APM-Terminals – Picking up new business

Picking up new business

How APM Terminals drove growth at its cargo container ports

Any given hour, somewhere in the world, a huge cargo ship is docked at an APM Terminals port and containerized cargo is being lifted on and off by 30-story tall cranes. By one measure, the number of TEUs, the classic twenty-foot equivalent capacity of a cargo container, came to nearly 10 million a year for APM Terminals. The movement of containers around the world, from producers to markets, can be seen as an indicator of the health of global trade.

But for APM Terminals, the need to grow business had to go beyond a strategy linked just to picking things up and putting them down. The work that Tenet Partners did using research and analytics proved that APM Terminals’ branding strategy had to shift to achieve their aggressive business growth strategy.

Growing away from the parent brand

Part of the A.P. Moller-Maersk Group, APM Terminals operates a global network of ports and inland services. Established within Maersk Sealand in 2001, APM Terminals had grown to be the world’s second largest container terminal operator by volume by 2011. The company has interests in 64 countries and more than 22,000 employees.

Serving the world’s major shipping lines with the industry’s most geographically diverse network of ports, APM Terminals generates a large portion of its revenues from contracts with its sister shipping company, Maersk Line, whose container vessels load and unload their cargo at APM Terminals ports.

With Maersk traffic maxed out, the challenge was to grow revenue from other shipping lines. That was a difficult proposition because non-Maersk lines felt they would not get the preferred rates and schedules as Maersk’s own ships.

At the same time, the parent Maersk organization was implementing a new master-branded strategy that would closely align APM Terminals with the Maersk brand. To determine the optimum branding strategy for APM Terminals’ own growth, we had to deliver bulletproof logic to allow the parent to consider a different approach.

Listening to the voice of customers, employees and leadership

To gather intelligence on potential reactions to a change to the brand, we conducted extensive global research that surveyed the opinions of over 5,000 employees, executives, current and prospective customers across a wide range of audiences. We found that the most important indirect customer was not the shipping companies, but the sovereign ports where APM Terminals operated. Their economic futures were dependent on ports opening their local markets to global trade. They needed the security of knowing that any port operator had the global connections and financial stability to maintain operations. At the same time, any new brand positioning for APM Terminals had to address concerns of individual shipping companies.

Container terminals are a commodity service – what differentiates companies can be seen in their speed, efficiency, safety and level of professionalism. To give APM Terminals a brand that would stand out, we developed a distinctive, compelling brand promise that would differentiate the APM Terminals from its competitors, maintain important visual continuity with the parent company and unite the organization.

We repositioned the brand around a differentiating inspirational idea: APM Terminals helps companies grow and countries achieve their ambitions. The core benefit behind the idea was the company’s ability to bring international trade to local shores.

We captured the brand idea in a globally relevant tagline: Lifting global trade. Simple, bold and universal, the tagline provides a rallying cry for the entire organization. From blue-collar workers to white-collar employees, the entire APM Terminals team literally lifts boxes, commerce and ultimately economies.

A sign of independence

We knew we had to address the historic visual identity of Maersk and a revitalized APM Terminals brand. As part of this transition, we removed the iconic ‘Maersk’ star from APM Terminals sites and communication, a highly emotional symbol that visibly connected the terminals with the parent brand. That sent a loud and clear signal of independence of APM Terminals, and thus helped remove the perception of favoritism for Maersk ships. However, because our research also revealed that the Maersk brand was a critically important factor in winning bids and gaining approvals from foreign port authorities and governments, we maintained the same type font and light blue colors painted on the cranes and vehicles.

A year after the new brand standards were in place and shared globally with all port managers, we conducted a worldwide brand governance program to audit how well the standards were being adopted – all with the intention of pointing to those areas in a terminal where a visible brand would have the most impact.

Brand management was also extended to help reimagine their digital presence. To help their customers, we built an entire look for the corporate site, a design for interactive maps and a look for terminal sites. A workshop helped us understand APM Terminals’ digital business objectives and customer needs. With an analysis of previous research and metrics, we were able to create a new Information architecture and user experience.

The simple answer to helping APM Terminals achieve its goal for growth would have been to fit APM Terminals into the Maersk master-branded system. The right answer was to create an independent brand – and the results proved that to be correct. Within a year, APM Terminals had increased their revenue from non-Maersk customers by just over four percent. Business was picking up.

IBM – Transforming the technology conversation

Transforming the technology conversation

How IBM migrated from commodity provider to societal leader

From typewriters, to personal computers, to servers, IBM’s history has been for decades rooted in hardware. While efforts were made, with the acquisition of firms like PwC, to shift its position to one of a business consultative partner, it was clear that much more was needed to influence the marketplace perception of the company that was referred to as “Big Blue”.

To get a full measure of the transformation that took place at IBM over the last two decades, one has to take a trip down memory lane. Before the world became irreversibly interconnected. Before, in the words of former IBM CEO Lou Gerstner, elephants could dance.

