Ironclad Brand Strategy [logo] Ironclad Brand Strategy

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We take your leadership through our comprehensive process to land on your ironclad brand strategy.

Case Studies

See how we drove growth for these clients:

Approaching IPO, company defines its brand

Challenge

This health care technology company had been heads-down building an excellent product but had not given fair attention to their brand. As they approached an IPO, they needed a cohesive brand story to enthuse investors and customers.

Solution

The CEO engaged us to take the company through the Ironclad Method™. We mapped the potential positioning directions and built out the most hard-working brand promise and character. The company shifted from describing a complicated product explanation to telling a simple brand story easily understood and loved.

Evolving B2B company defines brand with precision

Challenge

This thriving business had a new focus, having shifted business models and brought on a new veteran CMO in the past year. The vision and fundamentals were strong and ambitious, yet the business had not yet put a stake in the ground on what the brand would stand for, and what the business would uniquely own and celebrate.

Solution

Through the Ironclad Method™, we took the business’s existing point-of-view, isolated the element that was differentiated to Cornerstone, and codified a brand strategy that would work hard to grow the business in a focused, inspiring way. We began by gathering insights the company had already gathered about the customer, and then zeroed in on several directions we could sharpen. Over the course of two half-day work sessions, the team used Ironclad’s initial point of view as a starting point, and defined with precision the brand positioning Cornerstone could claim for its own.

Marketplace player prepares for IPO through potent positioning

Challenge

This successful pioneer in the cannabis space was transitioning into a marketplace model with an eye toward going public. Given the myriad attractive options for growth, leadership wanted laser focus on a single brand idea.

Solution

The CEO and CMO engaged Ironclad to define the brand strategy that would enable focus as they grew in preparation for the IPO. We began by defining not just today’s audience, but the desired audience for the coming years. With this as the orientation point, we built a brand promise and positioning that set this brand apart from the competitors, while also welcoming consumers new to this space.

High-performing SaaS “house of brands” seeks crystal clarity

Challenge

This house of brands needed laser focus for their rapidly-growing portfolio of brands.

Solution

With the Ironclad Method™, we surfaced the most salient sources of differentiation and customer need. We then formed a distinctive brand promise and benefit ladder, with brand character and personality. The resulting brand strategy became the business strategy to guide decision-making across the growing businesses.

Software darling needs a North Star

Challenge

This high-performing B2B software company had acquired multiple brands and was having trouble seeing and leveraging its overarching brand idea.

Solution

Using the Ironclad Method™, we culled insights on the sweet spot customers, internal stakeholders, and competitive strengths, revealing potential positioning themes. Over our 2-day Ironclad retreat, we built a potent brand strategy that has guided growth through the IPO and first years as a public company.

Spun-off technology company defines its own bold positioning

Challenge

This spun-off technology company in the connected home space was ready to part ways with the previous owner’s brand identity and claim their own positioning.

Solution

Drawing from insights from adjacent categories, we used the Ironclad Method™ to identify the company’s optimal positioning – one that is both highly differentiated and highly customer motivating. We ensured cohesive positioning fit with both Consumer and Business audiences, developing a brand character and promise that unified the sweet spot.

Ed Tech company super-charges brand building

Challenge

This thriving ed tech company had grown rapidly and sought to build a brand in order to become less reliant on search marketing. It spurred the questions: What do we want to stand for? What do we want our brand to mean?

Solution

Using the Ironclad Premier Method™, we conducted interviews with the sweet spot audience to uncover why they decided or did not decide to become customers. Using these as raw insights, we developed a rigorous and nuanced positioning utilizing all of the proprietary frameworks of the Ironclad Premier Method™. After the brand strategy was complete, we advised the CEO and CMO through the implementation of the brand strategy.

Category creator articulates its North Star to prepare for hypergrowth

Challenge

This SaaS platform business had just raised their Serie E round in preparation for rapid growth. Leadership craved a North Star to guide them as they built an audacious new category.

Solution

Using the Ironclad Method™, we built a brand strategy that makes it easy for customers to understand and bond with this new category. We defined a brand promise that leveraged the differentiated functional benefits, and the brand’s character and transcendent “why.” The CEO and CMO shared that this brand strategy had become the company’s business strategy and North Star.

Broadening Customer Base Calls for More Intentional Positioning

Challenge

As online retailer Zulily grew, the company broadened its product offering from children’s merchandise to merchandise for the whole family. This called for renewed clarity and vitality in the positioning.

Solution

We began by culling existing customer research to identify functional and emotional benefits. We then divined common qualities among diehard customers: not just demographic markers, but psychographic, behavioral and attitudinal characteristics. We matched this fully-fleshed-out target customer with what Zulily uniquely brings, culminating in the creation of a new tagline, “Something special every day.”

Challenger brand seeks breakthrough brand position

Challenge

The mobile broadband business within T-Mobile was not capturing customer attention, as customers perceived the players in this space as a sea of sameness.

Solution

Using the Ironclad Method™, we identified where this business would have a “right to win” in a largely undifferentiated product environment. Once we had articulated the product’s functional advantages for this customer audience, we distilled the brand promise that this functional benefit enabled, as well as its emotional reward and character. With this distinctive positioning, the business had the clarity to break through.

Newly-spun professional services brand articulates who they want to be

Challenge

This B2B healthcare professional services firm had just spun off from its parent company and sought an articulation for who they “wanted to be.”

Solution

In a category that has traditionally been stodgy and change-resistant, this company was ready to claim a bold meaning. Using the Ironclad Method™, we engaged leadership to co-author the company’s bold brand strategy. We isolated the most compelling-but-also-credible brand promise to rehumanize healthcare, and established a benefit ladder, character and messaging hierarchy that would bring it to life.

Codifying Brand Promise for Evolving Specialty Business

Challenge

Cypress Grove’s founder had instinctively known and understood the cheese company’s brand, but hadn’t put it into words. As more and more people needed to represent the brand, from a burgeoning marketing team to a growing number of partners, it became a significant hindrance not to have it codified into a single brand promise.

Solution

We culled existing qualitative research to identify key consumer insights and create psychographic and demographic profiles for the target consumer. We started with foundational brand strategy elements – brand promise, value proposition, brand personality, brand pillars – then, after executive team input, produced an extensive compilation of deliverables for them to act on. Retained in an advisory position as the team implemented its updated brand, we coached them through building a marketing plan, expanding the marketing team, and identifying new PR and design vendors – ultimately helping them make powerful decisions as they brought the brand to life.