April 4th is Equal Pay Day. Last year, women earned about 80 cents on the dollar.
As a female business owner, I’ve seen the talent, determination, and fearlessness women bring to leading and marketing their businesses. They combine bad-assery with resourcefulness and make s#@t happen for their people and their profits.
To celebrate Equal Pay Day and make up for those missing 20 cents, here are 20 reasons why the women on your team are worth every penny in growing your business and creating connections.
- Women have the superpower of empathy, and use it to create great work environments and lead their teams.
- We have an amazing eye for opportunity, and the skills & determination to master productivity and profitability.
- Clear strategic vision. Every startup or established business needs that in spades.
- Women drive 70-80% of ALL CONSUMER SPENDING, and we know how to brand and market to them.
- Plain and simple, women are really great at managing money.
- Perseverance. The ability to keep pushing through the ups and downs of running a business or raising capital.
- Amazing negotiation skills. Whether it’s landing a top position in a predominantly male field or getting a toddler in the car for school, we know how to navigate challenging conversations with clarity and grace.
- Resilience. Understanding what it really takes, and how to put it in action.
- An incredible capacity for resourcefulness. We find ways to make things happen, even if it’s inventing a way.
- We’re creative and inventive as hell. Like beer? Central heating? Your dishwasher? Thank a woman.
- We understand how vulnerability leads to strong, authentic relationships – even with our customers and clients. If you don’t think vulnerability has power, watch this Brene Brown TED talk with over 34 MILLION VIEWS.
- We are your calm eye at the center of a chaotic storm, particularly in times of growth or change.
- When things get tough, we’re great at building support networks instead of flailing solo.
- We’re strong as hell. I could link to a source here, or I could just recite how far we’ve come making 80 cents on the dollar, or ya know, childbirth.
- Our intuition helps us connect dots and make great choices for ourselves and our companies.
- We’re hardwired for great customer service, because we understand what makes people tick.
- We build powerful teams, because we know how to ask for the help we need from our colleagues.
- Strong emotional intelligence gives us an insight on what our colleagues and clients need to feel heard.
- Soft skills are magic sauce for a leadership team, and women have them in spades.
- Grit. Angela Duckworth sums it up in this TED Talk that inspired that start of Spur Studio. Let’s talk if you want to connect about the ways women can help grow your business.
Confluence Design | Build came to Spur at the very beginning of their marketing process. They needed branding that matched the strength of their structural designs and building practices.
Confluence Design | Build centers on the convergence of artistry and craftsmanship in Montana residential and commercial construction. Each project is approached with careful consideration of the owner’s unique needs and tastes. Spur took that same customized approach to creating branding that appeals to Confluence’s target clients, and sets the company apart from the competition. In a few short months, we created a name, logo, business cards, and a website to get them in front of the right people and make high value sales.
The Confluence Design | Build logo conveys the intersection of artistry and craftsmanship the company is known for without using the river and mountain imagery used by many competitors.
Strong enough to stand alone
Balanced with business name
Gray scale version
Owner Paul Jenkins drives a lot of his business through in-person networking. It was critical he had a professional business card that makes a great first impression and gets remembered by potential clients.
Confluence’s clients want to see the attention to detail in their designs and building style. We had one of our photographers go on site to capture the structural beauty of projects in a range of their residential and commercial projects like the Helena location of Big Dipper Ice Cream. Those photographs were used for marketing materials used at trade shows like the Southwest Montana Building Industry Association’s Home Expo.
Since their rebrand, Confluence Design | Build has become one of the most successful contractors for primary residences and commercial remodels in the Helena Valley. Clients from across the country contact them via their website for custom fishing lodges and vacation homes along the Missouri River.
When WGM Group approached us about a new marketing initiative upon their 50th anniversary, it was a prime opportunity for new design and strategy to make sales in new markets.
WGM Group is a comprehensive planning and design firm, founded in 1966 on a core of civil engineering services. Over the past fifty+ years they’ve experienced incredible evolution and growth. They now provide clients across the northern Rockies with six distinct service lines.
When we began planning their marketing strategy they had offices in Missoula and Helena. Within a few months of starting the rebranding effort they opened a brand new office in Kalispell. This past month, they celebrated the grand opening of their newest office in the heart of downtown Bozeman.
Their conservative brand identity no longer matched the design thinking their target clients want.
The old logo didn’t set WGM Group apart from the competition.
WGM principals and team members spend a lot of time networking at events and trade shows. It was key their new marketing materials made them stand apart from the competition. Most importantly, their old website was lacking clear messaging that explained why their ideal clients should choose them over the other engineering firms in a crowded field.
We spent the first part of our engagement really listening to who they wanted to be reaching with their marketing initiatives.
We clarified what those people really needed to hear to feel confident about WGM’s abilities. We defined how WGM delivers the best results on time and on budget.
We then designed a powerful new brand and website strategy with everything the WGM team told us about their strengths, the challenges keeping their clients up at night, and how they solve those problems.
