certain amount of time to see the results from that. It's going to take six, nine, twelve months to start seeing your organic traffic start to flourish.

 

A lot of people ... they're growth driven companies that we work with. They don't have time to wait for that long. That's where different things like direct mail, page search, page social ... these are different channels that can help us achieve some quick wins in the beginning. Hopefully, over time, we can scale that back, because we now then will have the organic traffic to sustain our lead generation efforts.

Renia:

Very cool. Very cool.

 

It's been a season of changes here at Spinstak. If any of you are going through a season of changes like this, we would really love to hear about what your experience has been. Maybe commiserate with you a little bit.

 

If you leave us a comment about your rebrand ... I've seen a number of those. With all the mergers we've had, and stuff like that. I know there's some of you out there that have gone through that experience, and we'd love to know what it looked like for you. You can leave that in the comments for us.

 

I know that we promised last week we were going to introduce our new director of marketing, who is helping to drive some of this-

Matt:

It's coming.

Renia:

But I'm on vacation next week, so we decided to save her for next week, right?

Matt:

Yep.

Renia:

Yeah, so we'll introduce Natalie to you next week. She is actually going to come on and talk to you about some of the mechanics of this. I'm really excited to see-

Matt:

Talk about a hard time to start your new job. When you're the director of marketing and the company that you get hired by is going through a rebrand and a website launch. Hello.

Renia:

I'm very happy that she started when she did.

Matt:

She's doing unbelievable. We'll be excited to introduce her to you next week.

Renia:

Yeah, so we kind of shared our story with you today, but she's going to come on and share some really cool tips that'll help you out next week. So, stay tuned to meet Natalie next week. And, again, if you've been through a rebrand please leave some comments below and tell us about what you've experienced. We really love seeing those stories.

 

You can also share this. That helps us out a lot. If anybody has seen what's happening with the Facebook algorithm changes, I don't know, I feel like the whole internet is freaking out about the Facebook algorithm changes. But it really comes down to, is your content something that people want. When you comment and share our stuff, it tells us that it's something that you want. It also tells Facebook that it's something that you want. We really appreciate it.

 

As always, you can enter to win swag when you do that, right?

Matt:

The greatest compliment you could give us is to share our content, to review our podcast, and to engage with the content as well. I don't expect you to give away any secrets, but if you just let us know that you enjoyed it, that would be fantastic. Leave us a review on iTunes. We will be sure to get you some awesome ninja or nerd swag. You'll love it.

 

Thank you for doing that ahead of time. Definitely appreciate you guys watching this and hanging in there with us through this rebrand. It's very exciting times and we really are engineered to help you guys grow your business.

Renia:

And, one last point on that, if you find yourself ... I've had a couple people messaging us, saying, "Oh, I forget that you're on." Now, if you go on spinstak.com and enable your browser notifications, it's going to ask you. You'll get a notification right in your browser that we're going live in five minutes. I think it's five minutes before the show. It'll remind you that we're coming on and you won't ever miss an episode.

 

Thank you guys for being with us this week. We are really excited to present Spinstak to you and would love to hear your comments. Come back next week to meet Natalie. Natalie and Matt will share some tips about rebranding and launching with you.

Matt:

Sounds awesome. We'll see you guys then.

Renia:

Have a great week, everybody.

 

Hey everybody, thanks for joining us. If you're just getting started with us on Grow Live, be sure to check out some of our favorite episodes in the show notes.

Matt:

And don't forget that you can see us live on Facebook every Wednesday at noon. Or you can find us on YouTube and binge past episodes in full HD.

Renia:

If you found this helpful and you want to see more, leave us a review and we'll enter you for a chance to win some Grow Live swag. Thanks again, everybody.

 

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