The Discovery Zone

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach to things in applies more to appliances than it does to businesses. Even those companies that have been around for 20 years. In fact, especially those companies.

That’s because with the dynamic nature of a business, staying ahead of the competition is a necessity. Planning for the future and regulating the pace of growth are always at the forefront of a good leader’s mind. No matter how successful a company has been, rebranding is a proactive way to ensure its continued success.

Some companies take this to an extreme, doing a huge brand makeover to match whatever the current marketing trends might be. In order to rebrand in a way that , a business owner must be willing to take a step back. They must begin the process of looking within, discovering what the core ethos of the business is.

“When you start a company, you are the ‘magic’ of the company for a lot of years,” Dan Keiser reflects. But at a certain point, it’s time to grow and lead the company in a different manner. When an owner has a trusted team like Dan does, he must rely on them more and more, allowing the strengths and character of the group to outshine him as an individual.

Take KDG’s logo, for example. Before Timberline Team began working with KDG, the logo was heavy on the “K.” In other words, Dan Keiser was the focus. This focus was fine, as he worked to grow his company through building his personal network. Recently, though, Dan has understood that the best thing for the company is to let the group equal more than the sum of its parts. Keiser Design Group is a different company from what it was 20 years ago. The emphasis has shifted from the “Keiser” to the “Group.”

As Timberline picked up on the fact that collaboration is one of KDG’s cornerstones, they sought to change the logo in a way that emphasized the company as whole. The new logo communicates to partners and clients that KDG is more than Dan Keiser. The same principle is reflected in the new Timberline-designed KDG website, where the diversity of the team is showcased front and center.

“There is a ceiling on an individual, but there’s a much higher ceiling on a group. Instead of working in silos, we need to embrace the team aspect of the company.”

This intentional emphasis yielded a surprising internal effect. Dan noticed it immediately when Timberline Team delivered the new KDG team bios, created through a series of interviews with each team member. “Everyone read them and started finding out about each other,” Dan remembers.

It’s an all-too-common phenomenon of company life that you can work next to someone for a decade and know less about them than you can learn in five minutes from reading a short bio. Even in a company that prides itself on relationships, it can be all too easy to let inter-office relationships fall through the cracks. By submitting itself to Timberline’s rebranding process, Dan says, his team has grown closer together.

In business as in life, adaptability is a necessary skill for survival. While it takes time for a company to adapt to a branding overhaul, the changes taking place at KDG have made the work environment more intentional, and allowed the individuals to grow closer as a team.