Lowe

We helped a real estate company champion people as the most valuable asset in real estate.

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Challenge

In 1972, Lowe Enterprises was founded as a private real estate development, management, and investment company based in Los Angeles. Since then, the company has expanded into new offices around the country, building a broader range of properties and offering a wider range of services.

With growth came opportunity, but also difficulties communicating the company’s unique market position. New business units had been established, however its visual identity and communication assets (e.g., website) had become dated, and were no longer an accurate representation of the company’s culture and services.

As part of an initiative to establish a more cohesive identity, Lowe Enterprises changed its name to Lowe, and partnered with Innovation Protocol to evolve the brand for its next generation of growth.

Insight

In the midst of adopting a more unified business strategy, the company was also transitioning leadership to a new team, and needed to define its story in terms of the strengths of the company more broadly. This meant evolving from a benefactor and regionally driven brand, to a brand driven by its core values, competency, and ideology.

A deep audit of Lowe’s place in its ecosystem revealed that the company’s primary strength and differentiator lay in its people, who were recognized as bringing a special blend of innovative development and attentiveness to the needs of each unique customer, tenant, and local environment. It was based on this insight that we built the Lowe brand around the idea of Real Estate Beyond Buildings.

Solution

With a new strategic position, we developed new verbal and visual systems, as well as corporate brand guidelines to bring this message to market. These included a new articulation of the brand story and corporate values, a new visual identity, and the launch of new assets based on that identity, including a new website.

Outcome

Lowe successfully launched its new brand, which has been embraced enthusiastically across its branches nationwide. The website was redesigned and Lowe is actively developing content and assets based on the new brand system and guidelines.

BPS Supply Group

We helped an industrial distributor redefine the importance of infrastructure.

Challenge

Bakersfield Pipe and Supply (BPS) is the largest independent supply company in the Western United States, distributing pipes, valves, fittings, and equipment across a range of industries.

Initially, BPS exclusively served the needs of the oil and gas industry in Bakersfield, California. The volatile nature of the oil and gas market led BPS to target new industries such as food processing, pharmaceuticals and construction, as well as expand their geographic presence to better serve their new client base. By 2016, BPS had 22 locations, and needed the industry to recognize them as a national provider, not the local servicer they once were.

Insight

A deep dive into BPS’ key industries and competitor trends, extensive stakeholder interviews, and numerous on-site facility experience audits revealed a unique opportunity to rethink their legacy identity and communications strategy to effectively represent who they are today. The BPS name was a significant barrier to building an accurate understanding of their scale and reach. The name anchored the business to a specific geographic region, implying a much smaller-scale operation than the organization was in reality. This negatively impacted customers’ understanding about who BPS was and the value they could deliver.
Our conversations with executives, employees, and customers uncovered that the true value of BPS’ services extended far beyond the products they supply and into the lasting connections they create. Through infrastructure and a range of industrial applications, BPS is making health, safety, and prosperity possible across the country.

Solution

Our findings led us to develop a new approach to communicate the BPS brand and provide clarification surrounding the name through the tagline: Better Possibilities Start with BPS. This re-articulation of the BPS brand establishes the organization as more than a distributor of pipes and fittings, but rather a foundation-builder bridging divides and creating thriving communities.
To support the new brand communications, we developed a new vision, mission, and values to inspire the organization about the redefined direction for the brand. We also established the name “BPS Supply Group” to acknowledge the independent yet collaborative nature of the branch leaders and their respective staff.

Restaurants On The Run

We repositioned a food delivery veteran for the new era in food delivery.

Challenge

Restaurants on the Run delivers restaurant food through a proprietary, web-based ordering system. The company grew to become one of the nation’s largest restaurant food delivery services.

Restaurants on the Run relied heavily on promotions and discounts, as well as its reputation for customer service.  However, with competition intensifying, relying on functional benefits had the potential to commoditize the company.

Insight

We uncovered a critical differentiator that became the foundation for a new brand story – the company’s sophisticated use of data to ensure order accuracy.  This was casually referred to internally as Foodgistics (Food + Logistics).  The company did not celebrate the extent to which the intellectual property addressed a key consumer need while also increasing the company’s value as an acquisition target.

Solution

Restaurants on the Run’s consumers, who were largely business meeting coordinators, placed high value on the order customization process management – which was built directly into the company’s technology platform.  However, Restaurants on the Run never took credit for its technology investments and how they enabled a great customer experience.  We created a brand story that promoted the importance of this proprietary technology when selecting a food delivery vendor.

We then updated the verbal and visual brand systems to refocus Restaurants on the Run’s strategy. The website, brochure, logo, and sales sheets were redesigned in accordance with the new brand system.  We also created brand guidelines to ensure that future communications would be on-brand.

Insight

Following completion of the brand program, Restaurants on the Run was successfully acquired by Chicago-based GrubHub, and positioned as a new offering, GrubHub for Work.

Seven Lakes Technologies

We helped a technology provider redefine expectations in oil and gas software solutions.

Challenge

Since 2009, Seven Lakes Technologies has offered analytics and workflow software for oil operators. However, the company’s growth faced several challenges due to a severely depressed oil and gas market.

To expand its market reach, Seven Lakes Technologies planned to release a new flagship data analytics and actions engine, which would transform how large oil and gas companies access and use their information.

Seven Lakes Technologies needed a brand strategy to claim its position as a technology leader in oil and gas and introduce new offerings.

Insight

Although the Upstream Oil & Gas industry includes large, legacy organizations with their own proprietary data analytics solutions, nimbler companies are disrupting the status quo.