Transformation No. 1: putting the “e” in business

As early as 1995, prior to the arrival of game changers like Amazon and eBay, IBM was busy re-engineering how business would be conducted in the new century.

Together with our colleagues across all IBM business units, Tenet Partners went to work to communicate IBM’s revolutionary vision, across markets, industries and geographies. The main challenge? How do you make what had been a back-end story become part of the conversation in the corner office.

While this was, no doubt, a monumental task, the solution was relatively simple. The overall culture had to change from an insular position of “producing products to sell and that the world would, unquestionably, buy” to one that took the time to focus on clients’ needs, what problems they were looking to solve. Tenet was there to help IBM take its first steps into what we know today as content marketing.

Tranformation No. 2: changing the company’s architecture to align with strategy

With no one paying close attention, IBM had evolved into a siloed federation of businesses. This had the effect of diminishing the overall value of IBM and the comprehensive portfolio of offerings. Decision was made to revisit this business architecture and do away with the barriers that had been erected between its various operating units. Sub-brands were sunset and all were to rally around the singular idea of IBM as the purveyor of end-to-end solutions.

Transformation No. 3: retooling the sales force to fuel meaningful conversations

IBM took center stage as the champion for innovation that matters. That bold position had to be reflected in the way its sales teams interacted with clients. This meant further transformation in sales enablement. Moving away from the old push-content strategy, Tenet helped create interactive tools that put customers in the driver’s seat.

The dynamic computer-based environment enabled IBM clients to start the conversation at the beginning: their business goals. Using the same tool, the sales team could then discuss how to put technology to work to solve these same issues. This was the beginning of a true partnership with IBM as the enabler of client innovation.

Transformation No. 4: defining the imperatives for a smarter planet

While the world might have gotten flatter, its complexities were, by no means, getting smaller. Neither was IBM’s challenge to continue fueling growth. To insure success, IBM set out to transform not only how business was conducted but how the whole planet lived. Enter the era of big data and analytics.

Tenet’s role was to ensure that the corporate strategy traveled across the enterprise. Our team of content strategists and designers worked hand in hand with IBM to demonstrate the power of data when it is turned into actionable information. Moving away from more traditional marketing collateral, we focused on other avenues such as thought leadership papers and ROI research.

The team also worked at enabling IBM to have a voice in the increasing mobile public square. This required a refined approach to how IBM communicated with clients: information design that traveled across devices, compelling infographics, innovative data delivery and an active participation in social media.

Transformation No. 5: the never-ending journey

A true sign of leadership is one’s adaptability and ability to seize on new opportunities. IBM has undeniably earned its place at the leadership table as it pushes the limits of the possible through metamorphic concepts like the cloud.

Today, Tenet continues to play an important role in supporting this societal influencer and its mission to continue to grow and improve the quality of life – and business – for everyone.

Connecticut Fund for the Environment – Bringing passion and activism to life through UX

Bringing passion and activism to life through UX

Clean air, water and land are essential ingredients in building and maintaining healthy, vibrant communities. For over 25 years, the Connecticut Fund for the Environment has worked to defend the skies, waterways and terrain in and around the area of the Long Island Sound.

CFE’s success, through both legislative and activist pursuits, is built on ongoing engagement with their activist members, donors and future generations of environmental stewards. When faced with the problem of connecting with those audiences and bringing their passion to life in the organization’s digital expression, CFE looked to Tenet for advice.

What began as a quick “web redesign” project soon became a journey, where every aspect of CFE’s marketing was put on the table and questioned. Brand architecture, user experience and engagement with stakeholders were all reimagined through the eyes of CFE’s audiences.

To help our teams navigate through this process quickly, we turned to our human-centered design methodology. In our first workshop, we created the personas the team used to inform future exercises, where we were quickly able to:

  • Re-architect and reposition the brand
  • Evaluate stronger brand attributes and thematic messages
  • Define a common and accepted taxonomy and labeling system
  • Build an information architecture and systems of wayfinding and navigation
  • Construct and apply a user experience that captured the energy of the organization and drove action its across disparate audiences

After building the foundation based on user’s needs and organizational vision, we put plans into action through the construction of an entirely new digital presence. What had been a primarily informational site became an engaging, motivational and intuitive experience designed to drive action. Developed from the ground up, the site can be easily managed, nurtured and maintained by the CFE team not just for today, but well into the organization’s future. Fully-responsive, and designed around customer personas, the site helps potential and existing CFE members come together online.

Our proven methodologies for working collaboratively is what made this project successful. Our shared passion for environmental stewardship helped not only create a personal bond between Tenet and CFE, but an even stronger bond between CFE and their constituencies.

Creating a new leader in payment accuracy

Creating a new leader in payment accuracy

How Cotiviti captured the strengths and values that tie the company together

In 2014, Connolly and iHealth Technologies (CiHT) merged to form an end-to-end payment accuracy services provider with unmatched expertise, technology and analytics capabilities. The company’s leadership team took advantage of the move to introduce a new vision and recast the customer value proposition. Tenet Partners played a strategic role in the evolution, guiding a comprehensive rebranding program to unify the company’s employees, stimulate new demand from clients, and set the stage for future growth.

