As Tactical Social Media has grown and evolved from where it began at the start of 2015, our branding had to evolve and it was definitely time!
Why The (Tactical) Map?
Aside from the traditional logo, a map was introduced as part of the branding for Tactical Social Media.
The map was introduced to tie into the ‘tactical’ and ‘strategic’ aspects of how I approach social media marketing.
The original concept which came to mind was the old military maps – maps you would see Generals standing over, planning troop movements. Not able to find something royalty free, I chose a planning map for the Battle of Monmouth in the Revolutionary War and located an image in the public domain from the Library of Congress. (Side note – make sure ANY image you use in your social or web content is free from copyright restrictions or you have permission to use them.)
The significance to the map, aside from the above, is my connection to the area. I grew up in Monmouth County, NJ. That battle specifically took place where I spent my youth. I knew the history and locations.
The First Change – October 2015
In 2014 I uprooted my life and moved with my daughter and her mom to the Pacific Northwest. Unlike pass moves, the goal was to set out and immediately explore the area. It took 4 years of living in Upstate NY, within a 90 minute drive of Niagara Falls but it took 4 years (the week before I left) to get there. The same held true for my time in Tucson, AZ. It took a decade to get to the Grand Canyon.
We fell in love with the place and while life has changed, I’m staying put. The second map was an image from a 3D wood map of the Puget Sound. The idea was to keep with the map theme but bring it closer to home. That map served as the background for our blog post featured images as well as our banners on social platforms. Most of those featured images will remain for a while (at least until I get to updating older content). The one thing missing from the map – that ‘tactical’ aspect.
The Second Change – March 2017
In July of 2016 I moved to Salmon Beach on the west side of Point Defiance Park in Tacoma’s North End. Access to the house is through a gated entrance on the edge of the park followed by a hike in or down 210 stairs (and yes, what goes down must go up). The significance to the move is the location on the water. It’s provided for a rather unique lifestyle that allows me to fish off the deck and indulge in my kayaking obsession. Some people take a break and go for a walk. I hop in a kayak and paddle.
The map I chose is a nautical chart if the Puget Sound used for plotting sailing courses. The full image includes the compass I use for measuring distances when planning kayaking trips. The lower point on the compass is centered at Salmon Beach. The map clearly lays out the area of Puget Sound I call home.
The map, when adding in weather and tide considerations, brings me back to the tactical concept while retaining a close connection to where I live. Now, it is also tied into my outside passion.
Part Of A Bigger Picture
If you have paid attention, the map was part of a bigger re-branding project. We have a new logo and new colors. Over the next few weeks this site will be getting a makeover (our social profiles have already). The logo below is the brainchild of Rhonda Negard over at Fat Dog Creatives. She worked her magic and captured my vision perfectly.
The logo has 4 distinct elements at the core of its design:
The kayak. Tied directly to my obsession and fits with the nautical chart.
The compass. This grew out of the initial compass rose idea I considered.
The compass. Pointed northwest symbolizing my location in the PNW
An eye. Harder to see, but it is there. Focused on where I am going.
The Final Element
Rhonda added a final touch to the rebranding and merged the logo she designed, the map and the ‘look’ of an old, worn map reminiscent of our original map and those of old school sailing vessels.
I’m pleased with the changes and looking forward to how else things at Tactical Social Media evolve. Stay Tuned!
This article first appeared as “The Evolution Of Our Branding” on the Tactical Social Media blog.
Robert works with solopreneurs and small to midsized businesses helping them effectively use social media marketing to build relationships, improve brand awareness, drive web traffic, improve SEO and generate leads through an organic process
Learn more about Robert Nissenbaum at Tactical Social Media.