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Strategic brand positioning development case studies


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Seven case studies that exemplify the quality of R. Jay Olson's work as a Senior Brand & Marketing Strategist at Quad/Graphics Creative Solutions.

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Strategic brand positioning development case studies

  1. 1. 1/14/2014 CASE STUDIES R. Jay Olson International Design Guild Brand Positioning Challenge The International Design Guild, a subsidiary of CCA Global Partners, is an alliance of over one hundred, independently-owned, luxury floor covering showrooms. The Guild, the largest of its kind in North America, offers its showroom members access to exclusive products, the power of collective buying, as well as robust marketing programs and operational tools. The luxury consumer in this category is unique – quality and style, in addition to value, makes this segment especially demanding. Looking to broaden its niche and expand product lines, The Guild turned to Quad/Graphics Creative Solutions for some strategic guidance. Assurance was needed that such a move would be well received by its primary audience, the interior design community. Equally important, and perhaps even more challenging, showroom owners needed to be convinced that the expansion strategy would be in their best interest because of the additional investments they would need to make. The Guild’s leadership team was also concerned because The Dabbieri Collection, its new exclusive line of floor coverings, was not yet receiving the attention needed from its showroom members. Solution We conducted in-depth interviews with select influential showroom members and close to forty interior designers who were members of the American Society of Interior Designers across the country to better understand their needs, goals, awareness, perceptions and interests. We learned that lack of awareness was a major problem for The Guild, The Dabbieri Collection, and even The Guild’s member showrooms. We also learned that there was overwhelming interest by the design community in The Dabbieri Collection as well as The Guild’s strategy to expand into additional flooring lines, such as hardwoods, and offer a broader range of choices for style, color, pattern and texture. Interviews with the interior designers were videotaped and presented to the showroom owners at The Guilds’ next annual conference. The resulting six-minute video clip provided a compelling argument to adopt the new strategy and support The Dabbieri Collection. Based on findings from the brand audit, we then updated brand positionings for both The Guild and The Dabbieri Collection. The new positioning for The Dabbieri Collection featured “the industry’s largest selection of designer-driven, high-quality flooring products, so interior designers and luxury consumers alike can create their own unique vision of style, elegance and sophistication.” We additionally developed an integrated brand communications strategy and designed a new website, brochure and other collateral to reintroduce The Dabbieri Collection. 1
  2. 2. 1/14/2014 CASE STUDIES R. Jay Olson Results Although challenging to get quantifiable data from showroom owners, The Guild’s leadership believes that the re-launch of The Dabbieri Collection brand was highly successful. The Dabbieri Collection now features over 10,000 SKUs, including hardwood floors and area rugs, in addition to carpets. The line has been successfully adopted and enthusiastically supported by a vast majority of The Guild’s member showrooms. In spite of a challenging economic environment in general for luxury marketers in recent years, The Guild has enjoyed healthy growth in sales, traffic and showroom membership. 2
  3. 3. 1/14/2014 CASE STUDIES R. Jay Olson SoftwareONE Brand Positioning Challenge SoftwareONE, an international software licensing company based in Switzerland with $2.5 billion in sales, 1,300 employees and operations in over 80 countries, was looking to refine its brand message to better engage with business audiences here in the United States. The company turned to Quad/Graphics Creative Solutions for recommendations that would not only create stronger relevance and resonance in this market, but also ensure cohesive alignment with its global brand. Solution A comprehensive brand audit was conducted that examined the current state of SoftwareONE’s global brand while identifying the local nuances in the U.S. The audit focused on understanding the needs/drivers and decision priorities of SoftwareONE’s target audience, the company’s vision and strategic focus, core values and brand personality, as well as its competitive advantages. SoftwareONE’s expertise and singular focus on software licensing