The Wills Group
defining what’s next for a 100-year old company
The Wills Group is a Maryland-based company with a 100-year history in a range of businesses including energy, retail and real estate. Their challenge, when they came to us, was to re-invigorate their corporate brand to meet the challenges and opportunities of a new era.
Our initial challenge was to develop a corporate strategy that ensured effective alignment between the group and its operating companies. This work resulted in a more relevant and focused corporate mission statement that provided a jumping off point for corporate brand development, including an in-depth look at corporate culture.
This foundational work provided The Wills Group with a springboard for a number of brand development initiatives. With our help, The Wills Group pursued a new brand identity, a new corporate communications strategy, new corporate brand management systems, and a new corporate office space, which we designed specifically to address the corporate culture plan we had helped to create.
An initial brand strategy engagement has grown into a multi-year strategic partnership, culminating in the appointment of Simon Pearce, Emotif’s Managing Partner, to The Wills Group’s Non-Executive Board of Directors in 2017.
What We Did:
Visual System Design
Brand Management Systems
VISUAL SYSTEM DESIGN
A new identity we designed for The Wills Group signaled a dynamic new era and a more customer-centric corporate strategy that included investments in CRM systems, enhanced customer experiences, and new products & services. The visual system provided an energetic and optimistic vision of the future and a communications framework for embedding this new era into company culture.
For The Wills Group, a new corporate HQ space was a critical component in this broader corporate transformation that included new ways of doing things for existing employees, and a need to attract a new generation of talent to fulfill the company’s strategic aspirations.
We supported this project by providing architectural and interior design services to re-imagine the layout, massing, finishes, furniture, decor and communications throughout the new HQ building space. Our approach was to use the space to reinforce new mindsets, habits and methods of how employees interact and collaborate.
Our design touched every aspect of the 50,000 square foot project designed to house up to 400 employees, including reception areas, work spaces, collaboration areas, conference rooms, training facilities and the dining facilities.
The design of this new building is a physical embodiment of the company's aspirations and cultural direction.
BRAND MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
Brand guidelines are only useful if they are consistently applied. Ensuring that everyone understands the brand, what it means, and how to represent it takes work. This work is more complex when a corporation owns many brands and sub-brands, all of which need to be managed in their own right, and in relation to each other. All of these situations apply to The Wills Group, which owns a number of different brands.
To make it easy for employees across the organization to understand and represent the brands correctly, we created a single portal on the company intranet for all things brand-related. This portal had three significant components:
An “off the shelf” brand asset management platform, which we customized and populated with content to meet The Wills Group’s needs for brand asset management and access
An online resource center that explained the idea behind the brand(s), how brand assets should be used, and detailed guidelines for the use of logos and other brand graphics and assets
A brand management workflow tool, that created an efficient system for requesting new brand assets and approving assets and asset requests