We create meaningful brands
CRU is a Brand Consultancy in Berlin. We create meaningful brands that stand out through their sophistication and deeply resonate with people. And we have 3 promises for you:
(1) In everything we do we are striving for the extraordinary – from planning via story to design and experience.
(2) Every work that we deliver is truly made by CRU – not some intern or random freelancer – and signed off by our leadership.
(3) We want to turn clients into accomplices in our shared quest to create something worthwhile.
Are you coming? If so, you are now leaving the ordinary sector.
Welcome to CRU.
G2K Group, METRONOM, Oply Carsharing, Trade Republic, Deutsche Aids Hilfe
For the AI platform provider G2K we didn’t just do a rebranding — we helped to bring about their reincarnation: By christening their platform Parsifal. By introducing an all new corporate identity, including the custom typeface ‘Good2Type’. And by building a digital experience that showcases the marvels of their AI powered products.
Trade Republic is Germany’s first free-of-charge mobile broker — what an achievement.
In close collaboration with the Trade Republic team, we developed the brand identity, brand messaging, the planning and execution of the market entry.
Tough timing and the wish for a big boom for the very first entry — we made it happen together with the client's team and our partners from TROPEN and MONSOON.
Atento.me added the wow to vouchers:
— fully local
— always exchangeable
— easy to send, awesome to receive
— super easy to manage for local shops
And our team added a sweet branding, packaging and product design (voucher, marketplace) to help atento with the market entry in Berlin.
Already before we founded our company, we developed with our partner agency TROPEN the whole branding of the METRO daughter.
We were involved in brand strategy, the whole visual identity, planning and execution of the market entry and for sure the new website.
Großmann & Köhn: The joint venture for new, innovative real estate needed a new Branding, a new website and an "easy to handle-template" for exposés.
We took care of the whole process from planning the brand to developing the visual identity and website. With our partners we still consult this client with the market entry.
Bottle Rocket — what does that mean? Full throttle towards intoxication? Hangovers as big as an astronaut’s helmet? The NASA of booze? It’s neither of them — because Bottle Rocket is about authentic and classy drinking. It’s all about good drinks, the best ingredients and new creations.
BottleRocket is already a client since we founded our company. Branding & webdesign is made by us. Photography by Annabell Sievert.
We developed the whole branding for the new online marketing agency MONSOON, which was founded in the beginning of 2019.
MONSOON stands for purpose-driven growth of their customers and for the change, which comes with their new way of working.
That's why we decided to invent Monsoon and make it bold. Very bold.
Naming was developed with our partner TROPEN.
Heimathafen Neukölln is the well-known theatre in Berlin. We planned, designed and developed the new website.
With the new website we wanted to solve two main issues:
— it should be very easy to handle for the team
— we want to inspire the visitors and make it as easy as possible to find the right event
Both worked very well.
This project was nominated for Site of the Day from Awwards.
"CRU Brand Consultancy's team were radical in their way of thinking."
CRU Brand Consultancy was hired by a software solutions company. Since they work in a complex field, the client needed new branding materials and an informative website to communicate their services.
"CRU Brand Consultancy's team were radical in their way of thinking."
Oct 28, 2020
The collateral created by CRU Brand Consultancy has been well-received within the market. More people are engaging with the client's services. The team at CRU Brand Consultancy is professional, empathic, and inquisitive. Their personable approach makes them stand out from other providers.
A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.
Introduce your business and what you do there.
I’m the vice president of brand strategy and marketing. I’m part of the management board, and I oversee everything related to the brand itself, marketing and communication, and product development. We’re a software company founded in 2013. We’re a mid-sized company with 150–160 employees and offices across the world.
We develop software solutions for various pillars, the first one being security management. We have a solution for automatically detecting incidents, which is typically installed at airports, railway stations, and stadiums—basically anywhere where there are a lot of people in a limited space.
The software connects to CCTV or other sensors and automatically detects situations like unattended luggage and people entering restricted areas or starting fights. The process is fully automated, based on AI. It automatically acts by itself by starting a certain action script or helping the operator by giving them a recommendation for action.
The goal is to increase efficiency and security and to decrease the costs related to those.
We also perform customer insights management. We collect data to gain valuable insights into offline customers. We do this a lot for retail customers in shopping malls or big retail chains. Our software offers insights into offline customers' demographics, such as age groups, genders, and where they’re coming from and going. In Germany, we can do that through license plate recognition.
We can check people’s behavior in shopping malls, such as where they go, what their routes are, and where they tend to stay longer. We create heatmaps of what attracts and distracts people to allow stores to optimize their infrastructures and increase revenues and customer experience.
What challenge were you trying to address with CRU Brand Consultancy?
Our problem has always been communicating the complex topics we deal with straightforwardly and generically that everyone’s grandmother would understand.
We came to the point where everyone in our company and around it understood what we do and could explain it in technical terms, but we couldn’t see the forest for the trees.
When we spoke to other people, they barely understood what we were talking about. It was too technical, abstract, and complex. What we really wanted to achieve was a complete rebranding from scratch.
We set a budget aside to rebrand from scratch, including our corporate identity, to make the company fit for growth. We were talking to a lot of investors at the time of starting with CRU Brand Consultancy.
Before, we hadn’t looked much into branding, but we came to understand that it was a showstopper for us in many ways. We needed to have unified communication in language and design.
What was the scope of their involvement?