stood out as its strongest competitive advantage. This also resonated with clients, because it gave them complete confidence that all of the complexities and intricate details of software licensing would be expertly managed, along with an overarching strategic focus on optimizing the value of their software licensing assets enterprise-wide. This direction was incorporated as part of SoftwareONE’s new message strategy and an integrated brand communications plan we developed to implement it. Results The new message, “ONE Focus – Software Licensing,” was adopted globally while regional differences in service offerings, language and look and feel were accounted for on the United States version of SoftwareONE’s new website and collateral. This new strategic message platform helped bolster SoftwareONE’s position in the marketplace and image as the only service provider with an exclusive focus on software licensing. SoftwareONE has since become the fastest growing Microsoft Licensing Solution Partner (LSP) in the world. 3
  4. 4. 1/14/2014 CASE STUDIES R. Jay Olson QuadSIP Brand Positioning Challenge Quad/Graphics was looking to expand its presence in the $2.3 billion special interest publishing industry. A new business unit – the Special Interest Publications Group (aka QuadSIP) – was formed to serve the unique needs of this growing market. While Quad/Graphics’ reputation for quality and innovation was well established in its core markets – commercial long-run printing for catalogs and magazines – awareness was low in this new arena. A brand positioning platform and market launch strategy needed to be developed that would address the following objectives: (1) create awareness and educate potential clients about QuadSIP’s unique capabilities and ROI advantages; (2) demonstrate that QuadSIP understands the unique needs of small magazine publishers and is committed to serving them; (3) leverage Quad/Graphics’ reputation for quality and innovation and establish QuadSIP as a leading brand. Solution An extensive brand audit was conducted, which included an industry-wide study to establish a baseline measurement of awareness and perceptions. The study was also designed to increase understanding about special interest publishers’ needs, challenges and priorities. The findings revealed that building a high quality image was a top priority for SIP publishers and that lack of support from existing suppliers was a chief concern. The new value proposition that was developed, therefore, emphasized QuadSIP’s commitment to “provide personal care and attention, while delivering high quality standards and end-to-end solutions that help small publishers run more efficient and profitable operations.” A brand communications roadmap was additionally developed to launch QuadSIP’s brand positioning platform and ensure a consistent voice across all audience touchpoints. Internally, QuadSIP’s sales and customer service teams were trained to effectively deliver the new value promise. A new web page, tradeshow booth, multichannel direct marketing campaign, trade ads, newsletter and sales collateral we’re also created to build the brand externally. Results When polled a year later, nearly half (48%) of all special interest publishers said that they were somewhat or very familiar with QuadSIP, catapulting its status to become the second most recognized printing brand within the segment. QuadSIP’s reputation for quality also received an agreement rating of 78%. While “providing attention to the needs of small publishers” fell somewhat short of expectations (i.e., an agreement rating of only around 40%), intense efforts were made operationally to strengthen perceptions on this attribute and this helped boost QuadSIP’s rating as the top printer in customer service the following year when our wave 3 industry survey was conducted. Additionally, QuadSIP was ranked third by Google for searches using the keywords “special interest publishing” and its market share grew to an estimated 15%, ranking it second highest amongst all printers in this segment. The results confirmed that QuadSIP’s brand message was believable, its brand promise was being effectively delivered and that its leadership position was already becoming well-established in this new market. 4
