Resourceful Brand Refresh
How we helped a respected HR services company evolve to differentiate itself in a crowded market and truly express its team's passion and expertise.
Focus: B2C, Internal
As Resourceful HR prepared for its 10-year anniversary and a leadership transition, it was time to reflect and prepare the brand for its next ten years and beyond. The company was highly regarded and growing, but it was feeling spread thin between its core HR services and recruiting/staffing businesses—and between its Seattle and Bay Area locations. CEO Jennifer Olsen had recently become certified as an Executive Coach, and it was unclear how to integrate that into the overall messaging. Jennifer also felt it was time for a new look, and possibly a new name.
VITAMIN C SERVICES
Brand audit; stakeholder 1:1s with all team members; comprehensive competitive analysis (including interviews with local competitors); qualitative customer research across all lines of business; brand archetype exploration; articulation of brand purpose, positioning, and pillars; high-level messaging maps
Naming and tagline development; voice, tone, and vocabulary development; visual identity refresh including logo, colors, typography, and iconography; creative direction
Brand manifesto and FAQ development, content catalog, website content development including brand-driven case studies and team bios
MOMENT OF CLARITY
At the initial meeting with Jennifer, her passion for working with purpose-driven businesses who were making meaningful contributions to their fields and communities radiated through powerfully, though this aspect was completely absent from the existing brand presentation. When we took the team through the brand archetype exercise, her strong conviction around Caregiver—with its focus on helping people (and organizations) thrive and doing things for others in the service of a greater vision—was a defining moment. We tweaked the label to Caretaker and dialed up the emphasis on deep care for people and organizations; anticipating client needs and preferences; and building relationships for the greater collective good. This "north star" clarity directly influenced the brand purpose: To help impact-focused organizations and their people thrive.
As we dug deep on client feedback, it became increasingly clear that the staffing business in particular created friction. Resourceful's staffing clients wanted quick fixes; they were far less interested in evolving culture and building strong relationships. Recognizing that the business need for remote and outsourced HR services was growing more rapidly than staffing, the team decided to drop staffing as a separate service and focus instead on core, flexible HR services tailored to each client's unique (and changing) needs. This new focus took form in the brand pillars: shared commitment, dynamic collaboration, and leadership. The insights from our client research also inspired a new service offering—Resourceful Chat, to address urgent issues more quickly—and informed our messaging around remote HR , Resourceful's unique team approach (a key differentiator), and executive coaching as an add-on to amplify individual and team impact.
Although we went into the strategy project thinking that it might be time for a new name, naming expert Nancy Friedman of Wordworking advocated breathing new life into "Resourceful" instead (a crucial decision that also saved the company a substantial amount of money). She encouraged us to infuse the brand language with "re-" words such as rewarding, relevant, responsive and "'-ful" words like skillful, powerful, purposeful. This refreshed brand vocabulary deeply informed the website content as well as the rebranding announcement and other communications pieces including an FAQ, brand-driven case studies and team bios, an event speech script, a proposal template, print collateral, and an overhaul of the services presentation, the blog categories, and the interactive HR Assessment tool.
In partnership with Nancy, we dropped "HR" from the official name for a fresher, more confident presentation and added a tagline: "Your full-spectrum HR team." The gorgeous new identity developed by Hovie Hawk brought everything together and perfectly expressed the team's style: polished and professional, yet thoroughly authentic and approachable.
With such strong brand clarity and alignment, articulating Resourceful's values in a manifesto format flowed easily. We captured inputs from the team at an off-site and polished it up, framing through "re" and "-ful" words.
Megan Averell, Insight Inn (customer research)
Nancy Friedman, Wordworking (naming and tagline development)
Hovie Hawk, Design Hovie Studios (visual identity)
Consistent Hits (website development)
Christie Brydon (copywriting)
Liz Sheffield (copywriting)
"Catherine, you really get what we are about. Thank you for your leadership through this process." Jennifer Olsen, Resourceful CEO
"Thanks so much for your support – both in this branding work and in the connections you are making. It’s great to have you in our corner." Laura Doehle, Resourceful President