Repositioning Brands for Business Performance

Founded in 1990, The Monogram Group is a Chicago branding agency specializing in repositioning brands for business performance. Focused on middle market B2B and B2C companies, our process starts with insights into our clients’ audience segments that will drive consideration and purchase. We get smart before we get creative, and our creative is top drawer.

 
$25,000+
 
$150 - $199 / hr
 
2 - 9
 Founded
1990
Show all +
Chicago, IL
headquarters
  • 4001 N. Ravenswood Ave, Suite 501
    Chicago, IL 60613
    United States

Portfolio

Key clients: 

Life Fitness, Mintel, Goldwind America, Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Geremarie, Antares Capital, ITsavvy, Catholic Theological Union

Antares Capital

We built this highly successful PE brand, starting in 1996 and continuing into 2016. In between was an acquisition and spinoff by GE Capital. 

A fast growing national IT products distributor & outsourced services provider reinvented itself to pave the way for exponential growth over 5 years. 

Geremarie creates world-class aluminum products, from the back of the napkin to the slap of the shipping label. A part is ordered anywhere in the world, and it’s scheduled on one of their machines in seconds. High precision work and our coordinated measuring system means true exactitude for components on every order, every time.

Catholic Theological Union

One of America’s largest Roman Catholic graduate schools of theology and ministry, Catholic Theological Union is home to men and women, religious and laity, from around the world. CTU students engage in a transforming, intercultural academic experience as they prepare to become leaders for the local and global Church, ready to witness to the good news of Jesus Christ.

Goldwind America

Based in Beijing, the #2 manufacturer worldwide in wind turbines came to Monogram to create their face for Western markets. Our challenge? Answering the question "Why should I trust the Chinese?" The results? 20 contracts worth $500 million in two years.

Mintel

Based in London, the world's leading market intelligence company engaged Monogram to evolve its brand for global markets.

Life Fitness

Life Fitness, the world's largest exercise equipment brand, went through a evolutionary change to become a brand-driven company across the 80 countries where their products are sold. Monogram created that new brand for those markets.

Check out our company reel and get a glimpse as to why we're a top 20 advertising agency in Chicago.

Reviews

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Branding & Marketing Strategy for Reading Nonprofit

"Raise your bar and expect the best because that’s what you’re going to get with the Monogram Group."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Jan. 2014 - June 2015
Project summary: 

The Monogram Group provided marketing services to expand into an overseas market. Their team completed branding and market research services. They repositioned the brand in a competitive area.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Kalispell, Montana
Jason Bennecke
CEO, Red Apple Reading
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The Monogram Group’s work has started bridging a gap between two markets. Their communicative team was skilled at balancing management and providing input. The work has spurred the possibility for future branding engagements.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the CEO of Red App Reading. Our nonprofit dedicates its time to helping the reading needs of children in the United States, China, and South America.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with the Monogram Group?

We were trying to penetrate the Chinese market. There are several significant legal and cultural hurdles to overcome to do that.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Scott (President, The Monogram Group) is well connected in China and has a great understanding of the hurdles we were facing. John (Director of China Region, The Monogram Group) completed market research through surveys. We received comprehensive data on how to position for a successful launch in China.

The Monogram Group completed everything under the marketing umbrella. They assisted with branding, revamping our online presence, product placement, market research, and competitive analysis.

What is the team composition?

My primary contacts were Scott and John.

How did you come to work with the Monogram Group?

We hired a company that finds marketing firms for businesses. The Monogram Group popped up, and after we interviewed each other, it seemed like a good fit. Scott also has had a lot of experience working in China and helping businesses break into that market.

How much have you invested with them?

We invested around $50,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked with them from Jan. 2014 to June 2015.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

The Monogram Group has opened a lot of doors for our group in China. We have a good sense of what it's like to immerse ourselves there. They comprised several reports, and we plan on using them once we get the next round of funding.

How did the Monogram Group perform from a project management standpoint?

Scott is one of those rare people who knows how to find the balance between being too involved and not being involved at all. We’re comfortable working with him. If we need him, he’s there. The Monogram Group makes sure we’re fully satisfied with the services, and it has been a pleasure working with them.

We talked weekly and talked to John every couple of days for several months. We emailed, talked on the phone, and spoke on Skype. We were able to meet Scott in person during a productive dinner meeting.

