Flying Through A Successful Rebrand

Jacob Ottenheimer

One of the essential parts of a successful rebrand is the relationship between client and agency. This relationship must be built on understanding, trust, and the agency’s successful results. Pre-pandemic, in-person meetings, lunches, and other avenues were easy and helpful ways to build a client relationship. With many clients and agency staff members still working from home, it is important to take every opportunity to submerge yourself in your client’s brand while also building trust. 

One way to do this is by taking the opportunity to attend any major conference, expo, or other large event your client may hold. Learning in person with your clients is invaluable, and large-scale events, are many times an integral part of what a company or association is known for. The journey toward launching a successful rebrand is an intricate process involving a lot of research that can be discovered and validated at major events. 

Recently members of the Yes& team traveled to Atlanta, Georgia to join one of our clients, Helicopter Association International (HAI), at their annual HAI HELI-EXPO. Members of the HAI team had mentioned on several occasions, “You really can’t understand HAI HELI-EXPO until you experience it first-hand,” and they were correct. We were able to immerse ourselves in the expo, and we’re using that experience to provide a stronger rebrand. Here are a few things we achieved and learned.


Validating Research and Discovering New Insights 

Research is the foundation of any successful rebrand. To understand the current brand, how it functions, and how to best move forward, there must be a research stage. Tools such as surveys, stakeholder interviews, and brand audits aid research; but opportunities such as our experience at HAI HELI-EXPO add interactivity.   

At HAI HELI-EXPO, our team was able to better validate our research with a larger pool of people to speak with directly while the brand and expo experience was at the forefront of their minds. While we did discover some new, hyper-specific insights, our team found that the expo validated that the foundation of our research was solid and that we were moving in the right direction. However, while our experience validated the results we had discovered previously, this isn’t always the case. We often find a new piece to the research puzzle that unlocks something great we may not have discovered without the in-person experience. 

Strengthening the Trust with HAI 

Another key benefit to attending an in-person event with HAI was bonding with their team and strengthening trust. While our team built our relationship through virtual interactions, nothing replaces the bond we achieved in person. At these events, clients are typically extremely busy, excited, and probably a little bit (or maybe very) stressed. Working in tandem with HAI allowed us to become part of the same team, working towards the same goalhaving this year’s HAI HELI-EXPO be a huge success! 

Yes& dove right in at HAI HELI-EXPO to assist HAI’s team in areas we felt we could most successfully contribute. We had the opportunity to experience the event right there with them and found our teams’ alignment strengthened as a result. 


Understanding Key Audiences and Experiencing the Event with Them 

One of the integral parts of launching a rebrand is understanding the key audiences. While surveys, audits, and interviews helped us, there is no better opportunity than being in a large room with hundreds to thousands of them. 

At the HAI-EXPO we could see them in just the right environment, experiencing the HAI brand and seeing how they interact with it. HAI’s audience comes from various industries: the U.S. Military, fire and rescue services, helicopter tour companies, agriculture, medical services, general transportation, and many more. Meeting a large variety of people from various backgrounds was vital. 

Our team may not always be able to attend our clients’ events, but we are grateful for every opportunity we have. Immersive experiences such as attending HAI HELI-EXPO always deliver a stronger product, and we can’t wait for this exciting rebrand to take flight.

Yes& is the Washington, DC-based marketing agency that brings commercial, association, and government clients the unlimited power of “&” – using a full suite of branding, digital, event, marketing, public relations, and creative capabilities to deliver meaningful and measurable results.

Let’s talk about what the power of "&" can do for you.

Jacob Ottenheimer
Integrated Marketing Manager