D.F Brown and Associates

Dave Brown, principal at D.F. Brown and Associates, LLC, came to iIgnite's strategic partner, Elevation Marketing Group, looking for new ways to build his retained executive search firm.  His competition was mostly large retained firms (that is, firms that receive payment up front for executive searches), but he was also competing with contingency firms (firms that are paid upon hiring).  He was having a hard time differentiating himself and his service advantages from his competitors. He was also looking for strong areas of future growth.

The Process:
We began work with Dave at the strategic assessment leve and set out to determine current state by evaluating business processes, clients, services, communications, price, database/contact management systems and more.

Through discussions and research, We were able to use this assessment as the basis for developing a marketing plan, including niche targets that he could focus growth efforts, as well as a cohesive communications plan for client retention and acquisition.  EMG determined his core service differentiators and created a new message that was reflective the company direction and service benefits.

Our Recommendations:
To help Dave differentiate himself, EMG hired iIgnite, LLC to create a corporate identity. For targeted growth and retention, we suggested a simple and manageable marketing communications plan and to allow us to assist him in executing the plan cohesively.

Our Results:
We created a corporate identity – a brand that reflects the company, its services and personality.  The “DF Brown” in the logo speaks to his “signature” search process, and the fact that he personally stands begin every search.  The tagline developed is value oriented and speaks directly to service differentiators.  For example,

“At D.F. Brown and Associates, 98% of our hires have stayed with the client company 4 or more years.  Over 50% of those have been promoted.”

These stats inspired “Finding Talent that Lasts,” the new tagline.  In fact, it was Dave’s love of art and culture that led us to the juxtaposition of the Chinese warrior army with Dave’s track record and business practices.

With the brand firmly in hand, we developed a new website, business cards, letterhead and other collateral, all reflective of the new brand.   To announce the new brand and direction, we imported replicas of the Chinese warriors, packaged them in small crates and sent these out as a gift and direct mail to current clients. 

Two of his largest clients responded immediately. He received a very complimentary letter from one client, making it apparent the gift had been shared with other “C” level executives inside the client company.  The other client called Dave personally and told him that in his 30+ years in Human Resources, this was the most exceptional gift he had received in his career.

Most importantly, DF Brown and Associates received three searches that week from these same clients, amounting to over $150K in gross sales and equaling 30% of his sales objective for the year.  His investment in the mailing was $2K.

Today, we continue to assist Dave in honing the business, the client database and execution of the marketing communications plan. We will continue to work with Dave to achieve his long term objectives for the company.

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