Connect are a great example of how a fast-growing company can outgrow their brand. From humble beginnings in 2010 as Connect Financial Recruitment, the newly-shortened Connect had become one of the biggest names in executive and interim search.
When Connect came to talk to March, they had a big problem. Although their business had snowballed, their brand identity and website had fallen behind. It did not reflect the size or prestige of their current client list or candidates. Connect’s branding was inconsistent and their messaging was not resonating with their target audience.
Connect wanted to move from a local startup to a blue-chip executive brand.
We started by working on Connect’s brand identity.
First, the brand colours. We changed the palette from mid-tone greys and sky blue to navy and silver – colours that convey trust and establishment. We also added a coral accent for extra vibrancy.
Next, the typeface. We switched Connect’s previous, restrictive Eurostyle typeface in favour of Lato, a more modern font designed in 2010. Lato’s semi-rounded letters convey a feeling of warmth to the reader, but with a strong structure that radiates seriousness and stability.
Once the new visual identity was completed, we produced a 12-page brochure introducing the logo, logotype and rules for usage. We also put together an email campaign to familiarise Connect’s subscribers with the new brand.
Next, we went to work on a new website for Connect. We started by creating interactive wireframes to sketch out the content layout and the user journey through the new site. At each stage, Connect gave us feedback about how it was looking. This collaborative process allowed us to create a stronger product at the end of the process.
The concept for the new site was ‘mobile-first’, so we ditched the traditional navigation bar for a mobile (hamburger) icon with a fly-out menu. We also directed a professional photoshoot for the custom profile and lifestyle images, with clear guidelines for their composition, tone and size.
To allow Connect to efficiently manage all aspects of content and imagery on their site, we made the CMS simple to use. This would also help with SEO.
Finally, we created new content sections on the site to allow for testimonials, team member pages and, most importantly, a new blog section. The Connect blog would allow Connect team members to publish unique insights into the financial industry, as well as company news. It would Connect position itself as an authority in the industry and generate leads.
The new branding we designed for Connect, along with the new website and CMS, allowed Connect to reach its target audience with a clearer, more concise and more consistent message.
Connect loved the work we did for them, from the core elements of the project; the new brand identity and website, to the supporting materials such as the brochure, email campaign, staff e-signatures and social media assets.
Our work helped Connect realign its brand from a local financial recruiter to a global executive recruitment specialist. It drastically improved the user experience on the Connect website, with the essential additions of mobile responsiveness and flexible navigation. Finally, the ability for Connect to share insights into their industry gave them a new level of prestige.
Connect required a rebrand and new website that would represent our growth into more executive and international markets. March understood this brief and delivered to the highest quality. Their collaborative approach allowed us to feel involved at every stage of the process and their speed of response throughout was impressive, and ensured the project maintained momentum. We would fully recommend March to any company looking to take their website and branding to the next level.Andy Naylor