Following the demise of Lehman Brothers, a subsidiary specialising in the administration of mortgages and trading as Capstone, had a book of business representing a future opportunity. Capstone was effectively a captive supplier with its business channeled to it through Lehman and had never had to go enter the open market to compete with other providers of mortgage administration services.
Very soon after his appointment, the new Commercial Director identified the need for sales tools, in particular a new website that positioned the company for the future. Following a recommendation from another of our clients, he called Thinkfarm and invited us to respond to a brief for a ‘revamped website’. He needed a rapid response and a process that would deliver a new website as quickly as possible to support his sales effort.
We suggested approaching the need from a more strategic level to address the brand positioning and communications strategy to inform key messaging and drive the content of collateral. We were keen that they think about what was to be said before designing the how. Following discussions with the executive management team and a competitive pitch process, we are asked to proceed. The timescales for the project were necessarily aggressive but we were reassured by the engagement and definitiveness of the senior management and agreed to a schedule which from research to launch was approximately 10 weeks.
We began the project by conducting a series of interviews with Capstone’s management and staff, as well as customers and analysts. The interviews revealed several key factors:
• The management team and staff are experienced, ambitious, determined and optimistic.
• Capstone is a specialist in the area of non-performing or ‘difficult’ mortgages
• The history of Lehman is unhelpful to effective sales and marketing
• Capstone is still associated in the marketplace with Lehman.
We proposed a name change in order to distance the company from the Lehman story; marking a significant change to the business and the launch of a strategy focused on future growth. We then articulated a brand position and key messages emphasising the benefits delivered to clients and their customers through its specialist service. The core benefit that applied to everybody in the chain is ‘positive resolution’. It is the brand essence – the desirable outcome for customer service teams, negotiators, clients and customers alike. This brand strategy, values and key messaging became the brief for renaming, identity and collateral design; including the urgently needed website.
To reflect the optimism and growth objectives we chose Acenden, as the new name and a tag line which clearly stated the business of the firm – mortgage servicing specialists. The name was not conflicted by any other in searches of company registrations, URL ownership and trade marking and therefore gave us a clear space in which to work. The visual identity further developed the idea of growth and freedom from the constraints a ‘captive’ business history.
We delivered a set of components to launch what is effectively a new business. It included a website design, stationery, signage, and a brand book describing positioning, messages and guidelines on how to apply the identity system to ensure understanding and consistency.
Please visit the website at: www.acenden.com