SCIA are a global structural engineering software company that develops sophisticated structural analysis and design software to help structural engineers, all over the world, to model, analyse and optimise structures of any size and shape – a tool that is essential to their day to day work. When we started working with them they had reached a plateau in terms of performance and really wanted to make significant advances to their share of the market in key markets UK, France, Germany and the US in particular.
When we come to a new project we always invest significant amounts of time and energy in getting under the skin of the business, the industry, the markets and especially the customers that our client are trying to sell too. It was clear that this was a very competitive market place with lots of big global players as well as local and regional ones too, but interestingly within all of this there was very little differentiation. Everyone, pretty much, saying the same things in the same way – even to the degree of all looking pretty much the same. All were focusing on the nuts and bolts of the software and providing detailed, feature lead information about what their software does. As if they had all looked at each other and said ‘oh – they are doing things this way – we must do it like this’. When we talked to the team at SCIA initially their view of structural engineers is that they are exceptionally logical, rational people who just want lists of information in which to make a decision and that if try and package it up any other way then they just won’t be interested. We listened to this and then listened to the customers in many 1 on 1 interviews (our preferred way of collecting in depth insights). What came back was revelatory for the SCIA team and for how we could help differentiate them through a unique value proposition.
Strategy / Web / Print & Digital Marketing
Graphic Design / Steve Edwards
Moving Image / Rob Sulman
Paid SEO / Neil Taylor, Tu Marketing
Paid Social / Andrea Cutts, Oscar Charlie
Strategy / Sarah Brereton / Lewis Robinson
Web Build / Banjo Bray
So it turns out that structural engineers, far from being just rational, logical machines who buy purely on lists of features, have a deep emotional connections and passion surrounding what they do and how they do it – often having a calling to the profession from a very early age. So for them, the software itself while important, was only one hygiene element to the value proposition. The human connection and being able to talk to the like-minded structural engineering devotees behind the software being developed was as, if not more important to them. Also we uncovered a desire for pushing boundaries and progressing themselves and their profession and a large resonance to the constant investment in innovation that SCIA were making to develop their technology and service – none of which was currently being communicated.
Armed with a clear purpose, vision and value proposition that we shaped in collaboration with the SCIA team, we were then able to evaluate everything they were doing against a clear direction that they were aspiring towards. It was very obvious that the existing way they were communicating didn’t fit with this direction, but what do you do about this? Sometimes it can be tempting to say “We need a new brand to fit this new position”, but with Limewash we always look hard at what is there, what the equity in that is and how we can work with what we’ve got rather than throwing away and starting again. For SCIA we developed an exciting new look and feel, but around their existing mark, creating a very high tech (silicon valley) and yet very high touch (human) feel with a distinctive colour palette and very approachable, even sometimes humorous messaging to pick up on the emotional side of structural engineers.
But this was merely just the initial step in ultimately transforming the business. A brand is not merely a visual thing, it is the whole experience around it and making sure this is consistently delivered by everyone in the team. We have been on a journey with SCIA over a number of years helping to develop and embed this brand in everything they do and say. We’ve made beautiful brand, proposition and getting started films, redesigned websites, created brochures, ad campaigns, event collaterals and been on hand to train their marketing teams, designers, as well as other specialist agencies to deliver a consistent version of the unique SCIA brand.