CandleLamp Stationery
April 24th, 2018

What Does Brand Transformation Look Like?

We talk a lot here at BOLTGROUP about transforming brands, but what does that really look like?

As we’ve discussed in these recent articles, transforming your brand is so much more than just changing your logo. It means thinking about your brand in a way you may never have before, a way that can truly change your business. Because ultimately, transformation is about how people think and feel about your brand.

As a leader of our creative team, I find projects like this are fun to be part of. When you truly transform not just a client’s brand, but more importantly, their bottom line, you know you’ve done good work. When I think back on hundreds of programs I’ve managed over the years here at BOLTGROUP, a couple of great brand transformation experiences rise to the surface.

One is a fashion client. David Donahue started their men’s fashion brand with tie bars, bowties, cummerbunds, and cufflinks. By the early 2000s they were selling well in Nordstrom, their largest customer. Then Nordstrom told David Donahue that, while they had a label, they needed a brand with meaning behind it to grow even larger at Nordstrom stores across the US. This is where BOLTGROUP came in.

Our team worked with company owners to create a true David Donahue brand. We established brand pillars and a strong new brand promise that supported the business strategy and would evolve with men’s fashion. From there we built out the individual pieces—every touchpoint of the brand was carefully crafted: trim, labels, packaging, in-store displays, website, videos, seasonal marketing materials, and advertising. What emerged was a brand men are proud to own and wear, and one retailers are proud to carry and sell. A true lifestyle brand—a masculine style designed to convey the ultimate in sophisticated self-expression. Precise branding helped them grow their men’s accessories company to a full line of menswear and now sportswear. True to their word, Nordstrom gave the company all the placements it could handle. David Donahue is now the epitome of taste, style, and expression for today’s man, and one of largest and top-selling brands in Nordstrom today.

A second transformation example is Candle Lamp, part of the foodservice industry. This brand, too, has a rich history. When the company came to us, they’d been in business about 40 years and were an industry leader in the foodservice sector, providing solid and liquid fuel, chafing products, flameless candles, and tabletop lighting for catering, hospitality, and retail. Their business was solid, but the only suggestion of brand they had was a tired logo. Candle Lamp was chasing Sterno for business, but they needed a spark, a connection to their customers and their market.

By carefully looking at who Candle Lamp really is and what a world-class brand should look like in this category, we knew where to take them. We helped the executive team create solid foundational truths of the brand, and also to redefine their brand positioning to incorporate the value of their people and the innovative spirit of the company. From there, we applied that strategy to a new brand architecture and product naming convention, a fresh identity, packaging and catalog redesigns, a new website, and even a mobile app for the restaurant industry.

Candle Lamp re-launched and the change was so dramatic that they immediately became the dominant player in both sales and industry presence. A few years later, business was continuing to do so well that they purchased their main competition in chafing fuels—Sterno. The story continues today, as we recently helped Sterno transform a newly acquired part of their business into Sterno Home.

What do you think? What would transformation like this do for your business and your bottom line? If your brand doesn’t hold a differentiated position of value with each of your internal and external audiences, it might be time to consider a brand transformation. BOLTGROUP is standing by to help change how people think and feel about your brand.

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