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Client Spotlights — 07.08.2021

From the Ground Up: How Brand Identity, Design, and a New Name Built the Foundation for Groundwork

Sara Croft, Principal, Growth Marketing

With the increasing demand for streamlined B2C communication that limits face-to-face interaction, many tech companies have paved avenues for success. Jeff founded his Indianapolis startup in early 2019 to help contractors determine the legitimacy of a potential client without needing to send a truck. Jeff’s business model produced a unique opportunity for success during the pandemic; however, with foggy branding and “stitched-together” code, his product was not in the position to achieve its full potential. Enter Innovatemap. 

Problem

When we first partnered with CEO Jeff Wraley, he had a product in market that he was passionate about and actively selling. As a small startup trying to avoid outsourcing and additional costs, Jeff had built his business, and his “low-code” product, entirely by himself. Since Jeff had pieced together parts of existing code to provide his service, the capabilities of his product were restricted. Additionally, he didn’t have an effective way of marketing his product. With big ideas and forward-momentum, Jeff was ready to take his business to the next level with a special touch from our expert team. 

One factor driving the project was the timeline. Jeff’s product addressed a demand created by the pandemic since its product minimizes in-person contact and costs while maximizing efficiency. This demand produced a “moment,” where Jeff could leverage his product and propel it forward. The unique opportunity meant he had to work at a much faster pace, so Jeff came to us for help.

Andy Kennedy (Principal, Brand Strategy & Design), Parker McCullough (Senior Brand Designer), Christian Beck (Executive Partner, Growth Strategy & Design), and team worked closely with Jeff to build the foundation and meet the business’ growing needs as an early-stage start-up. The primary concern was providing a cohesive visual and consistent story for him to sell and communicate to customers and investors. We also identified inconsistencies with the existing brand identity and the vision Jeff had for the company. The business model was innovative, but Jeff’s brand needed a face-lift to match the quality of his product.

Solution

After diving deeper into the business’ mission and building a relationship with Jeff, we were able to better understand the company and help establish the foundation of the brand. In order for the deliverables to be impactful, our team has to build a foundation by understanding the business’ values and goals, the product, and the audience — and Jeff’s company was no exception. By assessing the existing audience, we gained valuable information about what the brand should look like. Furthermore, tailoring the brand strategy to the business’ unique and complex audience creates a one-of-a-kind brand identity that conveys the appropriate message and elevates the quality of the business. 

When asked about the origin of the brand, Andy responded, “Jeff’s audience understands and appreciates tools. So, we bounced off of the idea of a tool and made the brand look, speak, and behave a little more like a tool in order to make the brand resonate a lot more with what the audience was familiar and comfortable with.” In practice, the brand parallels elements of companies in the tool industry with abrupt calls to action, high contrast colors, and bold-faced type. The shapes are straight-edged with sharp corners and thick lines. 

Even the name, Groundwork, which Innovatemap developed, signals grit and strength. Parker explained, “we ultimately landed on Groundwork because it resonated with the audience and laid the foundation for the brand and for general contractors to have successful engagements.” Each element of a brand strategy is carefully thought out and works in harmony to create a comprehensive brand that conveys Groundwork’s mission and value to potential clients. Christian highlighted, “creating the brand, the visual identity, and the concept of a story put forward the best version of what Jeff had to share with the world, accelerators, investors, and the market.” We cleaned up Jeff’s product and his brand, and helped him better communicate his vision. 

Takeaways

Not every project has to be a complete overhaul and rebrand — there is certainly something to be said for giving a product momentum and helping build a strong foundation for success. We find value in knowing that we help our clients put their best foot forward, and we bring their brands to life. By creating Jeff’s brand and helping him better communicate it to his audience, we were able to make Groundwork substantial to investors and give it what it needed to leverage that “moment” — and Jeff did the rest. 

Innovatemap makes “being what people need” our mission with user experience fueling our day-to-day and client relationships driving our long term. For Groundwork, we accomplished this mission. We took a product that had great potential but needed a lot of work, and we utilized a team of passionate and dedicated experts to connect the brand identity with the company. Our team chose the name Groundwork to match its model of building strong foundations for successful interactions. Fittingly, “groundwork” is precisely what we did. 

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