Highnote Brand Development Case Study
In early 2018, executives at Allegra Marketing Services, of Louisville, Kentucky, decided to leave the national network of 700+ franchise owners and establish an independent regional and national brand of their own.
Our team partnered with Ray Ferreira Communications Strategies, combining our comprehensive experience in strategic, creative brand development and design to deliver a new and empowering brand for this 25-years-strong business.
This rebranding program included:
> Brand Discovery Research
> Strategic Brand Name Development
> Brand Manifesto and Communications Platform
> Brand and Identity Design and Guidelines Development
> Digital Marketing Strategy
> Website Design and Development
> Social Media Launch Promotions and Lead Generation
> A Portfolio of Printed Brand Identity Vehicles
From the beginning, the Allegra Louisville leadership team told us that they wanted a memorable and distinctive brand that would reflect their unique dedication to customer service as well as the aspirations of their most valued clients and influencers.
Through a team-workshop and a strategic client-interview process, we established the most highly valued aspects of the company’s culture, commitment, and integrity. Ultimately, we established a brand expression that would help buyers understand WHY they would want to engage the newly branded firm on their most important marketing communications programs.
Identifying a Differentiated Brand Experience
Three aspects of the Allegra Louisville story helped us define a differentiated and compelling brand story for targeted clients and prospects…
1. The Competitive “Sweet Spot” – By identifying the overlap of brand attributes that have helped Allegra Louisville stand apart from competitors, we established brand’s competitive Sweet Spot.
2. The Company’s Core “Reason for Being” – By listening for patterns in the ways that team members and customers described the company and its value, we established a story of WHY the company was so committed to outstanding client service and product quality.
3. The Customers’ “Relationship Cycle” – Examining the actions and messages that drive the company’s cycle of Awareness, Consideration, Selection, and Loyalty with customers helped us craft the language, tone, and calls-to-action that would become foundational to the brand’s messaging platform.
The Naming Process
Because the Allegra Louisville team had a well-defined and cohesive professional culture, the executive team felt that the core employee team should be engaged in the naming process. Through a series of team explorations and client/prospect interviews, three names emerged as strategic, unique in the marketplace, and intriguing among clients and prospects. Based on findings from client/prospect interviews the team selected a name
based on the following criteria:
> Stopping Power
> Story Connectedness
> Curiosity Building
> URL Alignment
Building a Strategic Personality
A name, on its own, does not define a brand’s appeal. Once the new name had been selected, we needed to connect it with characteristics that clients told us they loved about their Allegra Louisville customer experience.
A Brand Manifesto – A statement that would become the core expression of purpose behind
everything a company does – told the core story of purpose for HighNote. This carefully crafted document demonstrated brand voice, helped buyers establish emotional trust, and aligned the passions of employees, customers, and business leaders.
HighNote Brand Identity
The HighNote Mark – Its expressive typography with an elevated magenta circle work together with the brand tagline — “Your Brand. Elevated.” — to create a sense of weightlessness that places the client (“Your Brand”) at the center of the company’s focus. In animated forms, the magenta circle would slowly rise from the logo’s baseline to take its place as a weightless element, representing of the feeling of elation and confidence that customers had expressed during our research.
The HighNote Alternate Mark – For smaller or less-horizontal spaces we created an alternative mark. Here the magenta circle appears to push to the top of its vertical space, providing a sense of buoyancy.
The HighNote Die-Cut Mark – Standing apart has always been important to this team, especially in print. That’s why our Brand Guidelines define a die-cut version of the HighNote logo. The die-cut mark allows encourages a see-through lifted circle when there is an opportunity to reveal a vibrant color or brand image beneath. For the business cards, this meant showing the magenta core of a triplex paper. With notepads, folders, and brochures, this often means teasing a bright color and texture that can entice viewers to look within.
HighNote Capabilities Folder
The HighNote Capabilities Folder demonstrates the “Your Brand Elevated” tag through its flexible use of the magenta circle. Within the folder, viewers find an opening statement that defines the tagline and then the four primary service categories with their icons.
