Bringing a consulting firm’s brand into sharper focus
Global Skills X-Change (GSX) wanted to bring their brand into the modern age while positioning themselves as a leader in building resilient workforces. Hinge delivered a differentiated, soup-to-nuts rebrand—from a new logo and messaging to a high-performance website and a thought-leadership marketing program that elevated their already strong reputation among their federal and private-sector clients to a new level of sophistication.
Stalled. But ready to grow.
When GSX came to us, their growth had stalled. At the same time, they were competing more and more often with global consulting firms like Deloitte and Booz Allen Hamilton. GSX’s decade-old brand, website and messaging were holding them back. What’s more, they weren’t sure exactly how to market their firm in today’s fast-changing marketplace. “We recognized that our visual branding and messaging had not kept pace with the organization,” said Kevin Edwards, the firm’s marketing director. “It was time to bring GSX into the modern age with a complete rebrand to accurately portray GSX’s reputation.”
“With a foundation based on research, the Visible Firm was the best program we could have chosen to set us up for success as we look upon a new era for GSX.”
Research informs new positioning
Before we could reposition GSX to win more business against consulting practices large and small, we needed to understand their marketplace. We conducted 22 interviews with top executives in two client segments: federal defense and intelligence agencies and private companies. Applying the insights from this research, as well as from a review of their top competitors, we identified a number of key differentiators. After reflecting on these differentiators and their excellent reputation, we realized GSX could credibly claim a leadership position in their niche. We developed a concise positioning statement they could use to inform their marketing messages.
Lifting the fog
Having a resource like a positioning statement can be a revelation. It clearly states what you do and how you are different. In the professional development industry, where one firm can be difficult to distinguish from another, a resource like this can help separate you from the crowd. GSX put it to the test right away, and the results were like night and day. Where before they relied on fuzzy, jargon-heavy explanations, they now had clear, specific language they could use to describe their services and benefits.
New vs. old messaging
Example of old messaging:
GSX designs, implements, and manages innovative strategies and solutions that enable organizations to leverage people to meet current and future workforce challenges.
Example of new messaging:
We are a leading provider of professional development and workforce management services. We specialize in the use of credentials, critical skills training, and the solution life cycle to help organizations adapt to rapid change.
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Sharp new logo
The firm’s brand identity was decades old, and it looked it. They needed a far more sophisticated visual brand to compete in today’s marketplace. Their logo was a natural place to start. Leadership wanted to call attention to the word “Skills” in their full name (Global Skills X-Change), so we developed a wordmark/monogram hybrid that featured the letter S, which also includes multiple inflection points—representing those points where organizations can pivot or turn the corner. We chose the color purple for two reasons: 1) nobody else in the space owned that color, so it was another opportunity to differentiate GSX; and 2) purple perfectly expressed the firm’s creativity and personality.
"I was completely blown away by the design, content and the user experience. The quality portrays the high-end identity that our clients connect to our work. We didn't just take a few steps forward, we took a giant leap."
More than a new website
Next, we redesigned the firm’s website, which was an opportunity to explore and expand the new brand, too. The website would also become the centerpiece of GSX’s new marketing system. A high-performance website is designed not only to explain your services in a clear, compelling way, but also to attract motivated visitors who never would have found you before, turn them into loyal fans and convert them into leads—and eventually clients. We baked these powerful marketing features into a beautiful and easy-to-navigate new site.
A system. To elevate visibility.
GSX was struggling with growth. And the biggest obstacle to growth is low visibility. Hinge’s Visible Firm® Program is designed to introduce firms like GSX to new audiences, expose them to the firm’s expertise and build trust over time. Using what we gleaned from GSX’s audiences as well our own independent research into high-growth consulting firms and their buyers, we built a customized marketing program to reach their government and private audiences. But we didn’t stop there. We supported them at every step of the way, providing all the writing, marketing, reporting and advice they needed to implement the program at a high level.
Results from the start
It’s still early, but the firm is already enjoying the fruits of the change. “Since launching the rebranded GSX a few months ago,” says Edwards, “we are starting to notice signs of significant growth in social media engagement and interactions, and the quality of candidate applications has increased, as well. From an overall strategy, to process and procedures, visuals, and messaging, Hinge Visible Firm approach enabled us to truly answer the difficult questions that often cause a slowdown in communicating its mission and abilities.”
What we did
Visible Firm Program
- Brand Research
- Differentiators & Positioning
- Marketing Strategy
- Editorial Calendar
- Writing/Content Development
- Executive Guide Production
- Social Media Training
- Guest Blogging and Speaking Outreach & Negotiation
- Media Training
- Marketing Implementation Support
- Monthly Analytics Reporting
- Ongoing Mentoring, Training & Consultation
- Automated Lead-Generation Strategy
- Offer Strategy
- Search Engine Optimization
- Website Development
- Ongoing Performance Reporting