Creating a New Brand
With $650 million in annual sales, School Specialty, Inc. is the leading distributor to the education marketplace, supplying 90,000 schools across the country. But the cyclical nature of their business – tied to the school year – necessitated the need to enter new markets. Healthcare was a natural fit, because many of their products are also used in hospitals, clinics and senior care facilities.
But products aren’t brands. School Specialty knew they needed to establish a new company and a new brand to forge a strong connection with healthcare providers.
To set the foundation, Studio V Design interviewed key senior executives to hear their vision for the new company. With our years of experience in healthcare and distribution, we understood their business and the industry immediately. We also embraced a key insight – their mission to improve well-being – as we started to create the new brand and bring it to life.
Step one was the Brand Platform: naming, messaging, value propositions and elevator pitch. We explored hundreds of names and dozens of taglines to capture the spirit of the brand promise. The new name, SOAR Life Products, exemplifies not only the company’s purpose, but also the dedication of their customers (healthcare providers).The tagline drives it home further: “Empower minds. Strengthen bodies. Inspire creativity.”
The logo design conveys uplift and positive energy, using the letter O to frame an upward pathway for healthcare professionals and those they serve.
Other elements of the launch included website design, printed marketing collateral and tradeshow booth. We also introduced the new brand internally with a 24-page Brand Standards Guide that documents how the brand elements should be used: logo, messaging, photography, color palette, typography and copywriting tone.
School Specialty is now on its way to smoothing out the cyclical ups and downs of seasonal education sales with a steady year-round healthcare target.
"Studio V’s experience in healthcare and distribution gave them a big head start in understanding our business. They are strategic, creative thinkers, and their flexibility and follow-through are outstanding."
Director of Consumer Marketing
School Specialty, Inc.
"You have helped us communicate the City's ambitious initiatives in a clear, powerful way."
Mayor, City of Chicago
"We have received numerous compliments about the brochure's design and content, and it has greatly exceeded our hopes for the project. We could not be more pleased with the final product."
Deputy Commissioner, City of Chicago
"You attended to every detail with incredible professionalism, skill and awareness of our mission...you listened carefully and then translated what you heard."
Executive Director, Barr-Harris Children's Grief Center