An opportunity to chart a new course

Most conversations about mergers and acquisitions take place between business executives, financial analysts, and lawyers. The emphasis is on the future of the company post-merger. However, equal attention needs to be paid to the brand portfolio, and how to take it to market. There is no lack of positioning options. Management may choose to keep and refresh the legacy brands, or retire them and launch a new one to embody the combined company.

For companies in need of an immediate lift in perception, rapid action is critical. But for those already in enviable positions of leadership, as was true for Connolly iHealth Technologies, it’s important to take the time for thorough, strategic thought, research, and planning.

Connolly iHealth Technologies management decided to initiate a robust rebranding program in order to help the two predecessor companies identify their strengths, discover new ways to overcome potential weaknesses, and bring together their distinctive business cultures. Taking the time to formulate a robust brand strategy also provided the opportunity to reach out to various constituents—healthcare payers, retail clients, and employees worldwide—and gain actionable insights on existing perceptions and expectations for the future.

Distilling the essence of the organization

The original value propositions of Connolly and iHealth Technologies were distinct from one another, and management of the merged company believed a single approach was the proper course. This was supported by Tenet’s discovery process, which revealed that stakeholders wanted and expected a cohesive solution to emerge from the combination of the two companies.

CiHT management had a vision of how the joined company could create new value for its customers, and wanted to base its decisions in research and sound strategy. Tenet’s findings confirmed what management believed: the combined expertise of Connolly and iHealth Technologies could differentiate the company by unlocking hidden value across the entire payment continuum. In this way, the new organization would be able to help clients achieve greater operational excellence and payment accuracy than either Connolly or iHealth Technologies could individually. The rebranding exploration thus fed into business as well as brand strategies.

Strategy work that centered on understanding customer relationships gave CiHT management a clear view into the company’s two teams. By interviewing clients and employees, Tenet mapped the healthcare and retail customer journeys, gaining critical insight into the brand experience from every perspective. The result was a real-world sense of CiHT’s strengths and weaknesses, helping to define shared service principles and aspirations for the new organization.

Tenet’s research revealed a client-centric point of view that showcased what had made Connolly and iHealth Technologies successful. It was set of attitudes that existed at both companies long before the merger:

Service excellence: Results-driven employees, willing to exceed client expectations
Drive for tangible results: Positive financial outcomes for clients—fostering enduring customer relationships
Collaborative engagement style: Close, consultative approach focused on financial outcomes
Expertise: Innovative thinking coupled with deep industry knowledge

Zeroing in on the value-add of the new entity

Armed with a deep understanding of CiHT’s expertise, its culture, its clients and the marketplace, Tenet and CiHT teamed up to build a framework for its new brand. The framework was built on the image of a diligent, expert partner, digging into complex customer data in pursuit of one thing: finding and unlocking hidden value.

The central idea of ‘unlocking hidden value’ became a touchstone for everything from positioning to brand personality. Building on this foundation, the team turned to constructing a brand architecture that would bring employees together, and deliver the clear, joint value proposition clients had been looking for.

Tenet’s research also revealed that a new brand name and brand architecture were the best ways to solidify the merger of Connolly and iHealth Technologies. The interim name was healthcare-focused. At the same time, however, the legacy Connolly name and reputation had value for retail clients. It also pointed to the importance of the legacy name, Connolly, and the value that retail clients attached to it and its reputation.

Together with CiHT management, Tenet strategists explored a variety of options for the company’s brand architecture. Following Tenet’s recommendation, company management opted for a single master brand, with separate brands for the healthcare and retail businesses.

Cotiviti: The parent company
Cotiviti Healthcare: The combined services
of iHealth Technologies and Connolly’s healthcare operations
Connolly, a division of Cotiviti: The retail-focused division

This master- and sub-brand architecture retains the equity of the Connolly name for retail clients, while signaling unification and an overarching strategy for the company as a whole.

Tenet’s research findings were also reflected in the name and tagline. Cotiviti represents two ideas that most resonated with clients and employees: collaboration and creativity. The new tagline, ‘Analytics. Insight. Value.’, speaks to how Cotiviti unlocks value through the power of analytics that deliver actionable insights to clients.

During development of the verbal and visual brand identity, Tenet’s editorial, design, and digital teams worked closely together. At every stage, Tenet leveraged the strategy work to capture the essence of Cotiviti’s value proposition. The Cotiviti brand voice takes customer engagement in a new direction by bringing out the company’s strategic role in the success of its clients. The visual elements also play an important role in communicating key ideas—elements of the logo and design system evoke the value hidden in client data, the complexity of the client landscape, and the orderliness and rigor of Cotiviti expertise.