The Identity Brochure sits in its own special slit within the folder. The business card also rides in a smaller, narrower slit, calling attention to the identity of the team member who delivered the folder.
HighNote Capabilities Brochure
The Identity Brochure die-cut logo offers a clue to vibrant and energizing brand images inside.
The brochure’s primary copy focuses on the customer priorities that HighNote team will impact... “Your Vision; Your Strategies; Your Sales; Your Results; and Your Brand… Elevated.” This is the WHY for customers who work with the HighNote team. Of secondary importance are the services offered—the HOWs—which are delivered as a sidebar caption on each spread.
HighNote Point-of Contact Experiences
We wanted all incidental points-of-contact with HighNote to be memorable experiences. At events, seminars, and trade shows, the HighNote experience delivers exhilaration for viewers through vibrant, primary colors, high-energy activities and clear expressions of the brand promise.
HighNote Event Giveaways
Diverse backgrounds with the HighNote Magenta Lifted Circle, create high visibility when prospects carry the brand around an event. Delivering giveaways that are keepers”—and don’t get thrown away when the prospect gets back to their office – is equally important.
HighNote Vehicle Branding
The HighNote vehicle branding design ensures that viewers ask themselves, “Can HighNote help me?” Seeing HighNote at the corner of Fourth & Main, in downtown Louisville, or at the loading dock near your corporate office, should be a memorable experience.
HighNote Brand Standards
To ensure brand fidelity and continuity for the foreseeable future, we delivered the HighNote Brand Book. This digital and print-based tool provided easy access to brand standards covering logo placement and clear space, typography, iconography, aligned imagery, and core messaging standards.
At the core of HighNote’ digital-first strategy is a responsive website that echoes all of the core brand messages. Imagery is selected to support a sense of height and elation. About Us includes a video message from the partners with text that expresses the company’s core purpose as expressed in its manifesto.
HighNote Social Media Brand launch
Three weeks prior to the HighNote brand launch, the firm ran a video teaser campaign for regional visibility. Three 17-second videos were pushed – on a weekly basis – into carefully targeted Facebook newsfeeds in the Louisville region. The three videos established curious anticipation with a click-through to a landing page called LiftingOffInApril.com (named to preserve the mystery).
All visitors who arrived at the landing page were cookied to ensure they would see subsequent teaser videos as well as a fourth video, which revealed that “Allegra Louisville is now HighNote,” and led audiences to GoHighNote.com once the launch date arrived.
Envisioning an Effective Digital Ecosystem
As part of the brand communications strategy, we identified the framework for the development of an effective digital ecosystem for HighNote. This included clarity around the people, process, and technology that could help the team operate an engaging inbound marketing program.
A careful review of HighNote’s target audience media habits helped us identify the best channels and messages to help this new ‘experience brand’ build a virtuous cycle of engagement for its paid, earned, and owned media environments. Content objectives, by channel, and activity calendars were developed to help the HighNote marketing team build relevant and magnetic posts.
Next, we defined the layers of an inbound marketing funnel that would help marketing and sales teams watch for visitor engagement that signaled buyer intent. These signals would become the triggers for proactive contact with the goal of moving prospective buyers closer to a relationship with the HighNote brand.
Highnote Social Media Program
As part of the brand strategy, the HighNote team was trained on a vital Inbound Marketing Strategy that would help them build a deep following of qualified buyers.
Aligned with the digital marketing strategy were Social Identities that expressed the brand in an exciting and engaging ways.
On Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, HighNote established itself as a brand that audiences wanted to follow.
For the HighNote team, the branding process was more than a new marketing initiative. It provided an aligning compass that everyone shared… Raving fans, employees, prospects, and influencers all felt the pull toward a purpose and promise that they could believe in and were proud to associate with.
Is Your Brand Working as Hard as it Should?
Your brand is more than a logo. It’s more than an icon or a tagline. Your brand holds a story and a promise. It can offer a deep emotional connection for prospects and customers, and helps your team feel the impact of their hard work and dedication.
An effective brand aligns your core purpose with the needs of customers and offers a solution that no one else can deliver.
We’re ready to help you build a strong brand.