Getting into China is expensive. Scott is still in the loop about what is happening, and as soon as we get the next round of funding, we’re picking up where we left off.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Scott has a great strategic mind, which not a lot of people. He can take a complex issue and figure out what the optimal solution to that problem is. He is also to get in there and make sure your company has a successful implementation.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No, I don’t think so. We’d still actively be working with the Monogram Group if we had adequate funding. That is not an issue of theirs.

Any advice for potential customers?

Raise your bar and expect the best because that’s what you’re going to get with the Monogram Group.

5.0
Overall Score We had a great and positive experience. I'm looking forward to working with them in the future and seeing what ideas they come up with.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They met every deadline or finished work early.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    I feel like we got $100,000 worth of work for what we paid. It was a good deal.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    The reports they put together were professional, concise, and detailed.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I can't say enough good things about the Monogram Group.

Logo Design & Rebranding for International Business Law Group

“They developed very inventive logo options that effectively represented the organization.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
July - Nov. 2013
Project summary: 

The Monogram Group provided logo redesign services.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Washington, DC
Member, International Business Law Group
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The new logo The Monogram Group designed was very well received and is still being used and trademarked years later. They provided a plethora of well thought-out, creative options to choose from. Responsive, timely, and communicative throughout, working with their team was seamless.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm a former member of an international business law group.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with The Monogram Group?

We engaged The Monogram Group for a logo redesign.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

The Monogram Group sat down with our team to learn about our business, goals, and challenges. They spent a lot of time coming up with 15–20 logos based on our feedback that we narrowed down gradually until we had three to present to our board of directors to choose from.

What is the team composition?

I mostly worked directly with Scott (President, The Monogram Group), as well as a couple marketing staff.

How did you come to work with The Monogram Group?

I knew Scott from another network we're both members of and he came highly recommended from a few other companies. I also liked his ideas and approach compared to others we were considering. 

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked with them from around August–November 2013.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

We had a very high profile launch of the new logo The Monogram Group designed, and it was very well received across the board. The fact that the logo hasn't changed in many years and is being trademarked is a testament to the organization's satisfaction with their work.

How did The Monogram Group perform from a project management standpoint?

They were very responsive and timely with their deliverables. Scott and I touched base at least a few times a week throughout the engagement.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They're very hands on in their approach and take their time getting to know the business thoroughly. They developed very inventive logo options that effectively represented the organization.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No. We were very satisfied with the experience overall.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Global Rebranding for a Fitness Equipment Company

“This project was one of the most meaningful and enjoyable of my career.”

 

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Jan. - Oct. 2009
Project summary: 

The Monogram Group facilitated an international rebranding project that aimed to instate a cohesive corporate identity from country to country. They also positioned the brand toward a new target market.

The Reviewer
 
1,001-5,000 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Mark McCleary
VP Global Marketing & Brand Management, Life Fitness
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The global rebrand catalyzed a $102 million growth in revenue over a two-year stretch. Having a more accessible and open-ended brand has secured new types of international and B2B customers. The Monogram Group displayed a notable degree of market insight and acumen that manifested in success.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your company and your position there.

At the time, I was the VP of global marketing and brand management for Life Fitness, a division of Brunswick Corporation. Life Fitness manufactures consumer and commercial fitness equipment that’s sold in over 80 countries.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

For what projects/services did your company hire The Monogram Group?

Independent distributors had handled our company for many years. As a result, the brand was different and disjointed from country to country. When working with global customers who operated in multiple countries, this confusion became a problem. We hired Monogram Group to develop a global brand that customers could recognize around the world.

What were your goals for this project?

We wanted to develop a unified, globally accepted brand with authentic positioning we could own and differentiate. Originally, it had been aimed towards professional athletes. Our new target audience was average people interested in improving their fitness. Ultimately, we intended to visually execute the new brand internationally since over 50% of our business was coming from outside the US.

SOLUTION

How did you select this vendor?

Our business had 25 years of marketing experience in Chicago. We interviewed both international agencies with offices in Chicago and local mid-sized agencies. The Monogram Group had the experience we were looking for. They were the right size company and seemed like they could help us gain attention in the market.

Describe the scope of their work in detail.

The Monogram Group researched the current brand positioning of our brand and key competitors in multiple countries. They also assessed the current brand positioning among key customers, distributors, and employees. Based on the findings, they developed potential new positionings for our brand and tested them with stakeholders, employees, and consumers.  After we chose the winner, they developed and distributed the new brand guide globally.

What was the team composition?

The Monogram Group assigned senior account, research, and creative employees supported by their more junior people to our project. I was the primary contact from my company during the research phase. We brought in our brand and creative teammates as we entered the global distribution phase.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Can you share any outcomes from the project that demonstrate progress or success?