Our Discovery uncovered several opportunities.  Oil and gas management technologies were hard to use and manage, and required highly technical assistance to advance.  The pace of oil and gas production has accelerated and required increasingly dynamic information processing to act in a timely manner.  And the oil and gas solutions industry was made up of industry mining veterans that migrated to tech, whereas Seven Lakes was born a technology company that focused it technical savvy on oil and gas.

There was a clear opportunity for Seven Lakes to build a brand around its ability to amplify the impact of technology leadership in oil and gas companies.

Solution

We conducted full discovery research, defined a new brand position aimed at both business objectives and customer desires.  With a differentiated direction for the brand, Seven Lakes Technologies could engage oil and gas industry customers of all sizes by speaking to the importance of not only their data, but the people who capture, share, and act on it.  This empowered workforce used data-driven decision-making to maximize efficiency in both up and down markets.

We created supporting brand verbal and visual systems to guide marketing communications, and developed over 150 name recommendations for its new platform-as-a-service offerings.

Insight

Seven Lakes Technologies successfully re-launched its corporate brand at the same time as its flagship software platform.  Based on the frameworks and assets delivered, Seven Lakes successfully redesigned its website and established its market position within a single quarter.

Synagro

We helped an industry leader rebrand and prepare for acquisition.

Challenge

Synagro is the largest wastewater treatment operation in the U.S., with over 30 years of industry-leading experience. After many strategic acquisitions, Synagro expanded its portfolio to become a full-service, end-to-end product and solutions provider for wastewater treatment, waste disposal, and the production of new products from recycled waste.

As Synagro grew, communications became fragmented, focusing on the technical aspects of managing waste challenges at an individual product level rather than communicating the value of the broader organization to its stakeholders and diverse customers. Misaligned marketing materials produced by individual departments created challenges with customer comprehension, industry perceptions, and the ability to gain new clients and cross-sell.

Insight

During our discovery process, we learned that Synagro did more than treat wastewater but was not getting credit for its vast offerings, and that its competitors all communicated on a technical, almost scientific, level.

Solution

We created a new brand position around the synchronization of people and planet – synchronizing outputs from population growth with the health of the planet.  This was a position Synagro could own, with a new meaning behind the company’s name (synchronized growth).

We developed a new visual system and design executions based on this new position, drawing inspiration from the natural human-to-plant cycle that’s reinforced through Synagro’s offerings. The system focuses on imagery that captured images of the Earth that were relatable to their buyers, and environments where Synagro impacts the environment, rather than focusing on facilities and function.

Design and strategic executions included a new website, marketing collateral, creation of case studies, building social media strategies, event and space design, and multiple direct marketing materials. This visual strategy helped differentiate Synagro from competitors as well as introduce a new way of viewing what it does.  As a result, Synagro’s employees were proud to talk about where they worked.

Result

To better communicate its range of products and services, we reduced the brand architecture from thousands of offerings to four key categories: Cleaning, Transforming, Producing, and Reusing.  This created a framework audiences could easily remember, and facilitated an increase in cross-selling because sales professionals were able to talk about the extreme breadth of offerings in a simple way.

Ultimately the rebranded company and refined portfolio were successfully acquired by a private equity firm.

Schaffer

We helped a food pioneer grow through a brand system that met the needs of a modern audience.

Challenge

Schaffer is an event catering business based in Los Angeles. The company had established a strong reputation over 20 years but it was time to accelerate its growth.

For Schaffer, this meant more than winning new clients. It was about finding new meaning, energy, and direction for the business. However, competition was intensifying, and consumer preferences were shifting. To reach its growth goal, the company needed to engage with an emerging generation of key decision makers.

Insight

The first step was to understand what was driving industry change. Our analysis revealed increased interest in experimental food concepts and a preference for experiences over products. These trends presented Schaffer with a new opportunity.

Our audit revealed an opportunity beyond high-quality food and catering services. Where Schaffer truly excelled – but did not celebrate – was its creation of premium, memorable event experiences that brought client ideas to life.

Solution

We worked with Schaffer to assert a brand position through key messages that connected directly with their buying audiences. We evolved their visual identity to align with the new positioning, developing new color schemes, photography styles, and key design assets.  Both messaging and design came together in a new cross-platform web experience.

Verance

We helped a tech innovator continue to protect the entertainment industry.

Challenge

For over 20 years, Verance has been developing technologies to protect, measure, and enhance premium content for the entertainment industry. Its flagship product, Cinavia®, became a global standard for protecting filmed entertainment content on physical media.  However, Blu-ray and DVD ownership began to decline, and the protection of premium content on physical media was no longer enough for the company to survive.

In order to support its legacy Cinavia product while pursuing growth in new technology solutions, Verance needed to migrate to a portfolio of offerings and clarify its brand position.

Insight

Verance’s technologies were getting lost in tech-speak, making it hard for audiences to find and understand its offerings. Rather than explaining highly technical features, Verance needed to communicate high-value benefits that non-technical executives could grasp and celebrate.

Verance needed to delineate itself from its products.  By elevating the positioning of the company to industry thought leader, most communications could then focus on high-level client opportunities – migrating complex technical language down into the portfolio.

Solution

We recommended building an ingredient brand, like Dolby Digital or Gore-Tex.  We developed a strategy centered on this concept, with new messaging directions and communications materials to address key market segments.

We also created a comprehensive visual system and logo to infuse the brand with a look and feel that aligned with the new brand position. Brand guidelines ensured the organization’s consistent application of the brand system.

Outcome

Armed with updated verbal and visual brand systems, Verance activated new marketing efforts ranging from a new website and animated videos to corporate presentations and a trade show booth.  With its new master brand, Verance has the flexibility to extend its capabilities beyond its core industry.