When Wendy Coulter attended a Cary Chamber of Commerce expo in 1995, she was just looking for a job and hoping to find opportunities there. But life had other plans that day, and by the time she left, Wendy found herself with three clients who wanted her graphic design services.
Hummingbird Creative Group was born that day 27 years ago and has been soaring ever since.
According to Coulter, the name of the company has many meanings, beyond the fact that it was her nickname in high school. “Hummingbirds can fly forward, backwards, upside down, and sideways. We’ll do whatever it takes to fulfill the needs of our customers, even if we have to fly upside down,” Coulter laughed. “Hummingbirds are also territorial, and that’s what company brands are all about—positioning your unique brand.”
Hummingbird Creative Group has helped thousands of brands take flight by helping them differentiate their brands and grow revenue. The company works primarily with leaders of healthcare, life sciences, agriculture, manufacturing/distribution, and B2B and service businesses to define brand strategy, develop sustainable brand messaging and implement marketing tactics through advertising, digital marketing, environmental branding (such as themed booths and signage), graphic design, sales enablement, public relations, and online marketing services.
The boutique Cary-based agency can serve as a fully outsourced marketing department, offer strategic branding and coaching services, or they can work on a project basis to fulfill the tactical needs of any organization’s marketing plan.
Hummingbird’s secret sauce is its commitment to the “Voice of the Customer” (VOC). “We’ve met with so many companies who are creating their messaging in the board room, making up what they think their customers want to hear. But we do it differently; we actually get on the phone and talk to our clients’ customers to hear the language they use when they describe what makes our client different from their competitors. Then we craft the brand messaging using those words. After all, who can sell it better than the customers themselves?” Coulter said.
And it really works. Coulter has seen clients whose marketing pieces were falling flat go on to make far more sales when they position their marketing and brand according to the voice of the customer.
Coulter stressed the importance of having an outside person talk to customers; after all, it’s hard to be candid with a vendor when you’re talking in person, even though people will talk behind their backs.
“My clients’ customers will tell me things they wouldn’t tell the company. When you really want to hear what clients have to say, you need to get a third party on the phone with them,” Coulter advised.
Success is also all about the long game. “What we’ve learned is that a lot of people measure the success of marketing on distinct key performance indicators, but the longer term effect of creating a strong brand orientation is a lot bigger than the sale you make today. It actually impacts the value of the company to have strong brand orientation,” she said.
Hummingbird’s client list is staggeringly lengthy, as is its list of awards, both for the company and for Coulter herself, who is well-known in the community, for her amazing success as an entrepreneur and for her commitment to social causes.
“We’ve supported hundreds of nonprofits over the years, so our culture is all about being intimate with our community. We love that we have all these community ties,” she said.
So why did Coulter decide to support the PrideLife Expo by offering pro bono marketing services and being a sponsor?
“This opportunity is in alignment with our community outreach focus, of course, but for me, my business was born at an expo, so I would encourage anyone to see the PrideLife Expo as the place to go to meet another network of people,” she said. “It’s a sustainability thing; the connections you’ll make at the expo can live for years and years. They’re valuable and high quality and they last forever.”
And it’s true! The 2022 PrideLife Expo will provide attendees with plenty of opportunities for connections with other attendees and with the 133 exhibitors and sponsors who will showcase their LGBTQ+-affirming products and services.
To learn more about the Expo and register to attend, please visit www.PrideLifeExpo.org.
To discover how Hummingbird Creative Group can help your business soar, visit https://hummingbird-creative.com. You can also find the on the following social media platforms: