From the Editor – Innovation drives need for new brand

Posted on Mar 1, 2014 :: Editor
Margaret LeBrun
Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer

It was a case of an outgrown name.

Kate Burgess, co-founder, owner and CEO of Elevate97, formerly called Fulfillnet, was bubbling over with enthusiasm for the company’s new brand when she gave me a sneak peek a couple weeks ago. She and her team, and many of their clients, had realized for some time that what they do in their Green Bay facility is much more than “pick, pack and ship.”

Since the company acquired Firehouse Graphics LLC a year ago, which brought its large-format printing business, it became clear that this was a multi-dimensional marketing company. Add to that astonishing growth – 450 percent in the past five years – and clearly the company was ready for its image to match its evolved mission.

Bridget Krage O’Connor of O’Connor Connective, Green Bay, was enlisted to help develop the new brand. After talking with every employee, one word kept rising to the surface. “We elevate” our clients’ brands, they told her. And the “97?” I don’t want to be a spoiler. Check out the story by MaryBeth Matzek.

If you find her story inspiring (and I think you will!), I encourage you to consider attending the next St. Norbert College CEO Breakfast & Strategy Series on March 6. Burgess will deliver her talk, “Transformation Through Rapid Growth” at 7:30 a.m. in the F.K. Bemis International Center on the campus in De Pere. Tickets are $60.

Burgess will likely talk about the three key values of her newly-branded company: Fun, personal responsibility and innovation.

We can probably all agree the fun and personal responsibility are excellent traits of a successful company. But for many, innovation is the game changer.

In the spirit of encouraging innovation in the New North – and shining the spotlight on those companies that do it well – in January we announced the launch of our first Insight Innovation Awards. I’m pleased to say many excellent contenders have already been nominated.

We have designed a simple form to make it easy for you to apply on behalf of your company. Whether your innovation involves products, process, people or enhances the planet we live on, keep in mind we are looking for breakthrough ideas that go beyond “inventions.”

Applications will be accepted through March 21. Detailed information and forms are available on our THINC! page.

A panel of independent judges will review the applications, select finalists and follow up for more information as necessary. Winners will be announced at our third annual THINC! event on May 20 at the James W. Perry Hall, UW-Fox Valley, in Menasha.

A big draw at THINC! will be our keynote speaker, Microsoft vice president for the U.S. Central Region, Efrem Z. Stringfellow. I had the pleasure of chatting with him by phone recently. Responsible for an 18-state region of the country, he’s in a unique position to offer insights into how a technology giant like Microsoft approaches innovation. We’re sure he’ll be a crowd pleaser! For more on Stringfellow, check out our story.

Watch for updates on our THINC! event in the April issue of Insight. Please contact me personally for any questions regarding the event or our Insight Innovation Award.

Think spring!

Margaret LeBrun

About Margaret LeBrun

Co-Publisher, Executive Editor View all posts by Margaret LeBrun →