  5. 5. 1/14/2014 CASE STUDIES R. Jay Olson QuadTech Repositioning Challenge QTI, a subsidiary of Quad/Graphics, was founded in the late 1970s as Quad’s technology arm. The company designs, develops and manufactures a wide range of press controls that improve registration and color saturation, identify defects and maximize press performance (through reduced waste, greater efficiency and increased speed). In addition, QTI markets its technologies to other printers, which in effect helps recoup R&D investments for its parent company. QTI planned to change its name to QuadTech and rebrand to create a stronger visual connection to Quad/Graphics. So, it turned to Quad/Graphics Creative Solutions for help to assess the upside potential and risks associated with these changes, as well as to develop a differentiated brand positioning and integrated, multichannel communication strategy to support its vision and global growth strategy. Solution A multi-phased audit was conducted that included in-depth interviews with key internal stakeholders, focus groups with Quad/Graphics pressman and supervisors, and in-depth external interviews with key audiences in eight countries, including OEMs and end-user customers and prospects. We learned that QTI was well-known and highly respected across all audiences. It was perceived as technologically advanced, innovative, highly responsive and an industry leader. QTI’s affiliation with Quad/Graphics was also well known, the affiliation was largely found to be positive and downside risks to changing the name to QuadTech were minimal. In fact, we learned that much was to be gained by linking the names together and more strongly promoting the connection of these two highly regarded companies. Reactions to alternative positioning directions also lead to the development of a new singled-minded value proposition – “QuadTech is uniquely suited to help customers win because we grew up in printing” – and a new tagline: “Our passion is your success.” Following development of QuadTech’s new strategic brand platform, our focus quickly shifted to conceptual development and design execution to launch QuadTech’s repositioning campaign at drupa in Dusseldorf, Germany, the world’s largest printing technology tradeshow. All new rebranded materials needed to be produced within 60 days, including QuadTech’s new brand guidelines, corporate identity, uniforms, website, ads, tradeshow exhibit, training materials, sales collateral and more. 5
  6. 6. 1/14/2014 CASE STUDIES R. Jay Olson Results Visitors to the new exhibit and leads generated during the show both doubled vs. the previous drupa event, and QuadTech received over $7 million in new product commitments. Feedback received from visitors and QuadTech’s sales force showed strong resonance for the rebranding initiative. Sales jumped 23% the first year following the launch of QuadTech’s repositioning campaign. The company has since continued to enjoy vibrant market share growth while maintaining its pricing strategy, in spite of deep competitive discounting and an exceedingly challenging business climate. Continuing innovation and brand energy, increased product acceptance and brand extensions in adjacent categories, such as packaging, have greatly contributed to QuadTech’s increasing success as a global leader in the press controls industry. 6
  7. 7. 1/14/2014 CASE STUDIES R. Jay Olson Current Brand Revitalization Workshop Challenge Current USA Inc., located in Colorado Springs, CO is a direct marketer of greeting cards, gift wrap and accessories, checks, stationery, home decorating items and more. It has about 1,200 employees and operates four separate brands, including Current (the flagship brand), Lillian Vernon, Colorful Images and PaperDirect. While the Current brand had enjoyed a 30-year history of successful growth, management was looking to create new brand energy and drive future growth in three key areas: (1) increase wallet share from its existing customer base, which includes around 700,000 highly loyal female boomers (age 45-64), (2) acquire more boomers, and, longer term, (3) broaden appeal to attract younger audiences (i.e., gen Xers and millennials). Solution A brand revitalization workshop was conducted with Current’s leadership team. Two major opportunities were identified. First, while the printed catalog had served as the primary marketing channel, its online channels (e-commerce website, pay-per-click ad campaign and social media networks) offered some exciting Brand Vision opportunities to attract new audience segments and drive “To inspire and enable people of additional business. Furthermore, research showed that even all ages to brighten the lives of the vast majority of boomer’s now shop online at home and are loved ones by bringing a smile to their faces and creating becoming increasingly connected. Second, while a strong brand memorable moments.” value message still needed to be communicated, the opportunity existed to more effectively leverage its core catalog as a marketing tool to bolster the true value of the Current brand without deep discounting. The lines between Current’s sale and core catalogs had become increasingly blurred over the years due to the need to appeal to its existing price conscience but very loyal customer base. Input was also obtained during the Revitalized Brand