Navigating A Brand
Black Hills, Inc. Heating and Air Conditioning, rebranded as Black Hills Home Services, is a $13m company with over 60 employees focusing on Heating, Air Conditioning, Plumbing, and Electrical. I was brought in to develop and manage their branding and it’s related facets as it pertains to marketing, design, and communications. I was also tasked to assist with marketing, copywriting, and generally do design related work.
While I began to immediately do the needed design work, I also began the evaluation process of understanding Black Hills position and equity. This began by trying to understand what the company had been doing so far and how it aligned with their mission and services.
There was a lot going on. This graphic encapsulates the visual identity and branding for Black Hills in 2018 well. Their fleet of vehicles had 3 variations of a Black Hills word mark and a vast lack of consistency with anything their visual branding touched. The Captain Comfort graphic was dated and offered little flexibility.
The identity was updated within the constraints (including keeping the logo mark) at the time. New vehicle wraps for the fleet were also designed, with limited options for variation available (per constraints).
The result of the process leading to the starting point of developing brand solutions was the development of a full marketing plan for the company, as none had previously existed.
There is a strong polarization between ownership, mission, employees and company culture, the demands of the market, and the customer. While the company does stellar work in their services to their customers, the polarization is a narrative that was evident in my evaluation.
The solution was to work with ownership and his vision for the company based on what he wanted as a starting point. From there I looked to the mission and the relationship between employees, service, and customer experience and relationship. Only then could the brand begin to be shaped/realigned.
The visual communication was streamlined to represent the Super Service Black Hills provides, giving cohesion and a sense of pride and unity to the company.
Black Hills relied on customer retention. The Service Superhero Chronicle was incredible important to ownership in this respect. A good amount of research not only into membership psychographics, but into sales focused newsletter content and design resulted in a quarterly newsletter that was both effective and engaging.