Consistent action builds the brand

A successful brand is more than the sum of its elements. Strategy, mission, vision, positioning, values, content, and design are all essential, but at its core, every powerful brand depends on delivering the right customer experiences. Equipping and motivating employees to make those experiences real is critical.

When asked to describe the number-one reason for the success of Connolly and iHealth Technologies as separate entities, clients and employees spoke of “promises kept.” Both were renowned for their respect for the relationships between clients and their providers. Both delivered an evolving portfolio of creative solutions, and invested teams of payment accuracy experts. But most importantly, both were dedicated to exceptional business results for their clients. These core traits became the core of the Cotiviti brand experience.

As part of the original brand strategy work, Tenet had mapped the journeys that clients take as they interact with Cotiviti and its employees. This documented what the company was doing well at relevant touch points, and suggested improvements that could reinforce brand perception and loyalty.

By seeing the customer experience in context, management was able to understand how the company’s shared ethos of quality is expressed in the real world. Together with Cotiviti, Tenet strategists used this knowledge to develop service principles that became the ‘Cotiviti Way.’ It is a code of conduct for every Cotiviti employee, creating a signature, customer-focused brand experience delivered through every interaction.

The true measure of merger success: 1 + 1 = 1

Since the formation of Connolly iHealth Technologies in 2014, clients and employees had been waiting to see what changes the merger would bring. The management team set clear goals for the rebranding exercise: rally the legacy healthcare and retail teams around a compelling mission, and foster a desire for collaboration across the newly unified organization. Employees, the company, and its customers all stood to benefit from a strong sense of community, common interests, and shared aspirations.

To achieve these goals, Tenet led a company-wide employee engagement program, rolling out in stages leading up to the launch date. This gave employees a solid grounding in the new brand’s personality, principles and attributes prior to launch day, when the new name and identity would be revealed for the first time. The program included live training, an internal brand education microsite, and an email campaign.

The training program was developed by Tenet and delivered by Cotiviti brand mentors. The goal: to generate a deep understanding of the role each employee plays in delivering service the ‘Cotiviti Way,’ and to show how incorporating brand values into every action—‘living the brand’—impacts the company and its clients. This training program was instrumental in shaping behavior and creating common purpose across business units.

Tenet built an educational microsite that complemented the live training by educating employees on the importance of the brand experience and how it contributes to business success. Through interactive games and engaging copy, a clear message was sent: by rebranding, Cotiviti is investing in the future of the company and its employees. The microsite also delivered the vitally important message that The Cotiviti brand cannot stand on its own. The employees themselves, by acting together through consistent, on-brand behavior must nurture it. In this way, employees would be the force that elevates Cotiviti above its competitors to become a distinctive presence in the marketplace.

Cotiviti’s microsite, together with a weekly email campaign, prepared employees for the new brand’s launch with clear, consistent answers to likely client questions. This helped to ensure that all key constituents would understand the benefits of the new brand and go-to-market businesses, and what to expect in the future.

Seizing the moment

A full rebrand is a rare event, marking the beginning of a new epoch for a company, its employees and its clients. It is a milestone that offers the seldom-seen opportunity to create greater awareness. It signals change and invites people to take a closer look at the company, what it stands for, and what it can do for them.

For Cotiviti management, the creation of a new brand was a means to communicate, clearly and assertively, how the merger of the two companies, Connolly and iHealth Technologies, went beyond a simple business transaction. The launch of Cotiviti telegraphed operational excellence and thought leadership—establishing the company as a true leader in payment accuracy.

Cotiviti’s trademark attention to detail was evident in the weeks leading up to the new brand launch. The Cotiviti marketing team worked closely with Tenet to orchestrate myriad activities. Tenet designed a comprehensive, multi-channel rollout strategy to drive awareness and excitement across all touch points. A new corporate website and user portals, employee communications, sales enablement tools, video, and additional marketing collateral were all part of the coordinated effort.

Communicating the vision

The successful creation of the Cotiviti brand has given the company what it needed: the means to elevate payment accuracy in the minds of clients, from a back-office business activity to a strategic best practice. And, it sends a clear message of how Cotiviti combines technology, proven expertise, and industry knowledge to unlock value for clients in a way no competitor can.

The new brand marks the opening of a new era for Cotiviti. “Tenet helped us crystallize the strengths that have always given Connolly and iHealth Technologies a competitive advantage,” said Michael Axt, Chief Marketing Officer. “Now, under one unified corporate brand, we look forward to watching our clients experience the power of our merged company, and the value we can deliver when we bring our distinct strengths together.”

Accelerating into the future

Accelerating into the future

For more than 150 years, specialty insurer Hartford Steam Boiler has been inspecting and protecting the equipment that makes the world work: everything from HVAC plants to industrial machinery. Now, Tenet Partners has helped position this respected leader for a new future.

A powerful brand that earned its place

A decade ago, Hartford Steam Boiler became part of the global Munich Re portfolio. At the time, the Connecticut-based company sought to make a strong case for retaining its name and identity. Tenet Partners stepped in with research that proved the equity held by the Hartford Steam Boiler brand and its iconic locomotive symbol, winning the approval of Munich Re leadership. The result was a dual brand approach—something previously unheard of for the parent company—that kept Hartford Steam Boiler at top of mind alongside Munich Re.

