RGP

We reinvigorated a management consulting firm by putting people first.

Challenge

RGP is a unique management consulting firm. Previously a subdivision of Deloitte, RGP’s focus is helping Fortune 500 companies solve complex business challenges by leveraging subcontracted industry experts. RGP underwent significant evolutions in its operational model, and expanded its solutions portfolio aggressively, in part through acquisitions. RGP needed a new brand that would strategically unify its focus and voice with its clients, prospects, workforce, and investors.

Insight

RGP was a pioneer in the agile consulting model, but did not form its identity around the practice when the company originated it decades ago. Agile consulting has since become a standard in the staffing of consulting engagements and in the vernacular of leading consulting firms. Further, RGP had not invested heavily in marketing the firm since its success was driven by consistent demand, longstanding client relationships, and its ties to Deloitte. It was clear that the consulting industry had evolved, and RGP could not retroactively claim its position as the originator of agile consulting. A new narrative and identity was needed.

Solution

Through a robust discovery phase, we uncovered more meaningful, durable, and differentiating truths about RGP beyond the construct of its business model. RGP’s unique and defensible territory was the way it humanized business, even when working on complex technical challenges. We used this human-first concept to develop a brand positioning and verbal system focused on RGP’s authentic human connections. To bring the brand to life, we also developed a proprietary visual system designed to tell RGP’s human-first story.

Lastly, we partnered closely with RGP’s marketing leadership to design and execute a comprehensive implementation plan that included an identity overhaul of the company’s marketing assets, leadership and employee training, and a full suite of governance materials including brand guidelines, message guides, and sales tools.

Enterprise Singapore

Deliver tools and strategies to help expand the global presence of Singaporean businesses via a Brand Storytelling Masterclass

The Brand Masterclass Course

Enterprise Singapore is a Singaporean government agency that champions enterprise development for Singaporean brands. Their focus is on expanding the global presence of Singaporean businesses.

The Singapore government identified a diverse group of prominent business leaders, and asked IP to develop a one-week course on how to build strong brand stories. Their specific priorities were growing business value beyond products and services, communicating intergenerationally, maintaining a consistent story across markets and borders, and using digital channels to scale messaging efficiently.

With these priorities, we developed the five-day Brand Storytelling Masterclass. The content was developed to be cumulative, and was built upon 5 full-day modules.

This high-energy course combined classroom instruction, in-depth case studies, live workshop activities, 1-on-1 consulting sessions, and insightful site visits with senior business executives at some of the leading brands in Los Angeles.

The Outcome

At course completion, attendees were asked to share learnings, and to present their plans of action for building more compelling brand stories upon their return to Singapore.  They had developed visions for their businesses that would excite their teams to join them on a new mission, compel customers to believe in them, and encourage their leadership teams to reset the foundational directions of their businesses and brands.

This course was not designed to deliver a template for brand storytelling. Instead, attendees left the Brand Storytelling Masterclass with the tools, strategies, and guidance needed to evolve their businesses in an informed, authentic way – with passion and purpose.

Spark

We helped a non-profit inspire a generation of students and spark a new movement.

Challenge

Spark is a national nonprofit that provides middle school students with opportunities to explore career options. In 2015, Spark’s program was in 27 schools, serving over 1,250 students living in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia.
With new funding from multiple foundations, Spark had the resources to expand the organization, its offerings, and regions served. However, there was no clear growth plan. A lack of a unified story and purpose, many disconnected regional brands, and an unclear service and program portfolio we’re holding the organization back.
Spark needed an umbrella story and clear strategy to better articulate the organization’s mission and growth, and ensure the greatest impact on students.

Insight

A thorough Discovery Research process equipped us with the tools and understanding to begin building a comprehensive strategy. It helped us to 1) understand how Spark’s communications were informing existing perceptions, 2) identify opportunities for market differentiation, and 3) uncover the needs of Spark’s many diverse stakeholders. We also conducted an experience audit (from shadowing students to visiting corporate mentors), which helped us locate areas for operational improvement.
Our two biggest takeaways centered on the way Spark described its organization. For one, Spark mostly focused on communicating functional elements such as program timing and other logistics. This was too narrow of a message, and was missing an emotional element. Secondly, the use of deficit language (i.e. negative sounding terms and labels) was not doing justice to the positive impact the organization was having on students’ lives.
These efforts didn’t recognize that there was a greater story to tell about the human element of the organization – the people involved, the emotional connection, and the impact of involvement. The impact on the student is what made all stakeholders excited – more specifically the possibilities shown to the student, the flame that is ignited, and the understanding of what their future could be like. This provided Spark with the opportunity to elevate the student to be the hero of the brand – something all stakeholders could get behind.

