Case Study

 

Crosby Group

Sowing the seeds of success one sock at a time.

Rebranding: Keeping pace with a growing company.

Crosby Group, a structural engineering firm, hired me in the early 2000s to rebrand their company. Using my typical creative process consisting of discovery, concept and design, design refinement, final design, and delivery, I engaged in designing a new logo.  

Some of the logo ideas generated during the creative process.

Some of the logo ideas generated during the creative process.

 
 

Once a final logo design was selected and the color palette and fonts were established, I then designed the stationery system and presentation folder.

Crosby Group final logo and stationery system.

Crosby Group final logo and stationery system.

Three-panel presentation folder with pocket and business card slots.

Three-panel presentation folder with pocket and business card slots.

The (tea) party is over!

Now jump back to the late-1990s, Dublin. I was about to end my two-year sabbatical in Ireland and was thinking about how I would announce my return to my clients and vendors. I wanted the announcement to be direct mail and I wanted it to contain a piece of Ireland. That "piece" needed to be lightweight and somewhat flat for mailing, and inexpensive... and very Irish. A Bewley's tea bag was the ticket.  

What does this have to do with Crosby Group, you ask? I'm getting to that. 

Crosby Group received my tea party announcement and it made a lasting impression. Five years later, they called me and said they wanted to do a marketing piece just like my memorable tea bag promo.

The Bewley's tea bag pops through a die-cut hole in the teacup when the cover is lifted.

The Bewley's tea bag pops through a die-cut hole in the teacup when the cover is lifted.

Campaign one: Food for thought. 

The objective of the mailer was to convey how Crosby Group is a creative problem solver. Emphasis on creative. Instead of featuring project work, we took a different direction... fruits and vegetables.

The campaign began with peas. This was our "big splash" piece, mailed in an envelope with a custom seed package attached. Custom, you ask? Pea seeds are big and we had thickness restrictions, so the seed company filled the packets with no more than a dozen seeds. They also printed the package without their logo so there was no distracting branding for our purposes. 

The remainder of our campaign consisted of six self-mailing post cards, each with an eye-popping photograph of a fruit or vegetable. The copy not only supported the imagery, but also cleverly entwined the metaphor and Crosby Group. For example, the strawberry piece reads:

Sweet

The fruits of our labor consist of a number of successfully completed seismic retrofits. Whether you crave maintaining operations, minimizing visual impact or lowering costs, our tailored solutions provide the answer. Keep your retrofits sweet by picking us.

Food for thought.

"Food for thought" seven-piece direct mail campaign.

"Food for thought" seven-piece direct mail campaign.

Campaign two: Knock your socks off.

This four-piece campaign's purpose was to continue focus on the Crosby Group creative edge with a broad list of prospects who received the card mailers, and specifically to get a presentation appointment with targeted prospects who received both the mailers and give-aways, such as the pair of socks with a belly-band that reads:

Sorry about the socks. Please accept this new pair.

Knocking off socks and providing a replacement pair. One in a campaign of four.

Knocking off socks and providing a replacement pair. One in a campaign of four.

Campaign three: And you thought you knew Crosby Group. 

The goal of this campaign was to elevate Crosby Group in the minds of existing clients. By now, clients know Crosby Group as creative, but what they didn't know was Crosby Group is involved in huge projects—in massing and value. This campaign crossed media: there were three featured projects and three pieces—each piece took the form of a teaser direct mailer, a follow-up email blast, and a customer success story. There was measurable success: the email blast metrics showed the open rates and click-through rates were more than twice industry rates.

 

"And you thought you knew Crosby Group" three-piece direct mail campaign, each followed by an email blast and customer success story.

"And you thought you knew Crosby Group" three-piece direct mail campaign, each followed by an email blast and customer success story.

Email blasts that linked to two-page customer success stories (in PDF format) on the Crosby Group website.

Email blasts that linked to two-page customer success stories (in PDF format) on the Crosby Group website.