Consulting Firm Brand Coordinator

– Led Brand Refresh & Website Redesign for Elite Mid-sized Consulting Firm –

Situation

In 2009, Marbek Resource Consultants was celebrating its 25th anniversary and had achieved the enviable reputation as one of Canada’s top boutique consulting firms in the energy and environmental sector. Their website was 10 years old and their brand hadn’t been updated in much longer than that. They had also grown from 10 to 25 consultants during those past 10 years.

Marbek was still privately owned and wanted to refresh their brand and redesign their website to be more clear and professional in attracting new clients, consulting partners, and employees.

Actions

I coordinated the corporate brand refresh and website overhaul:

  • Developed business case and presented to Principals to secure budget and leadership commitment
  • Coordinated internal committee and external contractor teams
  • Coordinated corporate workshops to refine brand identity
  • Managed design and review process for visual identity (e.g., logo)
  • Designed website architecture and navigation, and developed website design guidelines
  • Worked through entire website design and development process with external firms (Partners + Edell and Geek Oracle)
  • Coordinated and assisted professional photographer and shot remaining photos myself
  • Selected representative images for project portfolio/gallery
  • Authored all corporate content on website, including scores of project summaries and consultant profiles
  • Populated, tested, and rolled out entire website
  • Trained colleagues on WordPress Content Management System
  • Implemented social media connectors for larger web presence
  • Designed, developed, and rolled out branded corporate marketing materials (i.e., business cards, brochures, letterhead, proposals/reports, presentations)
  • Developed “Style Guide” for use and maintenance of brand identity on website, collateral marketing materials, and in consulting proposals and reports

Outcomes

The outward-facing name was shortened to Marbek, the logo was modernized, and all digital and print materials were designed with the new brand colours, typography, and brand-aligned copy.

The website was completely redesigned to feature an interactive consultant gallery with each person’s profile bio. A similar gallery was made for the Project Showcase (sample projects), which could be explored by environmental topic or by type of consulting service. Both of these new site galleries raised the perceived professionalism of the company immensely, resulting in a site that made the company appear much larger than it was.

After launch, internal and external feedback was overwhelmingly positive. For example, before the website overhaul, new employees said they applied to work at Marbek despite the terrible website. After the rebranding, new employees reported that the website made them feel excited and proud to be applying to such a prestigious firm.

Company growth and the calibre of job applications continued to increase during 2009–2010. This culminated in ICF International buying Marbek in 2010, with the Marbek Principals passing on the thanks that the impressive website and marketing materials embodied the firm’s elite reputation and helped raise the valuation for the company sale.

This was the most complex and impressive branding exercise and website I’ve worked on.