We partner with our clients to build business value by creating and managing integrated brand experiences across all touch points. Bridging strategy and design, we create solutions that engage people in the most effective way possible. For each prospect, all of those interactions aggregate to become your brand.
Perception of your brand is subjective, nuanced, multilayered, and filtered through your audience’s personal experience. A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service or company.
Orange Square is a strategic design firm that has the right tools to find and solve the right problems—ensuring that when we create audience-centered communications, they’re smart, functional, and, most importantly, creates an emotional connection with the audience.
Read about the tools we offer and see why we’re different.
Tools and Services
Tools 1-5 can be purchased as stand-alone services.
Marketing Communications Strategy and Redesigned Brand Identity – Rebrand require some or all of tools 1-5 before they can be executed.
Applying design thinking to your business challenges
The right process is essential to delivering consistent, meaningful results, and we know from experience that it’s key to start with “problem finding”. The Business Model Canvas process is where we understand, observe, and define what’s happening currently in your company. Building knowledge, learning about your audiences, articulating the insights, and defining your challenges are the points we uncover during the process
We know that having a map of your business model is a great way to capture how your company creates, delivers, and captures value
The process for developing the Business Model Canvas happens in two steps.
During a 6- to 8-hour in-person session (or broken into two days), we meet as a group with the right people from your team and—using specific guidelines—fill in the canvas with your comprehensive input.
We then take these notes and work with our team to deliver a full-scale Business Model Canvas which we review with your team (typically, this meeting is shorter…about two hours).
The Business Model Canvas process digs deep into the following nine building blocks:
- Key Partners (Who are your key partners?)
- Key Activities (What are the key activities to success?)
- Key Resources (What are the critical resources for success?)
- Value propositions
- Needs of audiences
- Offers to audiences (What do you do?)
- Benefits to audiences (and you)
- Competitors (What is the landscape?)
- Marketing Strategy (How are you currently marketing and to whom?)
- Touch Points (What are the interaction or touch points?)
- Clients/Customers (Who are the beneficiaries/final recipients of your work?)
- Operational Expenses (What are the costs to do your work?)
- Revenue Stream (What are your funding sources?)
This tool is important for a few reasons. When you’re trying to achieve certain strategic plan goals, this canvas holds and organizes all of these related aspects of your organization’s business. Everyone can see the canvas and write on it, adding and changing items anytime, so it’s a dynamic and organic reference that lives in real time.
To achieve your strategic goals, you’ll need to work on different aspects of these nine building blocks at different times. Perhaps the most important reason for using this tool is that it allows everyone to choose the elements they need to focus on to achieve each of the different goals—without losing sight of the larger picture and how each of the nine building blocks relates to that goal and to the overall plan.
From our perspective, the Business Model Canvas also identifies things that stand out, or which may stand in the way of achieving your goals by helping us understand if there are key areas of knowledge, relationships, or messages that need to be refined or worked on.
Ensuring your brand aligns with the organization
Every organization needs to consider its business in light of its brand structure, and few organizations take an active role in making this very important decision. In developing your brand structure, it should be clear and easy to comprehend, and should make the company’s strength visible both internally and externally. In addition, you need to consider the visual expression of all the elements within your brand structure and how they relate.
The identities of most organizations fall into three broad categories:
- Master Brand
- Endorsed Brand
- Invisible Brand
These categories are not always mutually exclusive and rigidly defined; that’s where we come in.
Our Brand Structure presentation clarifies what we mean by each of these categories. And since there are many factors that go into this very important decision, we help you choose the brand structure that most closely aligns with your goals.
And the best news is, once you’ve made this decision, the hardest and most important part is done: you now have a framework for sustainable growth, strategic business decisions, and brand identity alignment.
Addressing the most important burning question that is mission critical in your work
Great communication can happen only when there is clarity about what is most important, and such clarity is often lacking. Having the right people in the room for this work is critical.
Your brand DNA comes from the many people inside and outside your organization, and for this tool, we gather together 12-18 key insiders and stakeholders—representing all levels and subsets of your organization inside and outside your company—and lead you through a six-part conversation.
The three-step Messaging Retreat Process uses a scientific model to explore the living system of your organization through nine lenses (see below) to see the question from all relevant perspectives. Modified for organizational work, this process is a valuable tool for achieving clarity about a single burning question that is crucial to your organization’s mission.
Step 1: The group starts by posing the most burning question—the BIG, mission-critical problem you’re trying to understand and solve for. The nature and scope of the opening question sets the stage for the work to unfold.
Step 2: We then lead the group through the nine lenses/perspectives.
Step 3: Information, relationships and identity become evident.
Below is a synopsis of the nine lenses we use to look at your burning question:
- Identity: Who are we? What is our identity? What is our history, individually and collectively?
- Intention: What are we trying to do? What are our intentions? What is our future potential?
- Issues: What problems and issues do we face? What are our dilemmas, paradoxes, and questions? What is holding us back from moving forward on a project/making a change? How do we “unclog” the system?
- Relationship: What are our relationships like? How are we connected to other individuals and organizations that we need? What is the quality of these connections? Are there too many or too few of them?
- Principles and Standards: What are our principles and standards of behavior? What are the actual ground rules—really? What are the undiscussable behaviors that go on over and over?
- Work: What is our work? What are you physically doing? What is the actual task at hand?
