Dickinson County Healthcare System

Challenge: When we first encountered Dickinson County Hospital, a rural hospital in Iron Mountain, they were on the verge of bankruptcy. Thanks to great leadership and some strategic changes, they were able to recover from that financial crisis. But while they were coming out of a very tough situation, the local market was losing confidence in their brand. Our goal was to quickly turn the brand around and start taking back the market share they had recently lost.

Strategy

While a longer-term brand strategy is in store, there was a more urgent need to improve the perception of the hospital among the people in their small community. Our first step was to clean up their image with strategic advertising where they are most competitive.

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Projects

We started by tightening up their graphic presentation and developing ad campaigns to drive patient visits.

We are working with this new client to develop innovative ways to continue to restore consumer confidence and increase their market share.

Results

They are regaining market share and community confidence.

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Embers Credit Union

Opportunity: In Q4 2018, three branches of Upper Peninsula Catholic Credit Union were rebranded as Embers Credit Union to reflect the broader field of membership that had expanded beyond church members. They hired our team to create marketing materials, extend their brand to all their branches, and write a marketing plan to keep their new brand visible and reach their new target audience of millennials.

Strategy

When any existing business changes their name and brand, it requires a lot of work, attention to detail, and very deliberate communication. We knew we needed to work fast to maintain customer trust while thinking long-term.

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Projects

While the long-term marketing plan was being written, we jumped in and produced marketing materials, signage, press releases, TV ads, radio ads, website updates, and customer communications. Embers kept our seasoned design and writing staff busy!

Results

Today Embers is the U.P.’s leading credit union with more locations and employees than any other credit union across the region.

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UPPCO

Opportunity: UPPCO is a leading electric supplier to most Upper Peninsula residents and businesses. It’s one of the nation’s most reliable power companies, is very generous to the communities it serves, and continually fosters environmental programs that save consumers money. Furthermore, they have a commitment to continuously grow their local power generation services. Yet, consumers only knew UPPCO as the utility with the highest rates in the country.

 

It was our goal to change how the media and customers perceive the value of UPPCO in their communities.

Strategy

Our team created a media and public relations plan with clear messaging that educates the public on how power is generated, and explains the reasons behind high power costs.

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Projects

The writing, design, and web teams worked together to create a robust and accessible website that’s packed with valuable information in a user-friendly format. The site was successfully launched during the summer of 2019.

Results

Internal and external perceptions of UPPCO are beginning to shift. Very quickly after the UPPCO website went live, employees were feeling more proud of their jobs. Equally important, both customers and the media started to express more confidence in the UPPCO brand.

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Temp Gigs

Opportunity: TempGigs, an Upper Peninsula technology start-up, offers a software solution that’s a game-changer for the day labor industry. Knowing they needed to be strategic about their launch, they approached Marketing Department, Inc. to brand their software and develop a go-to-market strategy.

Strategy

First, our research team learned about the day labor industry and how this software adds value. From there we had the challenge of creating a brand that appeals to three separate audiences: the day labor agencies, the employers, and the job seekers.

We started by developing a value proposition for each audience.

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Projects

We created a compelling and seamless brand and delivered a website, trade show booth, and sales strategy.

Results

While we can’t give away our secret sauce quite yet, we can tell you that this company will likely change the day labor industry forever. They will enter the market Q1 2020 and project that they will be in 50 states by mid-2021. Stay posted on this exciting client.

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ABLE Medical Devices

Opportunity: Able Medical Devices is a start-up backed by JM Longyear Company. Longyear asked us to work with their engineers to create a brand for their new medical device supplier.

Strategy

Because we have experience in the medical device industry, understand the supply chain, and are experts in B2B marketing, we had a good jump-start. But we still needed to understand how this company could create value in a commodity-driven market.

 

Through several branding and supply chain exercises, our team defined Able Medical Device’s brand and created messaging around the phrase “For a Lifetime,” that would communicate the value and durability of the new Able Medical Devices brand.

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Projects

With our new messaging as an anchor, we created a website, sales materials, and a fresh plant environment, and helped launch them into market.

Results

Able Medical Devices is growing fast! When we first met, they had two employees and weren’t yet operating. With hard work and tenacity, they achieved a critical medical device accreditation and within a year hired 20 employees. They’re now working on expanding their manufacturing capabilities to meet the needs of their customers.

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Northern Hardwoods

Opportunity: Northern Hardwoods, a Longyear Company, produces some of the world’s whitest maple, mostly for the cabinetry industry. However, the company saw an opportunity to increase margins and volumes in the green building market. Our job was to rebrand and reposition the company for this market.

Strategy

Our goal was to create messaging that would drive the new image and position Northern Hardwoods to expand sales in the green building market while maintaining their strong reputation in the cabinetry industry.

 

As usual, we started with research. Our team dug deep into learning about extraction and milling processes. (cabinets)  We knew we needed to understand more about their product quality, competitive advantages, and wood features. So we took part in several tours, conducted a competitive analysis, and — during a video shoot —interviewed their managers about the selection, harvesting, and milling processes.

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Projects

We created a beautiful new website that balances information about the exceptional quality of Northern Hardwoods’ products and their green practices. Today we are working with them to develop sales tools as they enter this new market.

Results

Very quickly, Northern Hardwoods began attracting attention and gaining traction in this new market. They started fulfilling orders for building projects just a few months after they launched the new brand.

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