Value Proposition workshop to develop a forward-looking and unifying “Current makes shopping fun, easy vision statement with flexibility to accommodate and affordable for today’s active Current’s needs for greater audience and channel boomer women looking to express their individuality and thoughtfulness diversity. Fresh ideas and new strategies were revealed to by finding those unexpected spark deeper emotional intensity and attract new treasures that create smiles and audience segments, and a prioritized action plan was warm the hearts of loved ones.” developed to implement them. Lastly, Current’s value proposition was revitalized to drive the look and feel, tone and manner of the brand near-term and, thus, allow time for Current’s third growth strategy to unfold longer-term. 7
  8. 8. 1/14/2014 CASE STUDIES R. Jay Olson Results The revitalized message was incorporated to make Current’s printed catalog and online channels more inspirational, appealing and relevant. This involved a collaborative effort between Quad/Graphics Creative Solutions, which created the new design elements, such as new fonts, colors, backgrounds, icons, etc., and Current’s internal team. Additionally, action plan tactics identified during the workshop have also been implemented, including (but not limited to): acceleration of Current’s social media engagement program, improved integration and synergies between its website and catalog, and broadening of categories online to appeal to more diverse audiences. The evolving strategic partnership has lead to additional work sessions conducted by Quad/Graphics Creative Solutions and collaborative design initiatives that have similarly been implemented to support Current’s sister brands. 8
  9. 9. 1/14/2014 CASE STUDIES R. Jay Olson Tempt Brand Revitalization Workshop Challenge Tempt In-Store Productions, a subsidiary of Quad/Graphics, had recently completed a sales and marketing strategy work session to support its three-year strategic business plan. One of the resulting key action items identified was the need to redesign Tempt’s existing website to properly communicate its brand message and ensure continuity across all of its marketing materials. To accomplish this, it was important to first get Tempt’s leadership, corporate marketing and other key brand stakeholders on the same page. Point-of-purchase advertising, defined as the provision of marketing strategies and tactics executed within the retail store environment (including displays, signage, A/V networks, etc.), is a $20 billion fragmented industry with estimated annual sales growth in the 16%-19% range. To carve out a strong and unique leadership position in this robust market, a unifying viewpoint was needed regarding what the brand should stand for and how it should be branded. Tempt, founded just five years earlier, had been acquired by Quad/Graphics, a world-renowned printer and multichannel integrator, providing the horsepower for Tempt to execute at a much larger scale and become a prominent player globally. Solution Our discovery process revealed that top competitors’ messaging was largely feature-laden, nondifferentiating and uninspiring. It additionally became apparent that Tempt’s bi-line (i.e., “In-Store Productions”), Brand Purpose was limiting. Tempt was interested in expanding its service “To turn difficult challenges into offering upstream from print production by including frontunexpected fresh visual end services, such as insights and strategy, as well as to more solutions during the path to strongly emphasize its emerging creative/design capabilities. purchase that drive action and Furthermore, extended capabilities offered through bring brands to life.” Quad/Graphics provided exciting opportunities that could be better leveraged, such as its client relationships, global platform, and products and services that extend beyond the in-store space, such as retail inserts, catalogs, direct mail, digital media, IPS (interactive Brand Vision print solutions), software solutions and more. Insights “To become the pre-eminent leader and learned during the brand revitalization work session go-to resource globally for retailers and additionally provided a solid foundation to: (1) define CPG marketers seeking fresh visual Tempt’s brand purpose and vision; (2) highlight the solutions that WIN during the consumer’s path to purchase.” most important core values and personality characteristics (from Quad’s DNA pool); (3) identify specific fascination advantages that could be further enhanced to create stronger emotional intensity; (4) revitalize Tempt’s brand value proposition. 9
