Case Study by Diego Casco RGD, Creative Director at CASCO Agency
Commercial real estate company Lennard revisits their branding with the help of CASCO and a decade-long partnership built on trust and collaboration.
Founded in 1980, Lennard offers a complete range of services to occupants, tenants, owners and investors in the office, retail, industrial, and land sectors in Toronto and the GTA, across Canada and North America. Lennard’s growing team is characterized by high performance and by its special focus on client service. The firm has over 80 employees with offices in Toronto, Mississauga, and Markham.
CASCO has worked with Lennard for over 10 years. In the beginning, we were tasked with a light-redesign of their website. A few years later we completely redesigned and rebuilt their website and started providing them with ongoing graphic design and marketing support for items such as listing brochures and signage, among other assets.
Given our long-standing relationship and CASCO's in-depth understanding of their business and the company's culture, Lennard came to us when it was time to revisit the brand. The mandate was to craft a brand strategy and brand expression which would align with the company’s true character and pave the way to achieving the goals and objectives the firm has set for its future.
The first challenge we encountered was a lack of uniformity in the use of the firm’s identity. Marketing materials were being produced by multiple parties within the company without the direction or enforcement of any guidelines. The brand was too limited and did not provide effective tools to meet the agents’ needs. Moreover, lack of consensus on the value proposition narrowed the brand’s focus toward specific services and sectors, diminishing Lennard’s growth potential.
Despite these challenges, the firm has been experiencing significant growth, which motivated the partners to regroup and set a new direction for the business. It was clear to them that after more than 30 years, Lennard had evolved and its brand no longer reflected the business it had become.
Coming into this project, CASCO needed to help Lennard achieve brand cohesion and internal buy-in on the potential for change, while ensuring that the new brand would help meet the mission.
To begin, Lennard needed a positioning strategy. They conducted an in-depth self-assessment over several months, providing us with ample information about the state of the business. Through interviews with internal and external stakeholders, we learned that genuine business relationships built on care and trust were a crucial element in Lennard’s business success. This provided us with the basis of a brand statement: an organization characterized by its ability to connect in meaningful ways with business people in the commercial real estate market. In other words, 'establishing a more human approach to commercial real estate.'
This positioning naturally manifested itself in the theme of ‘conversation’, and the new branding emphasized Lennard as a platform for business conversations, information, and collaboration in the pursuit of mutually remarkable results. Having this strategy laid out from the start helped us reach a consensus whenever there was a challenge in deciding what direction we were taking. This is key to a design process.
Design thinking was everything to this project. While most clients would focus on trying to figure out what the final identity would look like, our strategic process encourages more introspection and self assessment, to help clients realize who they truly are as an organization.
Among many questions and conversations, we ask the client who they are, what they do, how they think clients see them, what they think influences a client's decision to choose to work with Lennard (or not work with them). We also asked their clients what makes them consider and choose Lennard. Stakeholder feedback is a key component; Lennard approached this rebrand with a realistic view of how they were being perceived.
A key issue we identified was: how could we develop a brand position that would make a meaningful connection with all stakeholders and could be manifested visually?
The new wordmark represents the initiation of dialogue. The logo is typeset in Georgia, which helps make the brand approachable and trustworthy. A confident orange colour was strategically selected to claim a unique position in the market. The use of the colon opens the door to endless possibilities for verbal and visual representations of the brand. The two dots of the colon suggest two parties doing business, while supporting graphic devices use the colon on its own or as part of a pattern to create a visual language that allows the brand to be flexible and expressive.
Business owners and prospects can relate to the language; this was a strategic marketing choice to foster engagement. Agents at Lennard can utilize the new branding to express their unique way of doing business and connect with their clients.
CASCO developed a comprehensive branding platform that encompasses: strategy, identity design, stationery, sales collateral, signage, environmental graphics, presentation materials, and a new website. All of these assets were the result of strategic design thinking.
“Experienced, reliable, and easy to work with, the CASCO team helped make this a remarkable transformation.” -- Candice Leung, Director of Marketing, Lennard Commercial Realty, Brokerage
“CASCO understands us. They were able to distil the essence of our brand, both verbally and visually. Our new brand is a total success.” -- Holly Malyk Biggs, Lennard Commercial
Collaboration with your clients is key. You need to know them and their business in order to understand their needs and how to best communicate with their audience. This is how we add value.
Also, long-term relationships are key to our design careers. Some clients may be small when you first start working with them, but in the long-term, things change, and businesses grow. If you stick around, better opportunities will come. In this case with Lennard, a small design assignment 10 years ago became a long-lasting client relationship forged in trust. They grew, and now we have rebranded them.