We are taking steps to tell our story of growth and transformation in federal contracting.
Staying true to your brand while evolving with technology is essential for continued success in any industry. We are proud of our legacy as a veteran player with over 22 years of experience in federal contracting – and, yet, in true growth-minded form, we’ve determined that in our years of necessary focus on project management and delivery of successful federal programs, we have not always given priority spotlight to consistent communication about our own work and valued team members.
In order to shift that tide, our internal teams have worked together to realign the story of our experience with the needs of the dynamic market that we are in. In this case study, we delve into BI’s recent journey of modernizing its legacy brand, by clarifying our story – thus achieving astronomical growth in social media and brand reach.
Background: A Storytelling Challenge
Despite Business Integra’s rich history and impressive accomplishments, in recent years, our brand voice has lacked a clear and concise narrative around those achievements.
The company has done over two decades of exceptional work – with positive client testimonials and numerous quality certifications to show for it – but our corporate story was incomplete on public channels.
So rather than allowing our brand narrative to continue on in an ad-hoc manner, driven by immediate necessity, rather than with value being placed on holistically defining and preserving the big picture story, we are taking steps to tell our story of growth and transformation, intentionally.
While audiences will certainly still find press releases focused on highlighting contracts won, certifications earned, etc., it is our goal to pull back the curtain further, to open up opportunities to show more of the faces behind the mission support, and to converse more broadly with our audiences about our range of products and service experiences and outcomes.
Challenges at the Starting Line
- Unclear Legacy Story: The lack of a coherent corporate story made it challenging to effectively communicate Business Integra’s achievements and capabilities to clients and stakeholders.
- Inadequate Online Presence: The existing website was in dire need of optimization, new content, user interface improvements, and security updates.
- Sporadic Social Media Presence: The absence of a defined brand voice and audience-specific content led to inconsistent social media engagement.
Strategy & Approach
To address these challenges, Business Integra devised a comprehensive, human-centered strategy, led by Breanna Wheeler, Director of Communications & Brand – involving the following key elements:
- Human-Centered Design Approach: The Communications and Brand team used the Human-Centered Design (HCD) methodology, which emphasizes understanding the needs and challenges of various stakeholders. This approach helped create a holistic view of their brand transformation, starting from within the organization and extending to external communications and brand interactions.
- Internal and External Collaboration: The initiative intentionally involved key team members, program/product lead from all corners of the company portfolio, and external consultants. This collaboration ensured that valuable insights were gathered, and teams felt included and heard during the discovery phase and with content contribution opportunities. It also boosted efforts to make order out of an impressive but disparate story of corporate experience, as we worked closely together to simplify the internal organization of storytelling components.
- Social Media Strategic Plan: BI identified specific audience demographics and realigned their brand voice and messaging to resonate with these user groups on social media. A brand new, Employee Social Media Engagement Program has also seen major success in inspiring support from team members sharing to their own social networks, and the reach of strategic ad content was given a boost with paid promotion on a simple budget.
- Modernized Brand Identity: BI’s existing brand elements recently underwent a few updates to simplify it. It just needed a simple injection of new life, which for this purpose, came in the form of the addition of 2 new colors and 1 key visual brand identifier (the eagle).
Results & Outcomes
- Reinvigorated Brand Voice: By auditing and modernizing our brand, we reinvigorated its voice and established a clear and compelling corporate story. The new narrative, enveloping an existing, powerful legacy, more accurately showcases the company’s broad range of products and services, beyond cold, faceless certifications and qualifications (though impressive in their own right)
- Enhanced User Experience: The company improved the brand’s UX interactions through revamped interfaces that accurately reflected their work. Furthermore, a new website, designed internally and developed by MCG Studios, is now LIVE! – promising an optimized experience, faster load times, responsive design, thought leadership and case study content, a clear picture of our abilities and products – ultimately, a better user experience for clients and stakeholders.
- Astronomical Social Media Growth: By implementing a targeted social media strategy that faces defined audience personas, injectingsome levity and personality into its writing and design, and facilitating an Employee Social Media Engagement Rewards program internally, BI has experienced a meteoric rise in followers this year, especially on LinkedIn. In just 241 days, our LinkedIn following grew from 8,800 to over 25,000, mostly organically. This effectively engages a broader audience, and projects the brand identity and its capabilities further onto targeted groups’ feeds.
Business Integra’s communications and brand transformation journey may offer some valuable lessons and insights for others seeking to embark on a similar path:
- Invest in Telling Your Story: Small businesses aiming to scale should prioritize investing in effective brand storytelling. A compelling brand narrative can be a powerful tool for growth and future success – which you won’t realize you’re missing until it’s absolutely imperative.
- Focus on the Bigger Picture: When telling a brand story, it’s crucial to step back and first make sure your team understands the entire narrative, so that you may avoid getting caught up too soon in micro-stories that may distract from the overarching, big picture view.
- Start with the Inside Story: Understanding and representing the entire story starts first with internal artifacts, so interview your teams, observe what they say vs. what they do, comb through your archives for content and other key components, and involve team members in creating (and/or updating) content. Essentially, get organized internally first, before trying to tell it on a larger scale and more public interface.
Sustainability & Next Steps
To ensure the sustainability of these efforts, BI has established clear processes for maintaining all newly branded assets, interfaces, and accounts. We plan to continue developing strategic thought leadership content and optimizing the sites to maintain their newfound success.
BI acknowledges the dedication and hard work of key team members, including Tim Hill, Steve Lee of MCG Studios, and Bre Wheeler. Authors and contributors, such as John Barbara, Jason Istvan, Dinesh Lakshmipathy, Brandon Baker, Lane Raffray, Eric Johnson, Mimoza Dervishi, Alan Gilstrap and Renita Wilson, were invaluable in achieving these remarkable results.
Business Integra’s communications and brand transformation journey exemplifies the power of a well-executed strategy and collaborative efforts. By embracing human-centered design, clarifying the corporate story internally first, and working closely together, we are launching our revitalized brand voice into galaxies unexplored – expanding our reach, and setting the stage for future, exponential growth.
Director, Communications & Brand
About the Author
Breanna Wheeler is a brand storyteller who advocates for users through design, writes to inspire, values people and community, and intentionally chooses to support teams in tech who are dedicated to improving lives. She finds deep satisfaction in bringing design to the strategy table, leading teams to think differently and fostering an environment of entrepreneurial exploration and innovation. She has joined the BI team in November 2022, to serve as the Director of Communications and Brand.
Business Integra is an award-winning, global provider of information technology, cybersecurity, aeronautic engineering, scientific and mission support services. We are committed to producing efficient and ethical results that cut costs, reduce risks, secure data, and advance human progress via cybersecurity, IT, engineering and mission support services.
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