Brand Shepherd are members of the Cincinnati chapter of the Product Development and Management Association (PDMA), which, in the summer of 2016, gathered for a networking and information gathering meeting with First Batch, a unique startup accelerator, in that they cater only to tangle product-maker startups. It demonstrated just how tangible-product focused Cincinnati is as a region, that both groups could be supported and grow.
Out of that meeting, we learned that First Batch’s next class of startups was about to begin, and they were open to new mentors in the program. Our Creative Director, Dan Crask, went to the First Batch mentor meet-up, and there he met Geoff and Drew Saylor, the father and son team behind what would eventually become InnoTool.
Guidance: Building The Brand
Geoff Saylor has 30+ years of experience in the building trade, and like every true entrepreneur, he saw inefficiencies all over the place. Over the years, he developed ideas on how to make common tasks in the building trade more efficient. His thought process was that if efficiencies could be gained, projects could be built quicker with less waste of time and materials. His product ideas are the very definition of “innovative.” They take tasks that every builder does and improves upon them.
The Saylors and Brand Shepherd were paired in First Batch’s program, and we immediately set about to develop the brand. In its early inception it had a different name, but at least four strong products they were working on. It was a classic case of having great product ideas, but an undeveloped brand.
Over the course of a few months, we worked with the Saylors on developing their brand. We provided guidance through the process of creating the following with them:
- A new brand name, InnoTool.
- A new accompanying tagline, Work Smarter™.
- Their brand structure: we worked with both a Gold Circle and Brand Pyramid.
- InnoTool’s “Why?,” their core reason for being.
When the brand development was completed, we began work on the visual expressions of their brand, beginning with a new brand identity.
The process of creating the InnoTool brand identity followed our proven 10-day process we have used for years to create lasting brand identities. The InnoTool team, along with the founders of First Batch, provided valuable collaboration, and in the end, we created an InnoTool brand identity that was simple, strong, and appropriate for their demographic.
With a fresh brand identity in place for InnoTool, we created three brand videos: An overview/introduction to the brand video, and two product-specific overview videos. Through two days of shooting and diligent editing, InnoTool was equipped to present their new brand to investors and stakeholders at First Batch’s Demo Day, as well as have video content to help sell their innovative products to the right channels.
Speaking of selling their products to various channels, the next cog in the wheel was the creation of InnoTool’s sales collateral resources, beginning with product sell sheets and business cards. Digital is a must, and we believe video is quickly becoming a must as well for brands, yet after a pitch has been made, you can’t leave behind a video on someone’s desk. A website is just another tab on their computer. What still has lasting, proven impact is printed sales materials such as sell sheets and business cards. These help complete and reinforce a strong sales presence, and help gain the attention of the people we want.
After graduating from First Batch, InnoTool was equipped with a completely developed brand, visuals to express what they’re all about, and product-focused resources to sell with. We could not be happier with the outcome because InnoTool is poised to make a big impact in their industry.