State of Colorado Minority Business Office
State of Colorado Minority Business Office : end-user insight : brand strategy : brand positioning : brochure redesign
For the past few years, the State of Colorado Minority Business Office (MBO) had been using collateral that was outdated and wasn’t effectively communicating their reason for being to its core audiences: minority and women-owned businesses.
By interviewing dozens of business owners that make up the MBO’s target market, we quickly discovered that even if a business owner had heard of the MBO, they didn’t really have any idea what the organization did.
Part of the challenge is that businesses would logically look to them to get certified as a disadvantaged business or to participate in government programs, but the MBO doesn’t directly provide any services. Instead, they are a go-between, connecting businesses to government agencies who offer services and to private sector businesses looking to partner with minority and women-owned businesses. Given the chance, the MBO could cause a seismic shift in the businesses with which they interact. The MBO has resources that can guide new businesses, that can help businesses pursue local, state and national government contracts, and that can help connect private businesses with minority or women-owned business as contractors. They just needed their collateral to tell the right story. Our challenge was to do so in an authentic way that would connect with the businesses they want to reach.
We started with a concept that would quickly and clearly communicate the wide range of benefits for minority and women-owned businesses. We then created a design concept that was more inspiring and engaging than the typical head shot of a happy minority business owner. The result is a piece that connects with a wide variety of businesses of all sizes whether they are a construction company, a caterer, a business consultant or even a technology company.
This shift in tone and feel has allowed the target to see the MBO’s commitment to helping minority and woman-owned businesses in Colorado realize their full potential. It has also helped the organization position minority and women-owned businesses as a valuable resource that private companies should consider tapping into.
Inquiries from minority and women-owned businesses have more than doubled over previous years. In addition, the brand articulation and agency recommendations are being integrated into all aspects of the MBO’s marketing. This has helped shift more of the initial inquiries from calls asking what the MBO does to questions about their business’s specific needs and goals.