Case Studies

Port of San Diego / Brand Evolution

The Opportunity

Challenged with a wide set of responsibilities and services from real estate, hospitality, security, environment, and recreation, the Port of San Diego was often misunderstood by the public. The 55 miles of waterfront touches five cities and millions of visitors each year. They needed to be understood by all audience and their brand lacked clarity. The opportunity was to bring clarity and deeper meaning to the Port all while aligning their internal teams to work together in unison.

The Work

We researched their unique history, gathered insight from a cross-section of touchpoints, and surveyed, interviewed and held focus groups. Through this we listened and aligned internal stakeholders from across the organization and external stakeholders including representatives from five cities. The evolved brand strategy was built upon and launched based on a singular archetype: The Innovative Champion.

The Port needed a brand that better communicated its impact on the region, its global reach, its wide variety of business operations (organized and expressed through sub-brands) and its core beliefs.

This brand strategy helped to create an evolved brand position, messaging, identity, guidelines and a highly orchestrated brand launch.

The Result

The orchestrated brand launch (internal first, then public) enriched the relationship people and businesses have with the dynamic waterfront of San Diego Bay, providing prosperity and a more remarkable way of life.

The evolved brand was embraced by internal teams, creating deeper cultural alignment, and by the public and especially the media. As well, the evolved brand has won multiple industry awards for its integrated results.

Contact Steve Now >

“The branding effort unifies and clarifies the Port’s vision and diverse functions. Residents and visitors will understand the opportunities they have to enjoy recreation, dining, shopping, public parks, open spaces, and more,” said Randa Coniglio, the Port’s president and CEO.

“Tenants will thrive as more people come to the waterfront. And Port staff will benefit from a brand that is a rallying point and source of pride in the organization to which they contribute each and every day.”

Contact Steve Now >

Fleet Science Center / Brand Evolution

The Opportunity

This gem in historic Balboa Park is one of the most visited museums in San Diego. We approached the brand evolution by clearly defining a strategic positioning and powerful brand story for the Fleet Science Center—expressed both verbally and visually—that manifests their unique and ownable positioning as a leading science organization extending beyond Balboa Park, in Education and our Communities.

The Work

In close collaboration with the Fleet leadership, we created meaningful and relevant messaging for the Fleet Science Center audiences and communities. We developed a strategic new brand platform, a dynamic identity, positioning and messaging, MarComm toolkits, extensive brand guidelines and a launch strategy to reflect the new vision pillars of the Fleet.

We clearly defined a strategic and powerful brand story for the Fleet Science Center — expressed both verbally and visually — that manifests their unique and ownable positioning as a leading science organization extending beyond Balboa Park, in Education and our Communities.

The Result

We developed a powerful brand expression for the Fleet and its programs: marketing materials and communications, social media, email toolkits and donor campaign strategy and creation. For the internal Fleet team, we created robust brand messaging, guidelines, toolkits and the training needed to take the reins and execute effectively.

The result is a living, breathing brand evolution that can expand with growth, welcome new audiences and express the wide variety of exhibitions the Fleet creates. The new brand sets the stage for where science starts and the Fleet continues to increase its membership and attendance, as a result.

Contact Steve Now >

“The Fleet Science Center connects people of all ages to the possibilities and power of science to create a better future. The work done on the new brand will create the future we all image possible for The Fleet.” – Dr. Steve Snyder, CEO, Fleet Science Center

“We truly appreciate all of the guidance and insight you provided. Steve’s presentation to the board was pivotal for our brand’s success. You had a lot of passion for this project, and it showed in the beautiful work that you did.”

– Wendy Grant, Director of Marketing & Communications, Fleet Science Center

Contact Steve Now >

Academy for Professional Excellence / Brand Evolution

The Opportunity

Affiliated with the School of Social Work at San Diego State University, the Academy for Professional Excellence does masterful work in training social workers throughout California.

The Work

Over the course of three months, Steve led research that gathered insight from a multi-functional perspectives across the organization and interviewed key stakeholders and customers to gain insight how the Academy was perceived by and impacted the world. Building on the research and insights, Steve created an elevated brand platform of messaging, belief-driven values and a positioning strategy.

The Result

This brand strategy helped to create an evolved position, messaging, identity, cultural-fusion, guidelines through a highly orchestrated brand launch.

Now, the Academy brand beliefs and impact stories pervades company culture through meaningful, ongoing conversations in every training and department. Two years after the brand evolution launch, the Academy has seen 30% year-over-year growth and increased employee retention.

Contact Steve Now >

“The impact of our work with Steve is beyond measure. On a regular basis, we receive positive feedback from our stakeholders about our brand look and feel as it’s conveyed via our website, printed materials, office walls, promotional items, etc. And the inspiration that our new brand language has brought to our staff has been even more powerful.

Everyone seemed to double down on their commitment to our mission and vision once we’d grounded it in “Our Why,” and every staff member is 100% committed to delivering on our brand promise in every aspect of our work. We’ve even been able to increase employee engagement by working intentionally to ensure or promise of “creating experiences that transform the heart, mind, and practice” applies within our walls – this promise now drives our interactions with our partners as well as with our staff.”

– Jennifer Tucker-Tatlow, CEO of The Academy for Professional Excellence

Contact Steve Now >

Hubbs SeaWorld Research Institute / Brand Evolution

The Opportunity

With more than thirty years of world-renowned oceanic research behind them the leadership team and board of directors at Hubbs SeaWorld Research Institute wanted to invigorate their brand. Their goal was to clarify the impact of their respective research and to increase their fundraise ability through more accessible brand storytelling.

The Work

Over the course of six months, Steve and his team advised, consulted with the leaders, board of directors and fundraising team to mine to create a new brand platform and overall expression.

A complete brand evolution program was created that included a brand guide, evolved identity, storytelling toolkit, and fundraising material. Key messaging on the website and marketing materials were reworked and activated.

A new #SeaChange fundraising campaign was stimulated to increase donor growth.

The Result

Today, the Hubbs SeaWorld Research Institute origin and research impact stories permeates throughout the public, with drastic increases in audience reach and fundraising dollars.

Contact Steve Now >

“I am overjoyed to see this beautiful, concise yet impactful result!

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!”

– Eileen Sigler, CFRE, Development Director, Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute

Contact Steve Now >