The key challenge: striking a balance between past and future

Times change, however, and so has Hartford Steam Boiler. In the years since the Munich Re acquisition the company has been hard at work, diversifying its offerings and investing heavily in areas such as cyber, the Internet of Things and data science. It’s also been modernizing its systems to better deliver on its reputation as a customer-focused strategic partner.

Hartford Steam Boiler had outgrown the literal meaning of its name. It was time for a new identity that would better represent what the company had become, without losing the ties to its long and proud history. The move was prompted in part by a new Munich Re portfolio strategy that recognizes the value of discrete, autonomous brands for companies that have high recognition and brand equity.

An ambitious global brand transformation project was undertaken in collaboration with Tenet Partners. The centerpiece was a new name—HSB—along with a logo and design system that successfully connected the past with the future. The Tenet design team struck a delicate balance that shows the company is still the same trusted partner its clients rely on while pointing to its ongoing innovation and increasing embrace of technology.

The logo incorporates a simplified, modernized version of the beloved locomotive symbol, keeping the identity rooted in HSB’s heritage. The streaming lines coming off of it suggest data and technology as well as speed, acceleration and an organization in transition. This is a clear indication of movement into the future while the same time serving as a subtle suggestion of the Munich Re logo.

A powerful visual system provides a platform for the brand to tell its story, employing bold use of typography, a vivid color palette and technology-infused imagery that modernizes the image of a company long associated with heavy equipment and creates meaningful distinction in the category.

Navigating the complexities of a global brand The challenge for HSB was not limited to balancing past and future. The new brand brought three companies within the Munich Re portfolio together under the global HSB banner: Hartford Steam Boiler in the United States; the Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company of Canada; and HSB Engineering Insurance in the UK and Ireland.

This was in no way a transformation to a parent company with international divisions. Each company had its own set of offerings and distinct clientele, which had to be accommodated. Tenet strategists worked closely with teams in all three markets to chart the best course. This proved especially important in Canada, where the Hartford Steam Boiler name was not well known.

It was decided to go with a transition strategy for Canada, with an interim HSB BI&I name that would be phased out over time as awareness of HSB increased. Ultimately, all three organizations would be known simply as HSB: a simpler, clearer way to go to market.

Using a collaborative workshop approach, Tenet also developed a brand story and audience messaging for the new brand, further tailored for the three regions. This created a cohesive verbal identity for the enterprise while acknowledging and accommodating the specific needs of the Canadian and UK organizations.

Building excitement for the big change

A global rebrand is no simple task. Many workstreams run in parallel and have to be coordinated. HSB and Tenet both put teams and processes in place to keep everything on track and moving, with highly effective management, clear communications and regular check-ins.

As the visual and verbal guidelines were being finalized, Tenet built an employee engagement program that helped prepare the workforce for successful launch of the new brand by educating all of HSB on brand principles and desired behaviors so everyone could start living the brand on day one, in every interaction.

The Tenet/HSB team also developed and deployed a paced internal and external communications program to build excitement around the new brand, with internal town hall presentations and employee emails, along with FAQs, discussion guides and client outreach. Signage, including a large lobby banner for HSB headquarters, was created in preparation for launch day.

“Overwhelmingly positive response”

Shortly after launch day, HSB’s Vice President of Communications, reached out to say how it went. “Response to the new HSB brand has been overwhelmingly positive, both from employees and customers. People around the company have emailed me to say how much they like and appreciate all the work that went into it. We have yet to hear even one neutral, much less negative response.”

Perhaps most telling was the feedback from an HSB audience that’s been notoriously hard to please. O’Shea said “In the parking lot last night a couple of managers from our engineering department came up to me and said how much they liked it. If there’s anyone who’s be critical, it would be someone from engineering”. So far so good!

The Hartford – Celebrating the past with eyes to the future

Celebrating the past with eyes to the future

How The Hartford puts the customer at the center of a centuries-old company

For insurance companies, the struggle to bring a human element into their business and culture is nothing new. The Hartford faced this dilemma as the company grew exponentially and ultimately became hampered by its inside-out corporate style.

Using a customer-centered brand strategy crafted in partnership with Tenet Partners, the company set the stage for a dramatic shift. Starting with financial communications and sponsorship of the NCAA, a fresh approach was developed to bring customers, and their personal stories, to the fore.

Creating a people-to-people experience

As the new brand personality was embraced by the organization, a larger effort to redesign the website and intranet began. The first step was to rethink the information architecture with a more human-centered design and emphasis on ease-of-use.

Based on user input, the site was divided into two categories: one for business customers and the other for individuals and families. These two areas were then better able to focus on the specific needs of two very different targets. The combination of visual elements and interface design significantly improved the site’s usability. It also had a positive result of increasing customer satisfaction and drawing more traffic.

