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strategic examples:
Akron Canton Airport
The full-monty, from brand positioning through creative strategy through to campaign launch and creative executions . . . then back around again to the ‘where do travelers stand now” research six years later and the evolved messaging/creative directions that was prepared.
In 2002, following the success of TV spots promoting new flights to NY and Atlanta we created for them, the Akron Canton Airport asked us to create a brand position for the airport. This is the case study:
The case study from 2002 launch through 2008:
As you'll see, passenger records skyrocketed. Then ... the recession hit ... making 2008 the perfect time to do some consumer research and evolve the messaging under the same solid brand position: 

The agency pitching Jeld-Wen had already completed their research and Brand Discovery and had already arrived at a Brand Essence and Value Prop . My job was to help carry this into Creative Strategy territory.


Here is the input I received (minus the agency’s process and deep dive) and the ideas I returned to them is on the link  below...

AGENCY was recently hired to embark on a Brand Discovery process for Jeld-Wen Windows & Doors, the world’s largest manufacturer of windows and doors. The summation of that entire process is captured in the creative brief. 


Things are on a rather aggressive timetable. (They’ve been without a cohesive and comprehensive brand campaign for years now.) A new senior management team is in place and wants to be in the market with a compelling campaign as soon as possible. While Jeld-Wen does own their own ad agency (who may be working on this as well), we’ve been contracted to develop campaign ideas because of very popular and successful campaigns we’ve created in the past for some of their other brands.



We have a saying here at the agency. We like to Go Wide Before We Go Deep. That’s definitely true in this case. Before getting into rough layouts of any kind, we really want to look at as many “germs” and campaign ideas as possible that bring the strategy (Value Proposition) to life. This can take a couple of forms. You might choose to write a bunch of taglines. You might jot down visual ideas/approaches that would communicate the value proposition. Or you might do some combos: a tagline with a very brief explanation of a visual solution to accompany it. You know how it is. When you come up with a magical line or campaign idea that perfectly captures the brand essence, it doesn’t take polished layouts and lots of copy to tell you whether or not it’s a viable idea. Creatives who “get it” just know…which is why I’m asking for your help on this. 


PHASE ONE: Tagline/idea generation. After submission, we will set up a call so you can talk me through your thoughts. All the ideas will then be reviewed by our internal agency team (myself, account supervisor, director of planning) to decide which ideas we’d like to further develop for presentation.

PHASE TWO: If you have ideas moving onto this phase, we’d like to work with you on fleshing them out further to get them client-ready. 

PHASE THREE: After presentation to client, we’d like to continue working with you on any of your ideas that are chosen for further development. This could potentially continue through actual production and completion of the selected campaign. 



You will see that in the attached Brand Essence model, the Brand Essence is UNITY. Where did this come from and what does it mean? Well, some companies produce just windows. Some companies produce primarily doors. And a couple companies concentrate on one or the other, and dabble a bit in the other. But Jeld-Wen is the only company that manufactures a full, comprehensive line of both doors and windows. So having the capability to meet all of a dealer’s or builder’s window and door needs is one part of the UNITY equation. However, there’s another part that’s even more important.


In the research we did, it was made very clear that a brand’s identity and worth is as defined as much by its service as it is its doors or windows. Do the right products show up at the right times? Are orders correct? Are the products damaged in any way? If there is an issue, how does the company respond? How interested is the manufacturer in helping the dealer or builder be more profitable? Is the manufacturer a collaborative business partner? All these things and more define a brand as much as the products it produces. And this is something Jeld-Wen can leverage.


Because of its long history and sheer size, Jeld-Wen has far reaching and long-standing relationships with partners throughout the distribution channel. They have great connections. Therefore, they are in a position to better unify the entire process and make it all run more smoothly.


Thus, the harmony benefit that’s captured in the Value Proposition. The windows work well with the home. The doors work well with home. The doors and windows work well together. And the entire process works well, from ordering to installation to service down the road.


As you will notice in the Competitive Review, no other brand attempts to communicate this aspect of the business. All the other brands are very product focused. What will set the Jeld-Wen brand apart will be a campaign that captures how well it delivers on both product and service (the overall experience).


Roush wanted a brand position that could prove relevant for three separate divisions: Roush Enterprises (vehicle development) Roush Performance (Parts for Car ‘Tuner' Dudes) and Roush Racing (Pro Racing Teams).


We were provided with the somewhat blasé Brand Equity Statement by the agency (page 1 of attached doc). Then turned it into 3 possible brand directions worth something, before illustrating a creative strategy for one of the brand positions.


Cuyahoga Valley National Park Association was the ‘friends of’ fundraising arm of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. 


This was the presentation we made to a large committee reiterating and clarifying the challenge they had stated and the path forward . . .


Tennant is a world-wide company that makes all shapes and sizes of industrial floor and street sweepers and scrubbers. They are very well known for this. 


Less well known is that they also sell the coatings that go down on the floor. There was no cross-selling at all between the guys who sell or service the cleaning machines, and the guys who pimp the coatings.  


They wanted to sell more coatings (by introducing an incentive program to their own salespeople . . . which was pretty short-sighted)


After suggestion how the company can reposition itself (from ‘a cleaning machine company that also offers the coatings’  to  “a complete floor care system {coatings+cleaning}), then needed to show the client how each audience could be broken down and what they needed to hear . . .


This PDF ‘builds’ . . . sending it to demonstrate how I’ve helped take a client through the thinking process slowly and surely, so they can understand the whole strategy . . .


Rubbermaid had already launched a campaign for their practical housewares (essentially 'function that made life a little easier') . . . they were also considering developing another group of products (and actually had some prototypes for us to look over)—these products looked hip, sleek, cool . . . they were fashion before function.


Our charge was to create a name for this line of hip housewares products, and advise if they should fall under the Rubbermaid brand, or be their own brand ‘by Rubbermaid'.


Rubbermaid was all about function, so we immediately nixed putting them under Rubbermaid and suggested they be their own sub-brand.


Though we were asked to provide names, we knew the name would be the brand and the brand would need a position/creative strategy. Since coming up with a name first was bass-ackwards, we made certain to provide the ‘rationale’ to the name…which essentially read like brand statements while offering drama to the presentation.

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