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The Shelby Group Repositions and Transforms Revenue Mix

The Shelby Group specializes in helping companies improve the effectiveness of their procurement initiatives. When the Shelby management team engaged Signal in 2012 to help reposition their company, they defined three objectives:

1) Reduce the amount of time it takes to explain what we do from ten minutes to 10 seconds.
2) Help us move from one-time, technology-focused engagements with clients to more strategic, relationship-driven engagements.
3) Create a branding and messaging platform that we won’t have to replace in 18 months.

Key Client Interviews Reveal Fundamental Challenges

As is often the case with B2B companies, we were able to uncover valuable insights for accomplishing each of these objectives through a series of one-on-one interviews with senior-level clients. Rather than uncovering impressions about Shelby as a service provider, in the 60-minute interviews, we focused on identifying the challenges that each executive faced within their enterprise. What emerged was a shared view across all clients that procurement didn’t get the respect that it deserved as a shared corporate service. We also learned that line of business executives often didn’t understand the value that procurement could add to their organization.

Translating Clients’ Challenges Into an Aspirational Brand

Insights from client interviews together with secondary research and intelligence provided by the management team provided the foundation for us to design a new Shelby branding, messaging and differentiation campaign. The campaign included content, design and production for all web, collateral, thought leadership, demand generation and sales presentation tools. Each of the core campaign messages addressed the client’s challenges and delivered a clear promise of value. Messaging was married with a series of “aspirational” illustrations, providing a visual/verbal identity that unified all communications. Finally, we created an 8-sided Procurement Optimization graphic that instantly conveyed Shelby’s breadth and depth of service offerings in a matter of seconds.

Currently, Signal provides monthly support for Shelby Thought Leadership initiatives, helps manage marketing infrastructure, private communications support for client engagements and assists on major account pitches as well. As a result of a highly collaborative, company-wide transformation initiative, Shelby has accomplished the objectives outlined at the beginning of our relationship. Strategic engagements now comprise two-thirds of Shelby’s total revenues and the company is on track to achieve impressive goals for growth in 2014.