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.

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.

Notre Dame

We helped a world-renowned university manage its most iconic symbols.

Challenge

Notre Dame is a university with a rich history and esteemed athletics program. With numerous stakeholders – students, athletes, alumni, coaches and fans– the Notre Dame Athletics brand has numerous impassioned audiences that all care deeply about the success of the “Fighting Irish”.

Notre Dame Athletics was managing a portfolio of invaluable brand assets without brand guidelines and standards. This confused decisions such as which assets to use on its hallowed football field and helmets. The lack of guidelines made decisions inefficient, inconsistent, and political.

Insight

We identified current associations and opinions of each brand asset. For example, there were multiple iterations of the Notre Dame monogram – the strongest identifier of the athletics program.

Notre Dame Athletics needed an asset hierarchy and structure, as well as a strategy to ensure consistent application of the brand system.

Solution

We developed comprehensive brand guidelines for internal and external stakeholders.  This framework included profiles for each visual element, including color, typography, mascots, graphics, slogans, and use cases.

We also rebuilt the Notre Dame monogram to ensure that this primary mark is used consistently inside and outside the university.

LACBA

We helped a 100+ year old organization relate to a new generation of legal professionals.

Challenge

Since 1878, the Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA) has served legal professionals with career, education, and service offerings. With over 24,000 members, the association grew into one of the largest in the nation.

Over the last 30 years, the legal profession has become accessible to a broader talent base, with different needs than their predecessors.   Younger lawyers did not understand how LACBA membership could benefit them, and the working stresses in the legal profession left little time to participate in community programs.  As a result, LACBA’s membership was in decline despite an exponential growth in the number of legal professionals.

LACBA needed to identify the organization’s value for a new generation of legal professionals.

Insight

The organization’s primary benefit was no longer its information offerings.  LACBA’s primary benefit has become the network it provides for lawyers, judges, academics, and law students to connect with each other.  We helped LACBA realize that its brand is about the collective talents, knowledge, and voice of the people it enables to drive change in the legal community.

Solution

We reorganized LACBA’s portfolio to align with audience need rather than content type. We then repositioned the association around the diversity and strengths of its community of legal professionals.

Built on the new brand positioning, we developed a visual system that differentiated LACBA from newer competitive legal associations. The visual system was designed specifically to appeal to younger attorneys, and came to life in a new website, internal signage, communications tools, and marketing assets.

Outcome

The LACBA brand system has been implemented throughout the organization and has become an integral part of board member and employee onboarding.

Diocese of Orange

We helped the Catholic Church create cohesion with a unified brand voice and design system.

Challenge

The Diocese of Orange is one of the largest and fastest growing Catholic communities in the nation with 62 parishes and numerous programs, services, and schools in Orange County, California.

The Diocese of Orange purchased the Crystal Cathedral and its surrounding 45 acres with the intention of creating a central campus for Catholicism in the West.

That same year, the Diocese launched a capital campaign to gain financial support for the new property. While the marketing materials focused primarily on the functional aspects of the physical property, there was no mention of the property’s purpose or how it related to the Diocese at large. For the capital campaign to be successful, the Diocese recognized that both the property and the Diocese needed a defined purpose and identity.

One barrier to achieving this was that active Catholics had strong relationships with their community parishes and priests, but little interest in connecting with those outside of their immediate place of worship. As a result, each parish focused its communications on its own congregation. It therefore became increasingly difficult for audiences to understand and support the Diocese.

Insight

Through in-depth research including 60+ interviews with clergy, lay leaders, and parishioners, we learned that the vernacular of local and global Catholicism can be isolating. In an effort to unite Catholics of all ages, ethnicities, and socioeconomic backgrounds, we re-established the Diocese of Orange’s core mission as an institution that leads individuals on their own, highly personal faith journey.

The Crystal Cathedral – renamed the Christ Cathedral – was positioned as the beacon of faith in Orange County, the physical space where audiences could experience their own journey of faith together.

Solution

Armed with a clarified purpose and meaning, we developed a new visual identity, brand architecture system, and messaging strategy for both the Diocese and the Christ Cathedral property. The systems were treated as a “family of brands” with shared visual assets, voice, and tone to reinforce their relationships to each other.

Result

The brand systems were applied to numerous websites for the Diocese of Orange and Christ Cathedral, as well as all subsequent marketing campaigns.

 The Diocese of Orange also conducted two waves of brand equity research to measure awareness, opinion, and perceptions among Orange County Catholics of the Diocese institutions and key leadership. The first research phase was run prior to investment in the brand programs, and the second wave was run after the brand program was executed.

There was a sharp increase in awareness, positive opinion, and foundational perceptions of the Diocese and its leaders. This increase was most pronounced among young and engaged Catholics, who were key to the Diocese’s growth and success.  The quantitative research also validated the positioning of the Christ Cathedral property, and instructed individual parishes on how to drive engagement within their own communities.

Conqur Endurance Group

Bringing clarity and purpose to a growing brand portfolio of athletic events.

Conqur Endurance Group Logo

Challenge

A subsidiary of McCourt Global, LA Marathon LLC is an organization that produces running events throughout Southern California including the Los Angeles Marathon, the Santa Monica Classic, and the U.S. Marathon Olympic Team Trials.

Since the corporate brand shared the same name as its most well-known event, it was difficult for audiences to understand that the organization was more than just the Los Angeles Marathon. As a result, audience recognition remained stagnant and the organization struggled to grow its portfolio through new partnerships and sponsorships. The organization needed to elevate its identity above its signature events.

Insight

Our branding engagement began with in-depth field research into the experience of LA Marathon LLC’s events – attending, cheering, and even participating. At these events, we also conducted qualitative interviews and learned that the act of running wasn’t what unified participants, sponsors and supporters.  Rather they were united by the feeling of individual grit and mutual support that comes with endurance.

Solution

To put the spirit of endurance at the forefront of the brand, we renamed LA Marathon LLC as Conqur Endurance Group. The new name was supported by a new visual identity, website design, and brand messaging platform based on the tagline and rallying cry, “Triumph in Motion,” which encouraged participants, partners, and the brand itself to use endurance as a channel for inspiration, training, and celebrating human connection.