CAI is a manufacturer of a product that most of you will have little experience with, but all of us have benefitted from. The names of the software types sound like code themselves: ERP, EDI, MES, WMS, and Process Automation software. In short, their software tracks and manages the flow of raw materials through to the production, warehousing, and delivery of — pretty much anything you can imagine. And CAI’s customer list reflects that; everything from precious metals mining to keeping tabs on fresh produce to lumber.
CAI came to us with a multi-pronged challenge: thanks to numerous acquisitions over a short period, they’d grown considerably, resulting in a many-headed monster of an identity crisis. Add to that the fact that they were already providing such a wide range of products to such a wide range of customers, and, well, let’s just say they needed a new structure for their brand architecture.
We put our heads down and embarked on detailed research, which included interviewing customers across their verticals as well as internal team members and stakeholders. We analyzed the relatively diffuse competitors and SAAS for manufacturing market dynamics. We presented the results of our qualitative customer research, quantitative digital insights, and a strategic path forward for the organizational structure of the brands and digital properties, as well as the creative positioning for the unified identity. With client feedback, we designed, iterated, wrote, edited, coded, and launched a powerfully optimized tool for growth. What follows are details and snapshots from the project’s many milestones and micro steps.
Phase One: State of the Union
The BS LLC 4-Way Analysis is a comprehensive overview of a brand’s current state of being. Here’s what we learned about CAI
Their Brand Authority
Customers who chose any of CAI’s various product offerings repeatedly and without prompting lauded the solutions as being purpose-built for their industry, ready to go right out of the box, and touted CAI’s Customer Support’s ability to customize the software for their particular way of working. Despite these glowing reviews, however, CAI as a brand was somewhat invisible; it was the products that had name equity.
Enterprise management software is designed by a number of players, many of them juggernauts that would be reviewed by customers simply on name equity alone. However, most of these one-size-fits-all solutions were simply too bloated and too cumbersome for CAI’s mid-market customers, making CAI’s “purpose-built” designs very attractive.
Their Place in the World
The center of our 4-Way Analysis revealed, therefore, that CAI’s products, thanks to easily configurable, industry-specific solutions, were ready for customers in crisis. Once deployed, CAI’s solutions were also scalable, and the company’s highly-touted Customer Support team could go beyond user configurability and provide a highly-customized solution.
The stakeholders responsible for finding and vetting a software solution came from many different industries and held different roles. However, each of them suffered from the same sense of crisis when it was time to shop for enterprise software; none of them planned for the events that forced their need to change.
According to numerous industry trend forecasts, the juggernauts needed to do what CAI has already been doing: create flexible, modular software that empowered work-from-anywhere connectivity and allowed for different departments and workstreams within an enterprise to choose their own software solution.
Phase Two: Mapping Digital
Dated User Experience:
The websites had busy visual language and vast infrastructure that led to a confusing user experience and low user engagement.
Errors in markup and coding further plagued the performance of the primary brand site.
Contrary to the client’s belief, we found that they were not generating leads via SEO. Instead, the website served primarily as a technical resource for sales and marketing teams.
The site received traffic via branded keywords which indicates an upstream referral source. The traffic it receives does not engage, likely due to its busy visual language. The vast majority of the site infrastructure was fallow.
The low score against targeted commercially-focused keywords indicates that your site’s copywriting does not semantically communicate its product offering.
Phase Three: Insights Drive Creative
What we learned fueled not only a new architecture but also a brand identity redesign, updated messaging, and a new website. The site is now powerfully optimized for brand growth and user ease; it’s much easier to find the right CAI product for your business organized by industry and solution, not outdated product names with zero equity. The resulting CAI brand is confident, built on the pillars of its purpose-built product brands, and as flexible and modular as the solutions they create for their customers. It’s a strikingly simple, brilliantly blue, and resoundingly accessible SAAS brand housed under one easy-to-navigate digital roof.
Moodboard Design Language
The suggested design aesthetic was technical, highly organized, and modular.
Their products and services are represented by technical design, a design language aimed at building trust and confidence in their products and services. Organization: in complex buying environments, mastery is demonstrated by the ability to explain processes and solutions in a child-like manner and with razor-sharp clarity. Finally, CAI’s brands work across industries and customer personas, so a modular and expandable design ecosystem is essential.
With a refreshed brand language, CAI software becomes a connecting force, a reliable and empowering tool that runs quietly in the background.
Logo Evolution: After the key strategic decision to unify the diffuse set of products under the CAI master brand, we developed a simpler, sharper, more modern approach to the CAI container logo.
Brand Executions and Collateral
Phase Four: Going Digital
With a masterbrand ecosystem in tow and technical insights in hand, we were equipped to rebuild the CAI digital footprint to meet the needs of their customers.
A tiered process that begins with architecture,
CAI Website: Detail
CAI Website: Mobile Detail
The website redesign should focus on drastically reducing its infrastructure (pages & text) around primary behavior flows, improving its navigation through easy-to-use browse and search features, and refocusing its content around commercially-focused keywords.
“We approached BS with a website redesign project combining multiple sites into one. We also needed a refreshed logo and branding to update our outdated identity. BS was able to meet the challenge, on-time and on-budget, while outlining a strategy for moving our future acquisitions into our main brand and site.”
Wendy Stanley – Marketing Director