Transforming Codec brand to match its market position
Codec's incredible journey started in 1985 as a hardware reseller, but over the years, they had evolved into a team of over 250 experts with a singular mission: to harness the power of technology to empower every organisation's people. Their dedication to excellence and unique approach had earned them numerous awards and accolades, making them one of the most recognized Microsoft partners globally.
Codec reached out to Squaredot because they were aware that their current brand and website were not accurately representing who they are, what they stand for and the value they deliver for their clients. They believed that their brand needed a makeover in order to showcase their true potential and solidify their already strong position in the market. With a rich history of success, an exceptional range of services, and a vibrant company culture, Codec had all the ingredients for a new brand to flourish and fully capitalise on their potential.
With Squaredot's expertise, Codec saw an opportunity to create a brand that would not only do justice to their business but also propel them forward in the highly competitive market. They recognised the value of establishing a brand that would stand out in their crowded market and attract new clients from all industries.
Through a series of collaborative workshops and interviews with Codec’s leadership team, interviews with existing clients and partners, in addition to an analysis of the competitive landscape we uncovered an interesting insight. It became evident that Codec’s target buyer group, decision makers in government organisations and large enterprises sought trust and valued risk avoidance from their IT suppliers. They wanted deep expertise and quality delivery.
In addition to this, our market research showed that typically IT projects went over budget, over time or weren’t delivered at all. Codec’s projects however, bucked this trend, and 92%+ of their projects are delivered on time and on budget. Codec was seen by its clients as a ‘safe pair of hands’, a partner that delivered on its commitments and helped them to successfully complete technology projects, unlike their experiences with other providers.
With this insight, we developed new brand positioning and its new brand messaging:
In an industry that often falls short of its promises, Codec delivers. Codec’s unique project delivery framework helps organisations create dramatic shifts in efficiencies and customer experiences with new technology.
We documented this positioning and its pillars, including the relevant details and insights in relation to the target markets, target personas, Codec's category, brand personality, offering, messaging blueprint, etc. into a brand evolution guide available to Codec as an ongoing reference.
Inspired by the new positioning and its core pillars, we embarked on the visual transformation of the Codec brand that would bring the new brand promise to life.
When it came to building out the elements of the brand visual language, we decided, just as Codec does, to challenge the IT industry norms. Unlike the majority of IT / MSP brands that tend to look the same with the all too predictable blue colour palettes, stock photography and visual cliches of data points, we took a different approach.
The new visual ID is inspired by the branding of architecture and design studios, which serves as a metaphor for software building as a creative act. The overall look is minimalistic and clean, easy to read and understand.
In line with this caregiver brand archetype, we played with the two letters C from the beginning and the end of Codec’s name to create a new brandmark symbolising a safe pair of hands and the collaborative nature of Codec’s relationships with clients.
We designed a warm colour scheme of natural tones of the grey to sandy brown colour palette. Ideally these primary greys and browns are used in their more textured forms, resembling elements found in nature or real life environments, like stones or building materials. To give a nod to the Codec’s industry's typical colour and to the strong link to Microsoft, we decided to offset it with blue. However, not your average IT blue. Codec's blue is inspired by visual artist Yves Klein and his famous and beautiful blue.
In general, the brand visual language was designed around the following pillars:
1/ white space & desaturated look & feel
2/ dotted patterns
3/ contrasting typography
4/ imagery (and its lack of)
The design layouts are based on a sufficient amount of 'white space' interacting with subtle dotted background textures representing Codec's attention to detail. An intentional desaturated look and feel allows for typography to stand out. Sophisticated typography work is a core brand feature. The imagery choice makes Codec different. Use of imagery is intentionally limited. Stock photography is to be avoided, if possible, and tailor-made high production value photographs are preferred. Their job is to add a stylish human element to the brand - to help position Codec as approachable experts.
We have developed a brand book which includes details about the new brand and its desired aesthetic anybody working with the brand should be looking to achieve. To help roll out this new brand we have designed a suite of branded assets for internal and external use by the Codec team, including:
Codec’s new website serves as a showcase for how their new brand should be presented. The new positioning, messaging, visual ID and brand personality are all elegantly blended into a contemporary corporate online experience, in line with the latest UX & UI trends and best practices.
The new site was designed to deliver against objectives clearly defined in collaboration with the Codec team:
Every page was designed from scratch, with each user flow, layout, action and CTA carefully crafted with a brand-driven purpose in mind. The website was designed and built as fully responsive to work seamlessly across all platforms and deliver the same user experience and functionality on any device. There is an Irish and UK version of the site, each localised for their respective markets with relevant case studies, solutions offering, target industries and content.
Custom building the website in HubSpot's CMS Hub allowed Codec to easily manage the content internally, while protecting the site’s overall look & feel. It also allowed for it to be fully integrated with HubSpot's marketing and CRM platform for automation, analytics and sales targeting purposes. This was vital for our second objective in moving marketing-generated leads into the sales funnel as it gave value to the marketing team efforts - previously unable to do with the old website.
In every step of the process - from strategy through design, and build to deploy - our proven web design approach was led by Codec's new brand positioning while focusing on desired conversion type. The result is an online presence that truly reflects who Codec are as a business, promotes a consistent user experience, and is essential to the company's achievement of its new growth objectives.
With the positioning done and a deep understanding of Codec’s business we were in a great place to prepare a full go-to-market strategy for Codec. Starting with Codec’s business objectives we created persona profiles and buyer journeys for each persona and product line. Followed by segmentation and what content types we would target them with at each stage of the decision journey. The strategy included the most appropriate channels, content ideas and distribution cadence based on what was most appropriate for the target audience.
Since completing the rebrand, and launching the two new websites Squaredot has been busy supporting Codec’s sales and marketing requirements. Codec have launched 2 new products that Squaredot helped to develop strategy and messaging for, always maintaining a link to the foundational positioning strategy.
In addition, we have created sales decks, supported rfp responses, supported events with collateral, created content requested by Codec. We have also worked together on partner marketing campaigns and continued to further develop and update the website in line with the business growth.
Click and drag to view
The initial results were improved lead quality, and a new confidence within Codec. This rebrand permeated sales, marketing and HR. Codec saw improvements in all of these areas of their business, including feedback from the market which was very positive. The impact culminated in Codec receiving the accolade of Microsoft Partner of the Year for 2023.
With their new website, Codec experienced a boost in the following traffic figures;
“We enjoyed working with the team from Squaredot, they came to understand our business quickly and started adding value soon after. They showed a deep level of expertise and commercial acumen.”