Haven | Case Study | Branding

Objective

Treadlight Construction needed to relate to their target audience and attract top tier talent. Our objective was to diagnose the perceptions of their current brand and develop a more accurate representation of who they are.

Solution

We identified a target audience, changed the name to communicate the founders' sustainable focus, and developed an identity that stands out from the competition.

Project Scope

Brand Strategy

Naming

Identity & Logo Design

Haven

Backstory:

This project isn’t real. There is a construction company in San Diego called Treadlight and they do have a sustainable focus, but we did not actually work with them. We did however believe that their branding could be improved and align closer to their vision. We chose them because they were the only construction company in San Diego to actually have a vision. With us so far? Great. Let’s dive in.


Clarifying Stakeholder Ambitions:

Treadlight is a construction company focused on creating sustainable and environmentally friendly homes in San Diego. With every home they build, they showcase a responsibility to our planet and create a healthy space for people to live in. Their eyes are on the future and health of their clients' families.


Understanding the Users:

We determined that the core users are women ready to buy/renovate their home, mama birds ready to nest. Peripheral users consist of their husbands and employees ready to make sustainable dream homes a reality. Expanding further, we concluded that the reason for building/renovating is the need to create a home, not just a house. By defining the profiles of target users, we are able to understand what they are looking for in a construction company and how to meet their needs.


User Profiles


Brand Audit:

Name

Out of eight people asked, only one linked Treadlight to “treading lightly on the planet,” a phrase commonly used by outdoors enthusiasts. None of them associated it with building/renovating a sustainable home and it was detached from the users needs. Furthermore, the target audience described the name as heavy, cautionary, and that it sounded more like a product, not a company.


Visual Identity

When the target audience was asked for their thoughts on Treadlight’s first identity, comments like antiquated, basic, and thoughtless arose. Not exactly what we were looking for. From a technical standpoint, the identity also had issues like scalability and flexibility across applications, like being placed on affiliate websites (Houzz) and even their own website.

Treadlight Construction_Current Brand Identity


Competition and Positioning

By focusing on sustainability, Treadlight already had a positioning advantage. Most construction companies and skilled tradesman focus on marketing their trades rather than the benefit to the customer or a greater purpose. We were on the right track focusing on user needs and a bigger mission. The task became reinforcing their positioning through their identity.


Strategy and Rebrand:

Based on the research conducted, it was clear that the name and identity needed to change to better communicate the positioning of the brand and relate to consumers. We had five key goals:

  • Align the identity with the company’s vision
  • Relate to the target audience
  • Create an identity that is expandable and continuous
  • Differentiate from other construction companies
  • Create an identity employees would be proud of and distinguished their craft

Rename

When the target audience was asked what Treadlight made them think and feel, the answers were cautious and heavy. Haven evoked feelings of progressive thinking, environmental concern, and a place to build a nest. Furthermore, despite having the same amount of syllables, Haven is easier to say. The room for adaptation also grew with subtle affirmations of the future, like the URL haven.build, and messaging like “home is forever.”

Haven Construction_Rename_Logo on image of family


Visual Identity

To evoke attributes like fresh, poised, and forward thinking, we worked the Haven identity to dwell among new smart home companies like Nest and Ring. The line going through the logotype represented the continuity and long-term thinking Haven would bring to their clients’ homes.

Haven Construction_Brand Identity_Logo



Expanding the identity was anchored by two elements: color and line work. Purple is the least common color used within the skilled trades and connoted a quiet confidence. Simplifying the identity elements generated consistency.

Haven Construction_Brand Identity_Business Cards

Haven Construction_Brand Identity_Logo and Pattern


Results

Haven’s new identity took major preference over its predecessor. We asked the target audience one question to drive the point forward: if price and reviews were the same, which company (Treadlight or Haven) would you trust to build/remodel your home?


Haven: 6

Treadlight: 1

Potential Employee Perception:

The skilled trades have seen a massive decline in employees, so we made sure the brand resonated with Millennials and Gen Z. We conducted this research by asking a series of questions relevant to the values of the brand and what these generations are looking for in an employer. The results didn't disappoint.

Which company do you think would be able to pay you more as an employee?

Haven: 6

Treadlight: 2

Which company do you think would build more sustainable, environmentally-friendly houses?

Haven: 7

Treadlight: 1

Which company do you think would better use technology and smart building practices?

Haven: 6

Treadlight: 2

Which company do you think would have a better culture?

Haven: 8

Treadlight: 0

Who would you choose?


Consumer research demographics:

Nurse, age 47, female

Sales Manager, age 47, female

A young couple buying their first home, age 24-26, a nurse and teacher

Dental hygienist, age 21, female

Realtor for Berkshire Hathaway, age 50, male

Cosmetologist, age 21, female

Potential employee research demographics:

Seven men, ages 19-25

One woman, age 21

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