Celebrating a rich history

In 2010, The Hartford refreshed its corporate brand positioning and identity to better reflect its move to become more customer friendly. The program helped launch the celebration of the firm’s 200-year anniversary.

Very few brands can boast such a rich history. In business since 1810, The Hartford was there for the Chicago Fire and the San Francisco earthquake, bonded construction of the Hoover Dam and the Golden Gate Bridge, and stood by customers through the Civil War, the Great Depression and two World Wars.

Our research revealed that The Hartford’s customers, brokers and agents considered the 200-year milestone a meaningful achievement that deserved recognition.

With customer brand research as the foundation, Tenet looked closely at the evolution of The Hartford Stag, the symbol of the company’s brand as far back as 1861.

Without diminishing the current promise of strength and stability, Tenet’s design team created a commemorative bicentennial logo that evokes The Hartford’s promise of empathy, expertise and enduring values. The bicentennial message – Trusted 200 Years – speaks to the company’s enduring relationship with customers.

To accompany the new logo, Tenet developed a dynamic visual system. The Hartford’s new visual identity creates a more meaningful experience for future generations of customers.

The design system – and its unique templates and toolkits – gave business units the flexibility they were looking for to tailor their communications to their distinct audiences without sacrificing corporate unity.

Capturing the human experience at Long Beach Airport

At Long Beach Airport, you’ve arrived

Capturing the spirit of Southern California in a better airport experience

In 2012, Long Beach Airport completed a major renovation designed to create a “first-class experience for all” – one that’s welcoming, convenient, and a step above what most air travelers encounter. Tenet Partners was asked to craft a new brand for the airport, helping attract passengers by capturing the spirit of the new airport and its accessible location, providing convenient access to all of Southern California. The brand was built to evoke the relaxed feel of Southern California and the airport itself – but first, the team had to find out what made that experience so special.

Complementing the environment to change how travelers feel

All too often, airport terminals are designed with a utilitarian eye. Travelers are hard-pressed to tell the difference between departure and destination; most concourses look the same and the businesses people encounter are identical. Travelers don’t really feel they’ve arrived in a different place until they leave the airport.

As part of its terminal renovation, Long Beach Airport took a different tack by deliberately making elements of the local environment and the community part of the airport experience. The ambitious project encompassed a 35,000-square-foot concourse with an open-air, palm-tree-lined esplanade, concessions that featured local businesses instead of generic nationwide franchises, native plant life, fire pits and historical art exhibits. The stunning architecture complements its surroundings; it feels like part of the city and the region.

Building consensus across the board

As a municipally-owned airport, Long Beach has a broad range of stakeholders and members of the local government and the community highly invested in it. To build the brand and gain consensus around the new direction, the Tenet team first needed to find out if the renovation was delivering the transformed experience that the airport intended.

Tenet strategists conducted more than 100 interviews with a broad range of people who use, work at, and are interested in the airport – outbound travelers and people arriving from far away, airport and TSA employees, businesses located at the airport, government officials and members of the community. The reactions among business and leisure travelers were overwhelmingly positive, for those familiar with the airport and visitors arriving for the first time, proving that what Long Beach set out to accomplish was in fact made real.

Clearly, the alterations had their desired effect. Statements like “I felt as if my vacation had already begun” and “what pride I felt walking through both terminals and seeing all of my favorite Long Beach-based restaurants” were common in reviews.

For all audiences, there was a clear thread running through the reactions: the experience at Long Beach Airport was more human than travelers had grown accustomed to. There’s a feeling that people have “arrived” when they come to the airport, thanks to a sense of heightened luxury and service that hearken back to a time when air travel was more of an adventure to be savored than a chore to be endured. It’s the first-class experience that Long Beach had made a primary goal of the renovation.

A new brand distills the essence of the Long Beach experience

In building the brand platform, the Tenet team focused on the human-centered elements that defined the airport experience, to bring out those factors that would encourage people to choose Long Beach Airport:

  • Balance A mix of new and old, bringing modernity while honoring the airport’s heritage and Long Beach’s aviation history, to deliver up-to-date service while hearkening back to the days when air travel was a real pleasure.
  • Convenience The ease of navigating through the airport, and the ease of getting from the airport to anywhere in Southern California.
  • Service A first-class experience for all, built from attention to detail and time spent partnering with and training those who bring the experience to life.
  • Scale A neighborhood airport experience that will never get too big, despite being in the center of a vital metropolis.
  • Connection A genuine connection to the Long Beach community and the Southern California region, with a sense of place that lets travelers know exactly where they are.

Long Beach Airport has some key advantages compared to the hustle and bustle of larger airports, giving it a flavor all its own. The physical environment is delightfully Southern Californian, with travelers able to relax in the open air, surrounded by reminders of where they are. These two thoughts found their way into a new tagline for the airport – “Where the going is easy.”

