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Feb 06 2018

The Verde Manifesto

In mid 2017, Verde Energy Efficiency Experts hired Tacklebox Brand Partners to do a deep dive on our brand strategy. After 7 years of growth through bootstrapping, we finally felt we could afford outside help to make sure our messaging was correct to our customers. The result of this work was a “manifesto”, or a ten page formal document that tells the story of who we are and why we do what we do.

The experience overall was incredibly positive, and I learned more about our organization internally than I would have thought possible.

We didn’t shop around a lot for a firm, but we did briefly talk to 4 different agencies to get a feel of style and approach. One of the members of our advisory board, Lorraine Herr, had seen David Kelbaugh of Tacklebox speak at an engagement at 1871 in Chicago. She has a marketing background and knew what we were looking for, and felt like they would be a good fit.

After working out the price and the expectations of the deliverable, we felt that Tacklebox was the right partner on this journey.

Customer and Employee Interviews

Tacklebox met with us and developed a plan of action, which included interviews with both internal employees and external customers. They summarized this qualitative data as a basis for our manifesto and reported back on our findings – from which I found an incredible amount of value. As an owner of a business, one thing I am constantly lacking is unbiased and unfiltered opinions.

Here were some highlights they found from their initial customer research.

What Makes Us Special

How We are Perceived

  • Customers felt they could trust and depend on the company and its employees to get the job done, and well.
  • Many positive comments on the work ethic, personality and friendliness of Verde.
  • Clear to see the drive, passion, and dependability in the services that we offer
  • Hard-working and able to find the greatest savings and options.
  • Approachable and Responsive, which allows some clients to feel compelled to work with Verde due to its professionalism.
  • Earth-friendly and business friendly. Small businesses relate to and appreciate the ways which we work, even though their decision to work with us is often determined by ROI.
  • Great at encouraging a movement away from the past technologies (innovative in our space).

Areas to Focus and Improve

Compared to Our Competition

They asked for a few competitors in our field that I respected, and then analyzed the marketing information available on those companies to give us some feedback on how others were marketing. I found this type of analysis helpful, especially to learn which competitors I respected didn’t have a great image from a novice customer persepctive.

Final Product

We have decided to make the nal Verde manifesto available to everyone both within and outside of the organization. While it is more of a guide for individual marketing and sales initiatives, as most folks will not take the time to look through a ten page document to learn about your company, it still has value in its completion.

The Manifesto does not have value by itself, but how we use it will depend on its success. That being said, just going through this experience did help us really get on the same direction as an organization.

How We Use it

The manifesto was described by Tacklebox to be a paint by numbers guide for all of our marketing strategies. It took a while to get the grove of using it, but we have incorporated the look and feel throughout our website, customer documentation, sales tools, and even our internal communications.

Even our social media, from our Facebook to our LinkedIn page, has reflective the wording, imagery and core of our new brand story. Do you notice that when you check those out?

Verde Energy Efficiency Experts

In 2010, we incorporated as Verde Sustainable Solutions, L3C.  However, we have been referred to by a lot of names that are not often our actual legal names. 

  • Verde Solutions
  • Verde Company
  • Verde Energy
  • Verde Sustainable Solutions
  • Verde Chicago
  • Verde Energy Rebates
  • Verde Green Energy

We have recently rebranded to a DBA of Verde Energy Efficiency Experts, as the manifesto process demonstrated this was a better description for who we are.

Unexpected Benefits

I think this experience helped strengthen who we are – from how we interview and hire new employees, to how we handle customer service. It helped all of us come behind a common message – not what the leadership or manager thinks and feels, but instead, a carefully crafted core of the best takeaway of Verde from our customers and employees.

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