Case Study by Scott Christie RGD, Creative Director, Adler Brand and Marketing Services (formerly ClarkHuot Toronto)
Toronto’s newest family law firm, Boulby Weinberg LLP, invited us to brand their company before opening for business.
On August 1, 2015, Sarah Boulby and Oren Weinberg launched a new family law practice specializing in complex family law issues for high-net-worth clientele. The practice offers legal counsel and representation for clients dealing with domestic and international family law issues. Based on our work with Grant & Sadvari, another family law practice, Boulby Weinberg reached out to us.
The process involved four key parts:
- Business Strategy: Determine the brand position in the market
- Creative Strategy: Demonstrate how the visual expression of the brand aligns with the business strategy across all touch points
- Digital Strategy: Plan and develop a comprehensive website
- Launch Marketing: Announce to BW’s prospects that they are open for business via multiple marketing channels
Building the brand from scratch was an exciting challenge. It involved an in-depth information-gathering phase where we outlined the current and future needs of potential buyers, the BW brand attributes and the overall vision for the organization.
Being a start up BW did not have a client base so we did not do any external research. Instead we focused on asking questions to establish how Oren and Sara wanted the brand to be perceived. For the information-gathering phase, we collected a general overview of the vision for the organization, a summary of the client's history, their personal goals for the company, the organization's communication objectives, an audience profile, a brand vision, competitor benchmarks, etc. The buyer profiles were establishing by the client and our knowledge of the industry, as we had completed another project for a client in the same field.
With the brand model in hand, our team of designers, including a paid intern, went to work developing ideas for the logo—the visual foundation for the project.
Creating a brand expression for two well-known professionals, Sarah Boulby and Oren Weinberg, was a challenging opportunity. It wasn’t until we had explored a vast number of ideas that we discovered the answer right in front of us: Boulby Weinberg is BW, Black & White. What could be more fitting for a family law practice than creating B&W solutions for family legal matters? The result is a client-centric solution that is distinct in their market.
As a start-up, BW’s budget was limited, so we had to be creative in how we used the available funds without limiting the steps necessary to produce the best solution. This meant we presented the work in a less formal manner than is typical for our agency. On a 30ft wall at the back of our studio, we laid out the whole process from start to finish as we worked. The client was then invited in to walk along the wall with us and discover all of the good, the bad and the ugly of how we ultimately arrived at their future vision. This saved hours of presentation deck building.
We knew we had something once the B&W idea emerged. It was distinctive, unique to the client and non-traditional. It achieved a 'maverick' feel, that aligned with the brand model, ensuring an overall impression of BW as fresh, smart, experienced and credible.
Key touchpoints of launching the new brand included the new website (responsive), an eblast to the client's contacts, a postcard, trade ads, and a new stationery system. We also provided environmental design recommendations for their space, persuading them to purchase a massive B&W map of the world. Shipped from England, it proudly covers their reception wall—the same one we photographed for the website home page. The map also supports one of BW’s key differentiators in the family law market—international expertise.
"After working with Clarkhuot to develop our brand we opened our practice with confidence and a strong message." —Sarah Boulby, Partner, Boulby Weinberg
- Be prepared to demonstrate how your solutions match or express the brand personality of your client.
- Simple solutions take a long time to develop.
- Ensure the visual expression of the brand aligns with the client's desired price point.
- Invest in good, professional photography.
- All aspects of the brand need to be designed and cared for in the long-term.
- Research the team you plan to work with, not all studios are created equal—ask questions, challenge them. Just as much harm as good can be done to a brand with the wrong team.
Agency: ClarkHuot (now called Adler)
Strategy: Kinza Baker, Diego Casco RGD & Scott Christie RGD
Creative Director: Scott Christie RGD
Design & Production: Lauren Boyce
Intern: Kally Minakakis
Photography: Margaret Mulligan
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