The Wills Group

A New Direction for The Wills Group

The Wills Group has enjoyed 90 years of growth and success in the Mid-Atlantic region. As with many successful and long-lived businesses, they found themselves at an inflection point in their history. Long-held assumptions had shifted; new entrants had entered their core markets and the mix of tools and talent they needed to be successful had changed significantly.

It was against this backdrop that we began working with The Wills Group on redefining their corporate brand to meet the challenges of a new era. Consistent with our core tenets, our approach began with an effort to ensure that the overall business strategy and the brand strategy were properly aligned. This process inevitably involved iterating on both Corporate Strategy and Corporate Brand Strategy at the same time; each impacting the other, with the impacts flowing in both directions. In this task, our unique ability to flex between brand / design thinking and business strategy thinking was invaluable in ensuring an effective process. 

Brand Purpose Defined. 

As a result of this work we were able to formulate a fresh articulation of The Wills Group's purpose that was aligned both with long-held values and with the growth priorities of the next 5-10 years. We used this freshly articulated brand purpose as an organizing principle to guide organizational design, including the relationships between corporate and the operating companies. This structure was further reinforced with a new corporate brand identity and a set of guidelines that provided guidance on how the brand purpose could guide the future direction of the business: structurally, culturally and in it's interactions both with insiders and with the outside world.

Bringing it all together.

As a result of this foundation, we were able to help the The Wills Group to further define their brand in key areas, including Corporate Social Responsibility, Employment Branding, Employee Experience and culminating in the design of a new 40,000 square foot head office, less than a mile from the old building they had occupied for decades. The design of this new building was a physical embodiment of the company's aspirations and cultural direction.