We’re wrapping up our work with Ideal State, formerly Atascadero, a knowledge management consulting firm that partners with companies working toward social change. In their own words, “Ideal State helps organizations build the global knowledge architecture needed to drive systemic transformation in the areas of people, process and technology.” With big goals and an ever-growing portfolio of big name clients, Atascadero came to us looking for guidance on their positioning, brand identity, and marketing strategy.
Part 1: Brand Strategy
Our exploration of their mission and brand values identified something important— a desire to shake things up. In a space full of stagnant, often frustrating “knowledge management” issues, Ideal State is rethinking the meaning of “institutional knowledge” and apply new solutions to age-old problems. Ideal State uses a human-centric, design thinking strategic model to come up with solutions that recognize both the space AND the individual people that inhabit it. It’s a cutting edge approach to a well-established service.
We brought those ideas forward with a full rebrand– including naming, a logo & supporting collateral, and a new website(coming soon!)– during which we defined their brand’s language and themes. We also established a brand voice that was centered on a human-first, earnest, and passionate approach to intelligence and systems. Our design approach brought forward the warmth of the brand’s voice with a bold orange, and as a complement, used monospaced typefaces and subtle grid lines to highlight intelligence and utility. The final product: a brand that balanced expertise and passion in an accessible and relatable way.
Part 2: Content Marketing Plan
The next step was to think about how to connect them with both current and potential clients on an ongoing basis. The answer? Killer content. We worked with their team to create a comprehensive content marketing plan that would position them as thought leaders in their space as well as a resource for practitioners.
You can’t have killer content without good strategy, so we built out a content plan for Ideal State to carry out on their own. First, we identified a user journey: who is the user, and how will they actually engage with Ideal State online? What types of information and content will that user be looking for when they approach Ideal State’s website and platforms? With those questions in mind, we built a comprehensive plan around educating users; we outlined key content types (like case studies, webinars, and culture sharing); and we identified optimal platforms for sharing them (LinkedIn, Twitter, Medium, etc).
Ultimately, we took the proverbial “deep dive” with Ideal State— a particularly rewarding challenge, because we love finding ways to build creative solutions for non-traditional brands. What was most exciting, though, was turning the tables on a brand that knows so much about knowledge; exploring their identity with them, and bringing forward their own knowledge to strengthen their brand and sense of place within their industry. That’s the type of collaboration that gets us so excited about the work we do.