The new logo reflects the high level of design thinking, technical expertise, and integrity the firm needs to communicate in its first impression with target clients.
A strong color palette and sub-logos for each service line sets WGM Group apart from the competition, and convey their unique strengths to clients.
The website makes it immediately clear ‘who’ WGM is, what they do, and how they deliver successful projects that save time and money.
The new brand was launched in Spring of 2017, and immediately began attracting the clients WGM wants to be working with across Montana and the northern rocky mountain region. They’ve developed the Downtown Helena Master Plan. And led a $70 million transformation to turn Missoula’s Southgate Mall into a mixed-use neighborhood center.
They’re securing the contracts they want because they got clear about what they really do best, and started marketing how that solves problems for the people they work with.
The Spur team is a bunch of adventure junkies, finding inspiration and twisted pleasure in pushing our limits. The deep peace and huge smiles we find in the mountains fuel our creativity and brings our brand strategy clarity. Naturally we were pretty amped to launch a new brand for a training facility developed specifically for mountain pursuits, founded by none other than The North Face Athlete, ultra-runner, and all around great human, Mike Wolfe.
To put it mildly, Mike is a beast. I mean, seriously, if you need some motivation watch this video of him running The Crown of the Continent from Montana to Canada or this interview. Right now.
HARNESSING THE SPIRIT OF ADVENTURE FOR A UNIQUE BRAND IDENTITY
Mike approached us this past winter with marketing needs for The Mountain Project a training and coaching facility that prepares athletes for achieving their full potential in the mountains. It’s also a community that harnesses their collective love for watching a sunrise from a mountain peak, and the true joy that comes from a day of deep powder and perfect lines.
Over the next few months, we had the pleasure of working closely with Mike to develop the foundation of his brand: a clear story, powerful logo, and professional business cards that capture the strength, focus, and wildness The Mountain Project represents. It was a blast every step of the way, constantly reminding us why we love where we live and what we do.
A COMMUNITY OF INSPIRATION AND ASPIRATION
This past Thursday, Mike hosted the Grand Opening of The Mountain Project gym in Bozeman, and we joined in the celebration. The facility itself is beautiful. A stunning mural from local artist Rachel Pohl combining peaks from the Himalaya, the Andes, and the Bridger Ridge covers the entire eastern wall to keep athletes motivated.
But, it’s the community The Mountain Project has brought together that’s truly amazing. The people I met at the grand opening weren’t just incredibly fit. They were genuinely happy, deeply engaging and obviously ready for the next adventure, whatever that may be. My kiddo ran around and danced with other little mountaineers while parents drank craft brews and made plans for the next big run or ride. We talked about our stoke for the ski season, and confessed we may need Mike and his team to kick our butts into gear before it begins.
This level of comfort, camaraderie and inspiration I felt at that barbecue is The Mountain Project’s authentic brand, and it’s a damn good one.
If you need help defining the authentic story that inspires and motivates your target audiences, let’s talk. We’d love the grand adventure of creating a brand and defining a marketing strategy to shout your message from the mountaintops.
This week I had the pleasure of joining 100 or so other Montanans who are incredibly passionate about this amazing place we call home at the gorgeously restored boutique Hotel Arvon in Great Falls. I am leaving with more confidence than ever that I am beyond fortunate to live in the company of great minds, and even better hearts. I’m even more confident we were gifted an incredible marketing opportunity in the Montana brand – a powerful draw for visitors and businesses around the world.
The theme of the Montana Ambassadors Annual Conference was “Working Better Together”; a concept that absolutely defines what I believe makes Montana the Last Best Place. In a state that is nearly 150,000 square miles with just over 1 million people total population, I couldn’t possibly feel more surrounded by genuine companionship and true community. For all the times I find myself solo in wide, open spaces I never feel alone.
Why? Because Montana has a culture of rolling up our sleeves to do what’s needed to help our friends and neighbors when they could use an extra set of hands. Car trouble on a sleepy country road? No problem; it’s almost guaranteed the first (and possibly only) person to come by will stop and help. And you’ll probably get a good cup of coffee and some great conversation to share while you wait for a tow. As my friend and colleague from Leadership Montana Chantel Scheiffer said in this beautifully written op-ed about the importance of civility “what we hold in common often outweighs our differences…Montanans believe in the importance of hard work and an honest living…We raise barns, mend fences and if we see a ranch fire, we all pitch in to help.”
Damn straight we do. We pitch in and collaborate because of love, and work ethic, and pride. Because we see the value in ourselves and each other; and because we know Montana has a rich past and an even greater future. Keynote speaker and fellow HATCHer David Yakos of Salient Technologies followed with another powerful point that resonates so deeply with me: “We work in Montana to live in Montana.” We are incredibly fortunate to live in a culture that values balancing adventure, family, and creative expression with profitability and business growth. That balance makes it incredibly fulfilling and exciting to be growing a marketing agency with a head full of ideas and a heart full of the desire to explore more and live fully.
Thank you to all of our hosts and even organizers for helping us work better together.