CRU Brand Consultancy was given freedom with the scope. We told them that our name couldn’t be touched, but, apart from that, they could pretty much rearrange and improve everything else.
We started by defining the mission, vision, and core values of the company. Beyond the design, we tried to understand the DNA of the company itself. They organized a lot of workshops and talked to different people in the company, from the management board to different heads of departments. They then wrote a brand manifesto that laid down our DNA and served as the base for the whole project.
From there, they developed the corporate identity. They designed a custom typeface for us, and they purchased a commercial one along with that.
We decided on the colors, and they came up with a new, pretty radical logo, which was also simpler than our old one. We have new collateral, including fliers, rollup banners, business cards, and email signatures. CRU Brand Consultancy redesigned all the visuals in our company.
We then proceeded to the website, and their team strived to make it more than just an informative website. It allows the viewer to grasp the information and not be overwhelmed by its complexity. There are short claims and punchlines, with language that’s easy to understand by non-techies.
CRU Brand Consultancy created the whole website in-house, including animations and text content. They also provided all the content for our LinkedIn and other social media accounts. They organized a photoshoot with our employees. We have a unified picture with all our employees for the website, LinkedIn, and other places.
Internally, they consulted us on how and when we should communicate the brand to employees, investors, partners, and, externally, our clients. They helped us have a smooth process there so that everyone would be on board and no one would be surprised.
In the end, a big part of what they coordinated with us was merchandising. Along with the brand introduction, we wanted to make sure that our employees would identify with the brand. They helped us find and source the right vendors. They also came up with new product names.
It was an end-to-end approach, from design to storytelling and to the translation of our technical language into short, catchy statements.
What is the team composition?
We had a project manager.
How did you come to work with CRU Brand Consultancy?
We researched and interviewed multiple agencies, and their team stood out as the best fit, not only in terms of references but also in terms of personality.
We wanted someone that challenged us and would pull information from us, not the other way around. CRU Brand Consultancy was two steps ahead of us, and they challenged us with radical ideas. That helped us bring the whole project across.
What I liked about them was that they were also entrepreneurial in their thinking. They weren’t simply designers and content creators; they understood where we wanted to go with the company and our most important tasks with the rebranding. We didn’t even have to tell them; it came from them. They fully understood us from the first minute. It was a perfect fit, and that’s why we decided to go with them.
How much have you invested with them?
The project cost was $230,000.
What is the status of this engagement?
We started working together in March 2020. We launched the site in August and finished up in September 2020.
What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
The new product name was well-perceived in the market and helped us get the message across. We’re still fine-tuning, populating, and measuring the website, and we don’t have a final report.
Website traffic is a tougher metric because there will be more visits after a rebranding announcement. We are getting more traffic, but what’s really gone up is the time spent on the site. Before, people would leave the website after twenty seconds, but we’re getting an average time of 2–3 minutes now.
People are more engaged with the website and are exploring it more, and we’re getting more visits from cross-references. The team also implemented a leads collection mechanism on the website, and it really works well. We get several requests a day, which our sales team is taking care of.
The branding itself is perceived in the market very well. We’ve only gotten positive feedback so far. People love the new colors, especially our own employees. We’re seeing a much stronger identification with the brand among employees.
Everyone is using our stickers on their personal PCs, and some have bought sneakers in our colors.
The brand itself is tough to measure, but one important part we’ve seen is investor communication. We have processes for speaking to potential buyers of the company, and the proposed values we get in terms sheets went up drastically after the rebranding. The rebranding has made the company much more valuable.
CRU Brand Consultancy was very professional, and we could see that this wasn’t the first time they’d done this. They always had answers to our questions.
How did CRU Brand Consultancy perform from a project management standpoint?
CRU Brand Consultancy performed much better than we did. They were always the ones pushing us and asking us to deliver things.
If it weren’t for their project manager, I probably would’ve lost the overview. We had day-to-day business tasks to take care of, and, with the COVID situation, we had to figure out how to keep the company running and make sure everyone was safe and healthy.
Their team managed to steer the project through all of this safely and made sure that we finished on time and on budget. There were times in the project when we had to make postponements, including the website launch, but they went the extra mile to meet our goals. They even worked on Sundays.
We decided to increase the budget a bit mid-project, but CRU Brand Consultancy was transparent and open about the scope during discussions. It was all within the boundaries we planned.
What did you find most impressive about them?
I liked their entrepreneurial thinking. They were empathic, and they tried to put themselves in our places and envision the outcomes we wanted to achieve, instead of just doing what we told them to.
It was great to work with them in terms of personalities. After a while, it became more than just a vendor relationship. It was more like a friendship that evolved, and we had a lot of good evenings together, apart from work.
CRU Brand Consultancy’s team were radical in their way of thinking. They didn’t steer from doing something out of the norm. They came to us with ideas that they said were over the top, but they nevertheless wanted to show us. We usually went with the over-the-top option because it would set us apart from the competition.
Are there any areas they could improve?
Their team could’ve been more transparent about the price in the beginning. Apart from that, I can’t say anything bad about them.
Do you have any advice for potential customers?
I advise giving them a short point of view and letting them talk. They’re a creative team with great ideas, so they shouldn’t be given too many boundaries.
They can take the client’s hand in the journey, but, in the end, it’s very important that they be allowed to run free. Also, don’t hesitate to get a drink with them because they’re cool people, and a lot of good ideas evolve after hours.