COVID-19 has upended businesses across the globe. The marketing and advertising industry is no exception.
While expenditure cuts characterized the times and were necessary to preserve cash, this crisis proved the resilience and creativity that makes our industry special. Accountability has a track record of forging ahead with planned investments despite a crisis. When you have a solid vision and a data-driven plan to execute your strategy, it’s hard to mess things up.
Innovation during a recession
In 2008, the beginning of the financial crisis in the U.S. sent a ripple throughout the world. While it might seem counterintuitive to invest in your business and launch a new product in the midst of an imminent recession, I decided to launch Accountability.
Our goal has not changed since. I founded the company to empower agency CFOs and their teams with tools that enable them to contribute strategically to the agency’s growth and profitability. I can speak from experience that most agency finance teams are consumed with the day-to-day tasks required to close the books each month and “keep the scoreboard up to date.” Accountability was designed to make these tasks easier, but just as important, to enable the finance team to collaborate with account management, production, and media teams.
A brand reset during COVID
Twelve years, 200 agencies, and 30 countries later, Accountability is still a product-led organization. While we continue to grow through word-of-mouth, it was important for our brand identity to reflect our vision and support our business objectives, hence we proceeded with our rebrand plans despite the pandemic.
Brand identity goes beyond a new logo and color palette. Sure, our visual identity is a tangible representation of the Accountability brand and helps with enforcing consistency across our marketing assets and sales collateral, but more importantly, the Accountability brand represents our values and our promise to customers.
This brand reset was a multi-phase project that we budgeted in three parts:
- A comprehensive brand audit and competitive analysis was an essential input to solidifying our positioning and messaging
- A visual identity system that is now reflected in different applications, including our product and a redesigned website
- Recurring marketing budget to amplify our brand
We used the Accountability platform to manage the financials for this brand reset to ensure that we stay on-budget, and the project team tracked the detailed tasks in Trello to keep the project on-time. The integration between Accountability and Trello kept the rest of the leadership team and me abreast of the project’s health.
A key lesson I learned throughout this journey is that a rebrand does not have an end date. While brand guidelines exist to ensure consistency across all of our materials, we need to ensure that our customer’s experience with Accountability consistently delivers on our brand promise. You’ll see this manifested through our product and our team.