Getting to the heart of an industrial pioneer.
Court Holdings Ltd. is a global pioneer in metal surfacing with more than 30 plants on five continents. They were set to rename themselves Surface Tech and had made progress on a website with another company—but they weren’t happy. We started with a brand discovery, proceeded to naming and visual identity, and presented a strategic assessment for CORE’s online presence. Today, CORE has a beautiful website that is built one release at a time to respond to evolving goals and needs.
CORE – A COURT GLOBAL NETWORK
CORPORATE REBRANDING AND VISUAL IDENTITY
THE BIG PICTURE
On the surface (no pun intended), it might look like Court Holdings provides surfacing technology and know-how to steel companies. But really, Court’s core purpose is to partner with other—usually bigger—companies to solve problems that only Court has the passion, tenacity and creativity to tackle. Together we took what was supposed to be a logo design and turned it into a much needed global brand.
Surface Tech is a network of companies owned by Court Holdings Limited in conjunction with leaders in the steel, aluminum and other non-ferrous industries.
The immediate objective is just to develop a logo for Surface Tech but this one was a little different. We felt that Surface Tech pigeon holed what they did and the alternate name Court Holdings sounded as though they should be in front of a judge.
They needed more than a logo… they needed a brand.
In our discovery interviews with the client, key information came to light that focused our strategy. The client did not want to ‘leverage’ the ‘Court’ name and they didn’t want to push one service more than another. “Surface Tech was the name because we were focusing on the engineered surface for the rolls but it only speaks to the rolls. We’re looking at a bunch of other aspects that don’t have anything to do with rolls. Not just surface-oriented either.” “What are our strengths? A commitment to being environmentally responsible and innovative; an ability to build solid relationships and our global experience needs to be emphasized. We want to be clear, concise and strong.”
Court’s purpose is to invent new ways of doing things—solving problems and adding value to partners and customers in the process. Quality, innovation and relationships are key. It’s how Court—a company that maintains a “small company mindset” can partner with the global giants of the steel industry.
WORD MAPPING AND BRAND KEYWORDS
After familiarizing ourselves with the client’s business, objectives, industry, target audience and competitors. The first step was to conduct a word map exercise where we write down any words or even phrases that come to mind. This helps us manifest starting points for visual exploration. From there we were able to narrow things down to the strongest ‘brand’ keywords that resonated with the client as a true representation of the brand.
A ‘brand mantra’ is a two- to five-word statement that contains all the important points about competitive frame of reference, points of difference and points of parity of the brand in an easily understood way. It’s not a tag line and it may not even be for external consumption. For example, Nike’s brand mantra is “Authentic Athletic Performance” whereas their tag line is “Just do it.” The brand mantra can be used to set (and maintain) brand (and company) direction and became one of our reference points throughout the branding process.
BRAND ATTRIBUTES AND NAME STORMING
We used our brand attributes worksheet with the client to help us define some key visual and character traits to express the brand. When we ask ourselves what the identity should look like, we can use the attribute worksheet to help us determine the brand’s “personality”. Then taking that personality, we start exploring name possibilities. Creating the right name is a mix of creativity, meaning, impact, use and of course availability. The goal is to get as many ideas as possible and uncover which names have the greatest appeal and impact.
VISUAL BRAINSTORMING AND CONCEPT IDEATION
Corporate Naming / Branding / Visual Identity / Web Development
- strategic assessment and brand discovery
- creative concepts and direction
- name recommendations including domain research
- logo design and visual identity
- design and copywriting
- market profiles and user personas
- custom WordPress website development
Because Court truly is a global company, we were asked to hold three in-person / conference call presentations of the visual identity and brand concepts so that partners from the around the world (including USA, France, India and China) could share their feedback and unique perspective. In the end, CORE – A Court Global Network was selected as the corporate name and the final logo and icon were approved. Not an easy feat considering the history, complexity and number of international perspectives to accommodate!
Positive feedback from within the organization and from CORE clients and partners was confirmation that the branding project was a success. Since then we have continued our partnership with CORE and have applied their new visual identity to the organization’s (first and only) website and continue to work with them to refine their online presence.