Solution

Our findings led us to the brand position: The Possibility Movement – Bringing individual and communities together to show middle school students what’s possible for their unique future. Everyone can get behind this idea. Not only was it cool for kids, but it was compelling for donors and schools, and exciting for parents and mentors.
Along with the positioning we developed a corresponding personality to match the energy of the possibility movement – one which would be inclusive and accessible of many stakeholders regardless of their background or education level. We also evolved the brand and product architecture to bring the separate regional brands under a One Spark strategy. This way, Spark could streamline its communications, better organize its initiatives and programs, and safe costs in the process.
We developed a Visual System and logo to reflect the refreshed brand and personality. Since there was no full time, in house designer, we designed hand drawn patterns, simple iconography, and a cohesive photography style for seamless implementation.
To ensure consistent application of the brand in the future, we developed brand guidelines and held brand trainings and exercises with Spark employees to explain the brand. We then brought all of the pieces to life in a newly developed website and additional marketing collateral.

Outcome

As a result of the program, Spark employees have been more engaged and inspired, and the internal culture of the organization has been reinvigorated. More than ever, students are proud of their involvement with Spark, and more importantly, are eager to talk about it.
With a consistent and compelling brand story, Spark is equipped with the understanding and vision to hold productive conversations with potential donors, and work more collaboratively in support of the “One Spark” strategy.

Centura Health

We helped with system-wide brand transformation for one of the largest and oldest health care systems in the nation.

Challenge

Centura Health is the largest health care system in Colorado and Western Kansas, and one of the most revered and fastest-growing health care providers in the nation. With 21,000 associates spanning 18 hospitals and dozens of neighborhood clinics across the region, there was little brand cohesion and low brand engagement among employees and the community. Brand understanding among employees and consumers alike was tethered to each individual hospital rather than to the broader Centura brand, a complexity that was deepened by recent marketing and advertising programs that fell short of communicating the prominence and strength of a leading integrated health care system brand. Centura Health was quickly growing and expanding, and needed a brand commensurate with its existing scale and growth aspirations.

Insight

Built on a foundation of over 200 interviews, visits to all 18 hospital locations, and intense competitive research, it was clear that Centura had to reignite internal passion and clarity before it could represent its new brand to the broader community.

Many potential brand directions were explored, but the most strategic path for the business, employees and markets was to methodically reinvigorate the grit, passion, and whole person approach brought by the Catholic nuns who created Centura’s neighborhood hospitals over 100 years ago.

To create a compelling and authentic future, Centura Health turned back to its strong roots of truly incredible people ‘on a mission’ to build flourishing communities and whole person care.

Solution

With the most strategic path for brand development and growth identified, we developed a complete brand system from a renewed core positioning and verbal and visual systems, and helped with the complete transformation of internal brand infrastructure and external brand activations at Centura.

We first worked with Centura to implement its brand internally, building critical brand systems and processes. The brand system was rolled out across the organization, including marketing, HR, operations, and supply chain management, ensuring all communications assets, signage, vehicles, and uniforms would reflect the new brand. The brand was then launched externally through very focused and intentional community activations, ultimately culminating in Centura’s new advertising campaign and the launch of the Our Incredible Mission Brand Engagement Platform, an integrated experiential approach for bringing the brand to employees and neighborhoods in very personalized and localized ways.

Result

The new Centura brand has universally been met with broad internal and external support and is gaining radically more market exposure than anticipated. An historic, prominent health care brand reemerges as refreshingly unique and modern, but remains authentic to its strong historical roots.

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.

RiseNow

We helped a health care supply chain company rename and find its stand-out story.

Challenge

RiseNow is a premier consulting firm that helps health organizations maximize their supply chain efficiency. The company was born as a spinoff from its larger parent firm to take advantage of its specialized focus in healthcare.

As a newly formed company, RiseNow had ambitious growth objectives, and needed to quickly articulate its value to its audience. RiseNow worked with us to uncover a unique brand story, name and identity that would propel its growth.

Insight

During our rapid research process, we learned that supply chain deficiencies had become the status-quo, leading to desperately squeezed operating margins in health care.

Frustrated business leaders were looking to their enterprise system vendors to help fix their problems.  All they encountered were complex technical options with no human face.  We identified RiseNow’s most valuable resource in its agile and taskforce-like team.

Solution

We created a focused brand positioning and new company name, RiseNow, to speak to its impact on clients, a verbal system and messaging framework to direct its communications, and a visual system and logo to bring its story to life.

We created a new website and offering-level messaging to showcase and deliver RiseNow’s new brand story.

Outcome

At the start of our work, RiseNow supported clients without a clear name and identity.  It has now taken a bolder, more visionary stance in the market while synchronizing internal teams and conveying a clear direction for the organization as a whole.

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.