  10. 10. 1/14/2014 CASE STUDIES R. Jay Olson Results Tempt’s revitalized positioning (see revitalized brand value proposition statement below) and two additional key strategic branding recommendations were adopted. These included maintaining Tempt’s endorsed-brand status near-term, and updating Tempt’s Revitalized Brand Value Proposition logo, typography and color palette to align them with the new positioning direction. Maximum flexibility was also Tempt – an innovative visual solutions company – combines provided for Tempt to sell across the continuum of Quad’s unexpectedly fresh ideas and the offering, build relationships with regional, national and latest advancements in technology to multichannel consumer brand companies, and develop a create enriched, emotionallystrong market leadership position that is innovative, engaging experiences that inspire and differentiating and grounded in truth. Tempt’s new move consumers to take action positioning strategy is being implemented internally to during the path to purchase, while drive employee engagement and consistent delivery of the bringing brands to life for retailers and CPG marketers.” brand promise, as well as externally through the redesign of its website, social media networks, marketing collateral, signage and corporate identity. 10
  11. 11. CASE STUDIES 1/14/2014 R. Jay Olson Creative Solutions Inbound Marketing Challenge Like so many other marketers, we struggled at first during our initial foray into the realm of social media. Without an automated marketing solution as the hub, our social networking activities were largely disconnected and ineffectual. We also lacked a comprehensive strategy driven by great content to not only increase awareness for our brand and establish our credibility as thought leaders, but to also generate leads and provide accountability through measurement and attribution of the social media channel. Solution After exploring various automated marketing systems we decided to invest in HubSpot, an integrated inbound marketing platform that provides a complete set of tools to:   Attract visitors to our website through blogging, social media and SEO Nurture and convert leads through calls-to-action, landing pages, lead management, email, marketing automation and analytics We then defined the pain points, needs, motivations of our target audience; refined our brand message; analyzed our existing content assets and identified our future content needs; formed a team of approximately 15 subject matter experts (SMEs) to help create compelling blog posts and whitepapers. We additionally developed an inbound marketing playbook with clearly defined objectives, strategies and goals; a six-month editorial calendar; top-, middle- and bottom-of-the-funnel offers; inbound paths for nurturing leads along the buying cycle; metrics and a PURCHASE systematized framework for analyzing and reporting changes in traffic, leads and other ROI-based outcomes. Sunday Monday Tuesday 1 Wednesday 2 Customer Acquisition Kristel Foster 7 Thursday 3 Friday 4 Saturday 5 6 Video Greg Norton 8 9 10 11 12 13 ISP Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Gordon H/ 1 3 4 5 6 Greg R 2 Customer Video 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Greg Norton Branding Acquisition Social Media Kristel Foster Katie Jarvis Sarah Zens 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 21 22 24 25 26 27 Guest Blog 23 ISP Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Gordon H/ Customer Video1 3 4 5 6 Greg R 2 Acquisition Lauren Customer Video 15 16 17 18 19 20 Tracie 14 Wineinger Greg Norton Branding Acquisition Social Media Schwickrath Kristel Katie Jarvis 30 Foster Sarah Zens 28 29 31 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Customer Mobile 21 22 24 25 26 27 Guest Blog 23 ISP Gordon H/ Retention Customer Sam FalboVideo Greg R Lauren Jay Olson Acquisition 15 16 17 18 19 20 Tracie 14 Wineinger Branding Social Media Schwickrath Katie Jarvis 30 Sarah Zens 28 29 31 Guest Blog Sunday Customer 21 22 Retention Customer Jay Olson Acquisition Tracie Schwickrath 28 29 Customer Retention Mobile 23 Sam FalboVideo 24 25 26 AWARENESS CONSIDERATION 27 Lauren Wineinger 30 31 PREFERENCE Mobile Sam Falbo Jay Olson Results At the end of the first four months following implementation of our inbound marketing initiative, we experienced a 36% uptick in total site traffic, a 22% increase in new visitors and an 18% change in traffic generated by search engine referrals on a year-over-year (YOY) basis. We additionally saw a 62% YOY jump in returning visitors as well as a 36% YOY improvement in pageviews. Since there were no changes during this time period except for publishing two new blog posts per week and promoting them via social media and email, the results indicate that our content has been an effective driver of site traffic and return visitors. Lastly, and importantly, we enjoyed a 300% YOY increase in new contacts generated through downloads of our whitepapers and videos. 11