Dave Hanson

Brand launch behind the scenes: Part one

By Dave Hanson on June 21, 2013

The best brands are always rooted in a few essential truths about their parent companies. Truths that aren’t just about what they do, but why they do it. That being said, one thing I’ve always enjoyed about our “Say it. Live it.” process is the Brand Discovery phase. It’s the part of the process where we discover those truths. Where we get to channel our inner investigative journalists and find out what makes our clients’ companies tick.

This phase is one of the fundamental backbones in creating Total Brand Alignment. There is a vast difference between an agency taking the C-suite input and telling you who you are and an agency doing the essential digging to help you discover who you are. When an external brand is rooted in the truth of that discovery, employee buy-in and internal brand alignment follow easily and naturally.

We recently helped Waterstone Mortgage go through this discovery process. My colleague, Mike Spanjar, conducted an extensive series of phone interviews with employees throughout the organization, working to uncover the elements that would define their brand strategy. With that research in hand, our team was able to build a new logo, identity and ads to better reflect who Waterstone Mortgage really is as a company.

Now comes the fun part.

As part of Waterstone Mortgage’s internal brand launch, Tom Ketterhagen, one of our art directors, and I also conducted a series of video interviews with various employees and C-suite members about the company history and values, their decision to rebrand, and why the company placed such a high value on the employee input that went into shaping their new brand.

Now that the process is over, we have a unique opportunity to offer you an inside look at a company actually going through our “Say it. Live it.” process and laying down the foundation for a strong brand.

In the video below, we get a look at some of the employee input that was gathered, and how that input was translated into new mission, vision, values and strategy for our client.

The video was produced for Waterstone Mortgage’s annual sales conference in Las Vegas this past January, and would serve to not only inform employees about the role they’d played in the rebranding process, but also to reveal the all-new Waterston Mortgage logo to them for the very first time. Take a look:


Check back next week for part 2. Marketing Specialist, Sarah Fracek, will give you an inside look at the big Waterstone Mortgage brand reveal in Las Vegas, employee reactions to the new brand, and some of the finer points of Total Brand Alignment.

Dave Hanson is a senior copywriter at Core Creative.