Since launching in 2006, Manhattan marketing and consulting group New Boston Creative has helped companies grow.
While each client has particular strengths and challenges for expansion, New Boston co-owner Lisa Sisley says a core commitment to quality and authenticity is the essential prerequisite.
“You can have great branding, but if your products and services don’t live up to the promise, then you are misleading people,” says Sisley. “We really try to show great quality, homegrown businesses that their brand needs to reflect that. Often what we have been able to do is to ground that in the geographic area they live in and the people they serve.”
Small Kansas businesses often face unique challenges in expanding, says co-owner Kristin Brighton. Frequently, a family has built a successful venture on handshakes, promises delivered and an impeccable local reputation. But this personal approach does not always readily translate across state lines.
“In Kansas, we are used to word of mouth and reputation marketing. We are used to doing business on a handshake,” adds Sisley. “We help people understand how you translate word of mouth and a handshake to today’s digital outreach.”
But the New Boston principals say that when clients work to reach national standards, they should never sever their community roots. Many of New Boston’s most successful campaigns have focused on a client’s home region, often the Kansas plains, and on the culture of Kansas.
“The flip-side of the negative stereotypes of Kansas are the positive stereotypes of Kansas,” says Sisley. “Folks who recruit employees, who are looking for business associations, feel that those of us in Kansas are honest, ethical, hard-working, that we honor our word, that we have integrity, that we just get things done and do what we say we are going to do.”
“… if your products and services don’t live up to the promise, then you are misleading people.”
The Kansas Brand
Over the course of its history, Kansas has been known as “the Wheat State” and “the Jayhawker State,” in addition to its official nickname of “the Sunflower State.” For many outside of Kansas, the state’s image is inextricably linked with Dorothy and The Wizard of Oz.
But New Boston Creative co-owner Kristin Brighton advises Kansas businesses to keep away from these stereotypes in developing a name or branding.
“We try to avoid Kansas clichés whenever possible,” says Brighton. “We think the Wizard of Oz is the worst thing to ever happen to the state of Kansas because it allows people to reinforce stereotypes about dust storms and tornadoes.”
Instead, says Brighton, Kansas businesses should focus on an identity that fits well with industry standards while also emphasizing the company’s particular history, purpose and product.