The “easy going” concept was extended into the new brand’s visual language, which uses the calming palette of the Long Beach shoreline – the warmth of the sun, the cool of the air and the calm colors in between – to capture what it’s like to walk off the airplane and arrive in Southern California. The symbols echo distinctive elements of the airport’s architecture and environment – the palms in the airport and the region, and hints of both the modern terminal and this historic building. There’s a clear sense of the airport as a destination in tune with its surroundings and the people it serves.

The successful combination of brand and experience

The airport’s new and improved experience are gaining notice, positioning Long Beach Airport in the way its management intended – as a gateway to the whole Southern California region, and a place that is more than just a conduit for airline passengers.

In early 2016, the airport’s local-business-based dining concourse garnered national recognition in a USA Today 10 Best readers’ poll that named Long Beach Airport the best in the nation for dining. What’s notable about the award is that Long Beach was the smallest of the 15 airports nominated – a testament to the first-class experience and attention to customers that the airport delivers.

Bryant L. Francis, former Director of Long Beach Airport, reinforced how important it is to deliver on the airport’s brand promise, and the role that the new brand plays. “Long Beach Airport is woven from the fabric of our city and is deeply connected to our customers, our neighbors and our community. Our new brand is a reflection of who we are today and part of our strategic investment in our future. Tenet Partners helped us capture the emotional essence of our identity and I’m proud of the image we have to convey to the world.”

A brand that communicates luxury, discerning lifestyle and financial success

A new approach to direct investing for ultra high net worth families

NuOrion Partners brings intellect and style to wealth creation and preservation

For the world’s wealthiest families, finance has a distinct character. Preserving financial assets for future generations is a central concern. That takes smart, forward-looking investment decisions and access to creative investment opportunities.

It is this highly specialized market that NuOrion Partners was created to serve. The enterprise has a unique vision: to empower families to make direct investments into deeply undervalued companies in partnership with existing or new management teams and best-in-class specialized investment firms.

The firm stands apart from both “private banking” and “alternative investment funds” as it creates opportunities specifically designed for wealthy families. It also offers simplicity, guidance and education – enabling clients to chart their own destiny by tapping into world-class expertise.

The firm’s management knew that, in order to attract this select group of investors, the company would have to blend its strong and differentiated investment approach with a distinctive brand. That was the challenge the company brought to Tenet Partners.

A full strategic exploration was made to reveal the unique nature of the firm and the value it brings to its clients. As part of the engagement, Tenet explored many potential names to attract attention to the new brand. The firm selected NuOrion Partners, alluding to the bright and distinctive Orion constellation.

For those seeking a refined service experience

For NuOrion’s customers, the right level of service, delivered the right way, is an important part of the overall relationship. These clients value sophistication, recognize true expertise and appreciate refined simplicity. How do you capture the essence of this world? NuOrion and Tenet worked together to map out the customer journey and create a unique experience at every stage.

By taking this client-centered approach, the team quickly concluded that the NuOrion brand had to reflect high-touch luxury and a discerning lifestyle, as well as finance. At the same time, the brand expression had to highlight the actionable financial vision NuOrion’s clients are looking for.

Tenet’s design team found inspiration in art, architecture, fashion and luxury goods to bring the NuOrion brand to life. This vibrant expression balances classic elegance with post-modern simplicity. The message is clear: NuOrion is an integral part of their clients’ world and understands the things they value.

Giving clients financial clarity and control

Ultra-high net-worth families place the utmost importance on finding and making smart investments to ensure the wealth of future generations. To that end, it was imperative that NuOrion leverage its website to offer more control and insight, placing clients at the center of their own wealth creation and preservation.

Tenet digital strategists created a set of portfolio modeling tools unlike anything in the industry. Using a simple, interactive interface, clients can quickly assess the impact of different investment strategies. Not only on the family’s overall holdings, but those of each family member. Thanks to clear and actionable information, clients can navigate the complexities of finance, enabling those responsible for the stewardship of wealth to make the right decisions.

With its new brand and online tools, NuOrion has achieved an enviable position. By understanding the goals and priorities of its clients, it has bridged the worlds of luxury and finance to become an integral part of their lives.

Making the performing arts thrive in Connecticut

Making the performing arts thrive in Connecticut

How does a premier, century-old performing arts center stay relevant and connect with audiences in today’s world? If you’re The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, you do it through innovative outreach in your community.

The Bushnell, a not-for-profit based in Connecticut’s capital of Hartford, is renowned for community programs and is a leading educator and advocate of the arts.

For years, the organization has had a positive impact. Programs educate and inspire school children, while performances thrill patrons of the arts across the state. The Bushnell has even had a hand in changing the face of the city itself, by creating and sponsoring Hartford’s iQuilt plan for urban revitalization.

Attracting the best performers and patrons has been a constant challenge due to competition from other performing arts organizations and the state’s large casinos. The Bushnell rose to the challenge by modernizing its brand to better connect with audiences and create a dynamic platform to help tell the organization’s story across its many venues and content types.

