Defining A Company To Potential Customers

Ascendra Inc.

Creating an Architecture that Fits the Different Audiences

As a startup financial and technology consulting company, Ascendra needed help  developing marketing objectives and defining the company to potential customers. Sage Communications (Sage) helped Ascendra create a brand identity and messaging that would position the company and its services as both valuable and unique. View Full Case Study

Situation:

Ascendra was a startup financial and technology consulting company with a broad and undefined range of specific services. As with most startups, Ascendra did not have the resources or experience to identify clear-cut marketing objectives on its own. The Ascendra management team understood that they needed to work with experts to develop a brand identity and messaging that positioned the company as a more cohesive organization to potential customers. They approached Sage Communications (Sage) for help.

Objectives:

Identify both short and long-term marketing communications objectives that would align with the company’s business development and operational goals.

Our Process:

Sage began our relationship with Ascendra by conducting a launch meeting with its management team. We wanted a clearer understanding of the company’s specific product and service offerings, and unique selling proposition. Ultimately, our launch meeting forum turned into a working session facilitated by a third-party, in which we helped Ascendra restructure its business model and operational approach by using communications-related questions to prompt discussion.

With Ascendra’s business objectives more clearly defined, Sage conducted a customized “Message Workshop” with the Ascendra management team. As part of the workshop, we used a series of exercises to uncover what they felt was the company’s brand message from an internal perspective. While we analyzed the important takeaways from our messaging session, we also interviewed customers to determine how they saw the brand from an external perspective. By combining the findings from the message workshop and customer interviews, Sage was able to capture the current state of the Ascendra brand through the eyes of both the internal stakeholders and external customers.

Knowing the company’s short and long-term operational goals, Sage presented our findings of the message workshop and customer interviews to Ascendra. We also gave the management team a set of hard-hitting and cohesive brand messages that supported clear-cut short-term and long-term marketing communications tactics.

As experts in visual communications, Sage identified Ascendra’s only existing visual identity – their logo – as a success, with the need for a minor technical cleanup and inclusion of the newly identified tagline.

After refreshing Ascendra’s logo, Sage focused on the most urgent of the short-term communications objectives – specific business development tools. Sage’s creative team quickly produced a corporate stationary system and a professionally branded PowerPoint template. We also restructured and redesigned the corporate website.

Results:

After working with Sage, Ascendra found that its executives were better prepared to deliver a consistent message and story in a concise and focused manner. Sage also helped Ascendra develop a consistent brand look and feel that has been implemented for all marketing and communications materials that the company uses on a regular basis, including presentations, formal communication, proposals, and networking events.

Ascendra reports that existing and potential customers like the new branding material, and use words like professional, simple, and elegant to describe them.  The company has received compliments on its presentations and stationery materials, and at least one client has asked the question, “where can I find that PowerPoint template?” The new business cards also provide a talking point for Ascendra’s executives. After exchanging cards, Ascendra executives find that prospects want to talk about the card’s design at length instead of just stashing it away immediately.

The website has also proved to be a great way to deliver Ascendra’s message.  The new website matches the Ascendra brand and simplifies the user interface to appeal to our audience.  Ascendra’s vice president of corporate development and strategy says, “The support around the website redesign and during operations was invaluable.”

At this time, no analytics from the website have been run; however, Ascendra has noticed more contact from vendors, as well as an increased number of job applicants.

Overall, Ascendra says, “It has been a great engagement with Sage. Throughout the project, we always felt like we were the customer and that we were taken care of.  We were comfortable working with the account team; they were very easy and fun to work with."

Today, Sage and Ascendra continue to work together. Currently, the team is implementing the tactical recommendations created by Sage toward the beginning of the relationship to position Ascendra as an industry leader in performance management consulting.
 

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