Bringing brand intelligence to the table
I began working with Flexseal almost 20 years ago — in those days as their go-to brand and digital consultant. As things changed with the company, my involvement lessened. But I always kept in touch. And when I returned to working with Flexseal quite a few years later as HERRON + CO, it was to help support their new vision and global business.
Alongside input from their team led by Marketing Manager Ryan Lockwood, we built the Flexseal Academy and Customer Portal. And while we’ve created some incredible digital products for Flexseal, I think so much of our success with Flexseal — and the strength of our relationship — is the brand intelligence we’re able to bring to the table.
We were exploring aspects of the brand a while back as part of discovery sessions for their new website. Sitting in that boardroom talking through so many aspects of the company, it occurred to me that despite all the pillars of success they had in place for the business around design, R&D, sales, distribution, customer service — just all of it really — they didn’t talk about being a manufacturer. If anything, the language of the Flexseal brand and marketing was one of a distribution firm buying in products, which isn’t the case.
I knew this was the missing piece of the puzzle when it came to their brand. And when I mentioned this to the in-house marketing team, I could see the penny drop. They bought into the idea straight away and asked me to take some time to think about how we could communicate that messaging on a top level. I came up with the phrase “More than a Manufacturer” — a simple strapline that ties everything together and is that golden nugget that was missing from their brand. And it was our knowledge and insight into the brand that helped us get it right.
Making good ideas greater
You don’t often get true collaboration between an in-house marketing team and external agency — but we’ve been able to achieve that with Flexseal. Their team is incredibly strong; I can only speak highly of the work that they do and their valuable contributions whenever we collaborate on projects. While working on the website, we presented some of our ideas on how it could look. They really liked how the ‘More than a Manufacturer’ messaging would work and structural elements — but they weren’t sure on some of the visual aspects that we’d come up with.
So, they went away and thought about it. When we met again, they presented back to us their own ideas based on what we had created. It was incredibly strong work, and I could see how their unique knowledge of the business and the value we’d brought into the mix with our initial presentation had fused into something greater. To me it was a great example of true collaboration between an agency and in-house department and how we can work together to achieve the best outcome.
Trusting one another and creative success
What I’ve learned over the years is that true collaboration requires trust — and recognising the value each person brings to the project. I remember at one point we had a disagreement around data capture — whether a prospective customer needed to input their contact details as part of downloading literature on the website. I’ve always been of the opinion that it’s best to let the customer have it — to share it around and reach a much larger audience. But Ryan stood his ground — he was adamant on this data being captured which would then be passed onto the sales team to get in touch. As it turns out, he was right; the downloads and data capture led to solid enquiries that then led to sales. And that was fantastic.
His insight into the company was invaluable; I felt like I learned something new around data capture and a new perspective into how it could be applied to other projects, with other clients. If you always rely on the same ideas, nothing changes, you can’t grow and get better. I was glad that Ryan stuck to his guns on it and it really feeds into a strong belief I have about the importance of clients bringing their thoughts and knowledge to a project which leads to a better final product. Working so closely, within it, they have an understanding of aspects that we could never know, no matter how many discovery sessions we hold or the amount of research we do.
These are just some examples of collaboration between our teams — but importantly is how much they’ve taken ownership of the new website as well. Once we had built it together we began to populate it; because of their ideas we were able to finesse it even further, which produced a genuine evolution of the design before it went live. Our collaboration continues with them on the digital products we’ve helped to create as they keep working to add more value for their customers. Flexseal keeps going from strength-to-strength — it’s amazing to see, and we’re glad to be a part of the company’s upward journey.
For more information about our work with Flexseal on their website, read the case study
And / or, read the Flexseal Academy case study
Meet the Client – Ryan Lockwood
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