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How to build a professional services brand - Sandersons

Sandersons are specialist patent and trade mark attorneys, working with clients worldwide to obtain and maintain the protection of intellectual property. Sandersons had an established name, but were unable to progress their branding and marketing strategies to better communicate with prospective or existing clients.

Additionally, the Sandersons brand attributes and website were difficult to manage, and didn't communicate the business's extensive heritage and knowledge. Our team were able to develop a website and a strong brand, informed by insight, to better support Sandersons' established name.

Sector
Professional Services

Location
Essex

Website
sandersons.co.uk

  • Sanderson & Co. was founded in London in 1956, and moved to Colchester in the 1960s.
  • They are specialist attorneys who protect businesses from infringement by obtaining patents, trade marks, designs, copyright, and domain names.
  • Sandersons assisted Zoopla (named one of the Top 10 UK Tech Companies) in obtaining the protection of their brands and managing their expanding portfolio of trade marks.
  • Sandersons approached Mackman to help develop their brand, and bridge the gap between the intended and perceived Sandersons brand.
  • The new brand needed to meet client requirements and support the growth of the business, and allow Sandersons to output their own marketing through brand recommendations and a comprehensive toolkit.

THE CLIENT

Safeguarding innovations & protecting rights

Sandersons are specialist Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys, working with clients worldwide to obtain and maintain the protection of intellectual property. Sanderson & Co was formed by Laurie Sanderson in 1956 and has since grown to establish itself as an innovative and progressive intellectual property firm. In 2016, the firm moved to new offices at the University of Essex Knowledge Gateway, positioning the Sandersons team in the heart of an expanding technology and innovation park in Colchester, as well as their London office.

Sandersons are knowledgeable and passionate about intellectual property, and the team operate globally; developing strong partnerships with individuals, businesses and brands across the UK, Europe and worldwide. The team at Sandersons had brand awareness and an established name, but they were seeking a proactive partnership to help position Sandersons as a modern firm, to help project the right message to their clients, and to underpin the further growth of the business.

OUR PROCESS

Establishing a distinctive brand identity

We conducted a client survey on behalf of Sandersons as part of their marketing progression and brand development. The study was carried out to help Sandersons improve the overall quality of client services by gaining more insight into their day to day dealings and accurately measure the satisfaction and concerns of their clients. Perception questions regarding the brand and competitors were also sought.

The findings of the research showed that the majority of Sandersons' clients discovered them by an existing relationship or recommendation, which could be a future vulnerability. The intended perception of the company had a broad match to the perceived image of the company, where clients focus on the professional services and legacy reputation of the brand. In addition, the identity system portrayed a strong local firm image, which offered an opportunity to strengthen the perception of overseas clients. Furthermore, Sandersons could build upon their proactive response to client requests and needs.

  • What services do you offer?
  • Why do you do what you do?
  • How do you deliver your services?
  • Who are your competitors?

Building on insight: perception versus reality

Based on the information gathered from the insight phase, we understood that there could be a gap between Sandersons' intended and perceived brand, and that exploring and fully understanding this would be vital for supporting their further development. This included activities such as:

  • Insight sessions, i.e. Vision, Mission & Segmentation
  • Identity refinement
  • Naming consideration

providing new tools: Developing the brand

We also understood that there was an opportunity for Sandersons to reach further clients via other marketing channels. We therefore recommended a series of activities to align Sandersons' marketing with the organisational direction and client service levels offered. This included activities such as:

  • Template and identity application
  • Keyword research to identify new SEO opportunities
  • Website redesign/build around the new identity

Website design

Our insight sessions helped us to understand the intended Sandersons brand and to help us understand how their key customer groups behave, while the marketing collateral and website redesign build around the new identity allowed us to better support the customer digital journey and included application of the keyword research. As a result of applying these activities, we also recommended and re-shot staff photography to better communicate the desired brand attribute of 'approachable'.

Finally, we developed a website for Sandersons that brought the insight and branding together to:

  • Communicate effectively to key customer segments
  • Share their updated brand
  • Serve as a hub for any ongoing marketing activity
  • Act as a measurement tool for retention
  • Help to identify future marketing opportunities

The Results

By delivering a fresh, modern brand which is born out of insight from both internal and external stakeholders, we have created a full toolkit for Sandersons to deliver tailored marketing communications to its audience. Following the project, Sandersons saw a 30% increase in overseas website traffic, and the output of identity and brand recommendations helped them to move forward with their marketing.

We've had a close relationship with Sandersons for a good many years and have always wanted to play a bigger part in progressing their brand. Working with the team at Sandersons created a fresh and vibrant new image and a strong marketing focus that not only celebrates their heritage, but supports their progression and secures the future of their brand.

Bruce Burgoyne, Creative Director

Mackman really got to grips with who we are and what we do, and helped us to refine what it was that our clients really value about our services and people. Using the insight and research, Mackman created a fresh and exciting new brand for us that has reinvigorated our team, and presents a fantastic, modern image for the firm.

Phoebe Fuller, Practice Manager - Sandersons
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