The new brand expression created by Tenet takes advantage of the literal stage at the center of so much of The Bushnell’s history. Using the stage as a metaphor, the design system enables an endless series of visuals to spring forth, encompassing the full breadth of experiences that The Bushnell makes possible.

The identity is woven throughout a full range of customer experiences, including a re-imagined digital presence, signage, environmental graphics and traditional media.

Dynamic and creative, the new brand captures The Bushnell’s spirit and energy, allowing it to speak in a compelling way to a whole range of audiences and constituents for years to come.

CIEE – swelling study abroad enrollment through digital marketing

Bringing a world of experiences to the connected generation

CIEE swells study abroad enrollment through digital marketing

CIEE: Council for International Education Exchange has an ambitious goal: improve international relations through cultural exchange. Each year, this leading nonprofit helps thousands of young people travel abroad to study. For those willing to get on board, it’s a life-changing cultural exchange experience that opens their eyes and minds.

To reach adventure-hungry students and deliver on its promises, CIEE has to rise above a crowded marketplace. With a well-deserved reputation for quality and support, CIEE has a powerful selling proposition. Getting the message out to promote the benefits of study abroad, and present CIEE as the best choice, takes sustained marketing efforts. The question is, what’s the most effective way?

Busy college students, the organization’s key constituents, can be challenging. This is a generation that lives its life online – the digital space is where they socialize, gather information, make up their minds and shape others’ opinions. It’s where marketers need to be, if they’re going to make valuable connections.

Testing the digital waters

Long reliant on more traditional marketing on campus, CIEE knew it had to expand its direct-to-student digital efforts. The organization found the perfect testing ground to try some new strategies: six universities in California, where CIEE programs were undersubscribed.

Selecting a specific market was a smart move because it took advantage of digital marketing’s greatest strengths: tight targeting, customization and precise measurement. If a way could be found to increase student applications from those six universities, CIEE would have a proven approach that could be rolled out nationwide.

CIEE called on Tenet Partners to craft and execute a new digital strategy. Tenet’s digital marketing expertise, combined with insight derived from a long and deep relationship with CIEE, helped to guide the team in selecting the most effective channels and marketing methods.

Targeted, relevant, persistent – and effective

The test campaign was designed to reach out to students in places they’re likely to visit on the web – Facebook and LinkedIn – with banner ads triggered complemented by Google searches on key words like “study abroad.” The campaign was also restricted by “geofencing:” ads would appear only if the student was on or near the campus. Limiting the ads to display when viewers were in an academic setting made them more relevant, while giving CIEE better data on effectiveness.

And thus the customer journey began… from banner ad, to customized landing page and call to action, to a request for information that triggered an intelligent email “drip” campaign. It was a carefully crafted sequence of events designed to strengthen the engagement and lead to final buy-in.

CIEE built meaningful relationships with students by keeping messages relevant, useful and actionable.

The campaign strategy allowed CIEE to readily determine which search terms were most effective, which channels resulted in the most leads, and exactly where those leads were coming from. With instant feedback, CIEE was able to nimbly fine-tune the campaign to improve results. For example, CIEE soon found that ads on Facebook were generating relatively few responses and reassigned more resources to LinkedIn.

The test was a great success and results were better than expected, with a lead generation rate of more than 17 percent. That gave CIEE the confidence to expand its digital marketing push, and take it in new directions.

Turning up the volume with a nationwide campaign

Building on the success of the California test campaign, CIEE launched its “Best Summer Ever” campaign nationwide. With summer study programs worldwide, CIEE wanted to showcase a key differentiator – the breadth of its offerings. The ad campaign led students to one of 19 customized, destination-specific landing pages.

This additional customization allowed CIEE to boost response by tapping into another strength of digital – intent-driven marketing. Search words are an indicator of intent. For example, a student searching for “summer study Spain” is closer to signing up for that destination. By giving the student exactly what they are looking for, a Spain-specific ad will result in higher rate of engagement than a general ad. It worked. The targeted ads and landing pages generated response rates far higher than the industry norm.

The lessons learned were put to good use. Remarketing (the placement of banner ads) was done at a more granular level, contact forms were shortened, coverage was expanded to Pinterest and Google+, and the keyword list was optimized to make the best use of marketing investments.

The results? The numbers speak for themselves. More than 11 percent of clickthroughs resulted in active leads – several times higher than industry norms. Far more impressive was CIEE’s ability to convert those leads into actual program applications. One out every two leads resulted in a student signing up for a summer program.

The way of the future

The CIEE Best Summer Ever campaign was a successful tour de force that showcased the unique ability of digital marketing to reach, engage, convince and compel to action. For CIEE, it demonstrated how digital engagement can drive results, and pointed towards a future of closer, more relevant relationships with its customers.

With CIEE’s assertive move into a new realm of marketing, the organization has a solid digital foundation to build on. Since 1947, CIEE has dedicated itself to bringing the benefits of international education and exchange to students. Now, it is poised to deliver those experiences to more young people than ever before.

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