- Information: Do people know what is going on? How do you create and handle information?
- Learning: Are you learning anything? What is your learning process? What is the future potential?
- Structure and Context: How are you organized? What is your structure? Where does the energy come from that makes things happen in the organization? Is your hierarchy deep or flat? What is happening in the larger environment in which you are trying to thrive? Who are your competitors and what are they doing? What is the context or surrounding environment in which you are living and working?
We first schedule input meetings to ensure the questions align with your one burning question. We convene for a 3 day in-person retreat to explore a single, critical question from nine perspectives. We then schedule another half-day with the internal group to prioritize the findings and create a field of meaning map from the input from the session. In most cases, this map will confirm what is already known, but it also reveals some true “a-ha” insights that had previously gone unrecognized within the organization. Most importantly, by the end of this experience, you have a full vision of your mission-critical question: including intention, issues, relationships, principles and standards, work, information, learning, and structures and context.
Bringing the right value to the right audience
If one of your organization’s goals is to grow an existing customer or audience segment, or to attract targeted new audiences, you need to make sure you have the right value proposition.
For organizations that already have audience personas but do not have a value proposition designed for each, this tool is a critical step in your marketing success.
In order to ensure you have the right value proposition for your audiences, you need to document who they are and what motivates them so you can position your offerings to reach them effectively. We will work with your team to facilitate specific customer profiles with relevant insights so you can understand who they are from their point of view.
Step 1: Select a customer segment
Step 2: Address the three parts of that customer segment:
- What are they trying to get done? What are their needs?
- What things stand in the way of achieving this?
- What positive outcomes or benefits come from what they are seeking?
Individual customer needs vary, so you need to get a sense of customer priorities. Make the hard choices to rank the different jobs, pains and gains.
Step 3: Armed with this information, we will then look at your value proposition—in particular:
- What are the products and services you offer that fit their needs?
- What are your pain relievers for their pain points?
- How do your products and services create the value or benefits they are seeking?
To achieve the goal of being more inclusive, you must first understand the needs of the people you want to attract, and then design a map to fit those needs. This tool empowers you by clarifying what services these customers want. With this information, you’ll know if you need to develop more relevant products or services. This will lay the groundwork for creating marketing strategies that are audience centered resulting in connections and engagement.
Creating a roadmap that fits you
Using our established process, we first gain an understanding of the different audiences you are communicating with. We audit your organization’s internal and external marketing communications to identify strengths, weaknesses, gaps, and opportunities. Each audit is tailored to your specific goals and reviews the different forms of marketing communications you are currently using. We review messages as well as your brand identity in the following:
- print materials
- PowerPoint presentations
- sell sheets
- rack cards
- tradeshow displays
- email marketing
- social media
We offer different levels of this service, ranging from a basic audit where we work with your team and use our established process for the audit, to a more robust service in which we conduct additional research in the form of interviews and surveys. (Budget and need can determine which level is best for your organization.)
Creating audience-centered marketing materials and campaigns
Once we have a deep understanding of your organization, brand and marketing, we work within that structure to create highly effective marketing communication strategies to achieve your goals.
Every goal is unique, and so is every engagement. First, we make sure that we’re solving the right problem, that we truly understand the audience and the buyer journey, and that everyone is clear about what success will look like.
Next, we create an audience-centered communication strategy that tailors the value proposition for that audience, and work with you to identify the audience segments you want to reach. This written strategy identifies tactics and materials that will be most effective. With this essential strategy groundwork, we can give you fair and accurate estimates for the creation of digital and/or print assets.
The best campaigns leverage multiple channels, mediums and touch points—with cohesive messaging. They push emotional and economic triggers. They invisibly guide the audience along their educational and evaluation journey, in a way that doesn’t smack of a sales pitch. And ultimately, they open doors and achieve measurable results.
A new look and feel for your company
If the communications audit reveals that your company is in need of a rebrand, Orange Square has a proven process that delivers your true current identity.
Our first step is to evaluate your competitors to understand the visual landscape where your organization competes. We document the look and feel of your top competitors in a presentation that we review with you.
Using this comparison and results of the communications audit, we focus on your brand strategy—including your mission, vision, values—as well as information learned from completing any or all of these tools.
- Business Model Canvas
- Brand Structure
- Strategic-Messaging Workshop
We also look at any recent business strategy documents, client surveys, or employee surveys you may have conducted.
With this information, we create three mood boards to represent the different visual directions your brand Identity could go. The boards consist of your logo, and possible new typefaces, colors, and images—the building blocks of your new brand Identity—and these looks are presented in the context of your competition.
Using the approved mood board, we then design mock-up versions of the various marketing materials your company requires* such as:
- website homepage and two secondary pages
- PowerPoint slides
- brochure cover and two spreads
- fact sheet
- email template
- and any other elements needed
*The list of marketing elements is customized for each client.
The key to success is to design all of these elements at once—ensuring the design solution will be cohesive—and to show the new look and feel of your brand identity to every decision-maker to allow for any changes that need to be made.
Once the new look and feel is approved, we present your new brand strategy and new brand identity to all employees. This step shows the new vision for the company, allowing employees to understand why changes are being made and to embrace the changes they will see as each element is fully written, designed, and produced.
At the end of this process, the list of marketing materials are prioritized and estimated, and each item is produced.