Sage Enviro is a young and ambitious business that has grown quickly, winning some large and prestigious contracts. However, whilst focussing on contracts, work and clients, the business never established a trading name, brand, logo, website or any marketing materials or messaging.
Simply operating under their legal entity and company name, using a Gmail email address and mobile phone numbers - it's a testament to their team that they have grown to become a forerunner in their sector, nudging much larger and longer established businesses aside.
It's an unusual case of the cart before the horse, but seems not to have hindered their growth to-date. But working with increasingly large organisations and local authorities, having no website or any tangible public-facing representation has come to a head. A website brings credibility and offers a degree of reassurance, particularly when your clients are public bodies that have to perform a lot of due diligence.
Apart from the obvious benefits of 'looking' like a proper business, our client also recognised that whilst the direct approach has worked well to establish their business, going forward, a well-optimised website will work to attract and generate new prospects and leads.
Our first job was to develop a trading name and branding that represented the business and industry, whilst setting it apart from the competition; a raison d'etre. The industry is cluttered with some very large businesses - we had to consider what makes Sage Enviro successful and stand out.
We then needed to create a website that would reflect this branding, that communicates these key messages, supports the credibility of the business, illustrates the breadth of the services offered and effectively generates leads.
We love a blank canvas as it allows us to really explore ideas and concepts without being shackled to existing styles. We researched a market that was new to us; motorway verge cutting and gully clearing is not our home turf but the same principles apply. It was clear that Sage & Partners Kent Ltd (this was how they traded) principally maintain the environment - whether it's cutting sight lines on roads or ensuring that roads are free of litter - and with the environmental issues evoking a strong, subconscious or even conscious response, the 'environment' needed to play a part in the name and branding.
As the business was already known as "Sage" we felt it best to retain this within the name, however sharing the name with a long-established and prominent accounts package meant that we had to be very careful when pairing the word "Sage" with any relevant descriptive words - for obvious reasons, words such as management, solutions etc would conflict with the accounting software company and make ranking extremely difficult. We therefore combined Sage with a shortened version of 'environment' or 'environmental' which not only has the benefit of a more balanced logo and shorter domain, but Sage Enviro sounds more forward-thinking and current.
The design of the logo, colour palette, typography and key brand elements are bold, hint strongly of environment responsibility and are a sharp contrast to the styling adopted by rival firms. The messaging continues this trend with "Protecting the natural & enhancing the built environments" having a clear correlation with the work that they undertake but with a powerful sentiment of "Keeping it green & clean".
Reflecting the branding style that we developed, we designed the website to be simple, bold and clearly illustrate the range of services that Sage Enviro offers. With so many different services, it would be easy to confuse the user with a muddled navigation or service page, so the navigation is concise to keep the user journey short and we used iconography and bespoke illustrations to soften and lighten the tone whilst reinforcing the key messaging about environmental responsibility.
Based on our custom content management system, we created a website that was designed from the ground-up with a simple CMS matched to the format of their content, not only providing the tools that Sage Enviro needs to easily manage their website and add content on-going, but meaning that the website only has what it needs, keeping it lightweight, fast and simple to use.
It's early days but Sage Enviro now has all the components for a successful business, including a distinctive brand, strong identity, clear messaging and a website that will begin ranking organically and generating leads.
We are now working with Sage Enviro to develop a digital marketing strategy and series of targeted campaigns. As part of this, we are integrating a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system into their workflow so that they can better nurture leads and exploit opportunities that exist within their existing client base.