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New Brand Identity for Nina Hale, Inc.

Relaunch reflects agency, industry changes

By Kevyn Burger
Wed, 2017-02-22 15:36

Rapid growth. Renewed focus. Revolutionized industry.

Nina Hale, Inc., the Minneapolis performance digital marketing agency, got its start with a single employee—you guessed it, Nina Hale—in 2005.

An early expert in search engine optimization and placing strategic online ads, Hale began working in digital marketing when the field was still in its infancy, “before the first iPhone,” as Hale puts it, “when I had to explain what a search engine was.”

A dozen years later, the agency has a staff of 70 digital media specialists and consultants who work with a diverse portfolio of 35 enterprise clients.

“We have grown organically and carefully over the years. We went from be being a consultant to being a serious agency. Our brand did not always keep up,” says Hale. “We needed help bringing it to life.”

Hale and her team looked to Little & Company, a Minneapolis-based design and branding agency, to shepherd a year-long redesign process of its internal and external identity, which includes a sleek new website.

“We needed to bring in an outsider to portray our strengths. To tell the truth, we are a little too Minnesotan. We are strong and confident, but that’s not always how we portray ourselves. Our humility is for real,” Hale confessed.

Little & Company took a holistic approach to rebranding, starting with conducting employee interviews and observing the agency in its day-to-day operations.

“Their process was fascinating. We had to think about the public-facing side of the company,” notes Nina Hale CEO Donna Robinson. “We articulated our mission and values, all the qualities we want to show, then looked at where we want to be from an aspirational standpoint.”

The agency’s gradual shift in its business focus has led it to spend far more time crafting as well as executing a digital strategy for its clients. The agency has developed a focus on e-commerce and using data to create lead generation.

“We needed to update the look and feel of what are doing. Digital has gotten more complicated and sophisticated,” Robinson says. “The new brand reflects the high quality of work we are doing.”

Located in downtown Minneapolis, the agency is employee-owned. In 2014, Hale sold to her staff through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan. She retains her title as Founder.