Kohlmak Group hired Starr Creative to raise awareness, drive demand and increase sales. The second-generation company was losing ground to increased competition and technology and was in need of a complete overhaul of their marketing, branding and strategy. With modest budgets and reluctant ownership, we systematically gained their confidence and delivered dramatic increases in new business and brand recognition. Lead generation has never been better, web traffic has skyrocketed and revenue has jumped more than 20%. With an extremely modest annual marketing budget, that's something to write home about.
The first hurdle was education. Recognizing the need for change and embracing it are not one and the same, so Starr Creative took small, incremental steps to gain confidence and trust while rolling out new materials. The order and implementation of key deliverables was also carefully considered to minimize interruption and work flow.
We started with the logo. We modified the mark, revised the typography and updated the corporate color, which was darker and didn’t reproduce well. These changes resulted in a fresh, modern logo with an architectural feel, better legibility and greater visual impact.
Then came the collateral. With a new mark, new font, new color and unanimous support, we set about tackling the sales and marketing materials. This phase was critical since it allowed us to explore and solve design and messaging challenges that would impact the brand and define the company’s look and voice. Equally important, the collateral we developed insured Kohlmark Group would have the necessary deliverables on hand before taking steps to generate interest and demand.
Next, we tackled their website. Kohlmark Group desperately needed a responsive website, but the messaging, project portfolios and searchable content had to be right. With a focus on residential design & build, we sifted through decades of work, weeding out projects that didn’t meet a very high bar. We reviewed notes and drawings and spoke with the architects and project managers to write compelling job summaries. It had to reflect the quality and attention to detail that had long been a hallmark of Kohlmark Group and serve as a place to drive advertising and sales initiatives.
The trade show program needed attention too. The company had been using pop-up displays and hanging individually matted and framed photographs to showcase their work. This approach was time consuming, expensive and limited the number of projects that could be shown. A freestanding accordion “wall” was developed along with art panels that showcased more work, introduced key messaging and simplified the set up, take down and storage, saving both time and money.
The results have been spectacular. Lead generation has never been better and web traffic has skyrocketed. Despite increased competition and very modest annual marketing budgets, 2018 and 2019 were two of the company's best years. Revenue is up more than 20% and the number of projects has been reduced by 30%, a significant shift in business that indicates Kohlmark Group is winning larger and more profitable work. And anytime you're generating seven-figure returns with five-figure budgets, you clearly have something to write home about.