Ingerman

Birchwood Branding

Branding & Strategy

The Challenge

In an effort to distinguish, promote, and unify their line of senior properties, Ingerman wanted to develop a cohesive brand identity for their growing line of 55+ communities, all while maintaining an association with the storied Ingerman name.

The Approach

Tasked with the job of developing a brand new identity that would soon be launched, [ 2 one 5 ] Creative decided that a strategic plan was the best way to set forth a roadmap for the brand launch. This strategy provided insight on industry trends as well as detailed recommendations for achieving success in the industry. Upon completion of the strategy, [ 2 one 5 ] Creative had established an adequate knowledge of the industry and was prepared to dive in to the the branding conception phase, which included naming, brand identity, brand standards, and interior and exterior signage displays.

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Research

In order to understand what seniors are looking for in an independent living community, as well as to grasp what Ingerman, specifically, is doing right in the space, [ 2 one 5 ] Creative decided to develop a tenant survey. With a sample size of over 300 Ingerman residents, [ 2 one 5 ] was able to gain valuable insight into the various backgrounds of the respondents and their personal experiences with their Ingerman senior community, from how they heard about Ingerman to what their individual experiences offered.

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Brand Strategy & Planning

[ 2 one 5 ] Creative approached the challenge with the development of a thorough strategy aimed at identifying the appropriate brand values. Through extensive research of the target, market, competitors, and feelings of current residents, [ 2 one 5 ] defined a roadmap for how the Ingerman senior product type should introduce themselves to the industry in terms of messaging and brand values, as well as through both traditional and digital tactics in an effort to develop further brand awareness and retain current residents for a longer period of time.

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Naming

With a clear direction and a vision in mind, [ 2 one 5 ] Creative dove straight into the development of a name. While looking for a name that resonated with seniors and their families, and communicated a sense of trust, community, independence, and new beginnings, [ 2 one 5 ] looked to the Birch tree. A tree that encourages one to take root in new soils, the birch tree signifies rejuvenation and new beginnings—an inspiring symbol for seniors moving to new territories. Knowing that this tree was a perfect representation of the new brand, [ 2 one 5 ] and Ingerman landed on the name Birchwood and decided to use each community’s different location as a distinguishing component of the name. To finalize the naming stage, [ 2 one 5 ] developed the tagline “When you’re ready, we’re ready for you.” to accompany any future promotional materials.

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Brand Identity/Brand Standards

Once a name was established, [ 2 one 5 ] began type and color studies, in search of a calming and welcoming aesthetic that would appear to seniors preparing to enter their new lifestage. After deciding on a navy blue with different shades of sage as a light complementary color, it was time to begin logo development. [ 2 one 5 ] developed several options utilizing both literal and abstract interpretations of the Birch tree. The finalized identity was accompanied by a book of brand guidelines informing Ingerman what to do and what not to do with the brand identity.

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Collateral

The last step of this project was to use the new identity to design signage for all Ingerman senior property types. [ 2 one 5 ] prepared several indoor and outdoor signage designs for all future and current Birchwood properties.

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Takeaways

With a strategic plan and new brand identity all in place, Ingerman is now ready to officially launch the Birchwood brand. Through traditional and digital efforts, Ingerman can effectively introduce Birchwood to seniors looking to take the next step by moving into a senior community that is welcoming and trustworthy. The identity is currently being pushed out through all new developments while transition strategies are in place for current senior living communities.

“[ 2 one 5 ] Creative’s approach to branding enabled Ingerman to align our senior living communities under one visual language. Their thorough strategy provided us with a plan for easing the new brand into our current communities and future developments. The identity highlighted the values they established.”

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Marty Josephs – President, Ingerman Management Company