Although some long-term employees missed the hardcore athlete positioning from the past, having a more accessible brand has opened doors to new customers we hadn’t been able to reach.  Our international customers started buying more of our products. We’ve also gotten new types of B2B consumers like hotels, hospitals, and rehabs. Revenue grew from $551M to $653M in two years following brand relaunch. Much of this value came from new customers and markets that had rejected the old brand.

How effective was the workflow between your team and theirs?

Given The Monogram Group’s medium size, communication was easy. We interacted directly with the senior team.

What did you find most impressive about this company?

The Monogram Group has a keen ability to gain insight from our global partners. They excelled at developing a differentiated brand that’s been impactful in over 80 countries.

Are there any areas for improvement?

Not that I can think of. This project was one of the most meaningful and enjoyable of my career.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Scheduling was good but coordinating globally can take time.
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    The costs were reasonable. They were in the mid-range between large agencies and agencies with little experience.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They used a research-based method to bring an insightful, meaningful brand to our customers.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I have referred Monogram in the past.

Branding & Marketing for Local Hair Salon

“The results were positive, and both the customers and franchises are happy with the new materials.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Jan. - June 2012
Project summary: 

The Monogram Group updated branding for a hair salon, creating a new logo and promotional materials. They conducted market research and did a photoshoot, then distributed the new materials to the franchises.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Detroit, Michigan
Sharmeela Saunderson
Salon Owner, The Weave Shop
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The Monogram Group worked hard and quickly understood the project scope and goals. The products they created are timeless, making the company look modern, professional, and cohesive. Anyone looking to improve their business should hire them.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the salon owner of The Weave Shop, a franchised hair salon that mainly caters to the African American community and specializes in weaves.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with The Monogram Group?

We needed a partner to update our look, make new promotional material, and refresh our image.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

The Monogram Group updated our promotional material, making new posters and adjusting the logo. They conducted market research by interviewing our clients and asking them what was important to them when visiting our salons. They then used those answers to create our new look. The Monogram Group also did a photoshoot and made sure all our franchises had the updated materials.

What is the team composition?

We worked with their creative director.

How did you come to work with The Monogram Group?

We did some research and interviewed a few different marketing companies. We thought The Monogram Group was the best fit, so we hired them.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent between $50,000–$80,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked together from January–June 2012.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

The results were positive, and both the customers and franchises are happy with the new materials. They’re timeless, so we can use them for many years without looking old or outdated. In fact, we’re still using them. It really helped make us look more cohesive, professional, and current.

How did The Monogram Group perform from a project management standpoint?

We had a weekly conference with their creative director, who was always strong and punctual. They consistently delivered on time and kept all of their promises.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They have an extremely skilled team. We provided a rough explanation of what we needed, and they did a great job of developing a project that met those needs.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Our project was too short to see any long-term issues, but everything went smoothly.

Do you have any advice for future clients of theirs?

If you want to take your business to the next level, hire The Monogram Group.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    We definitely got value for what we paid.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Branding & Strategy for Investment Company

“From a strategy, design, and creative perspective, I am happy with their deliverables.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Feb. 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

The Monogram Group supplies branding work, including market research, marketing strategy and keyword development, advertising campaigns, and logo design. They also consult on business development.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Dallas, Texas
Charlie Chen
President, Triwin Investments
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The Monogram Group’s work resulted in an increase in clients and a good reputation in the market. They delivered effective marketing and branding strategies as well as a fitting logo. The team displays strong expertise in business growth, delivers high-quality work, and focuses on customer needs.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Triwin Investments is a Chinese medicine clinic.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with The Monogram Group?

We’re a new company, so we needed to set some benchmarks with focus groups and clients to gather impressions. Our goal was to define how we'd position ourselves from a branding and marketing perspective for future campaigns in addition to establishing a branding/marketing strategy.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

The Monogram Group helped us kick off some focus groups to interview potential patients. This involved organizing meetings, discussions, and Q&A sessions.

Based on the feedback gathered, we discussed how we should position ourselves and how our message should be delivered. We defined some of the key terms we would use in our practice. To promote those terms, we launched advertisements through Google, Yelp, and Facebook. The Monogram Group also developed a logo and basic branding for our clinic in addition to rudimentary UI for our site.

Since then, Scott (President, The Monogram Group) has continuously given us advice to grow our business. Because I'm trying to franchise the clinic, we've discussed our business plan together and have met with venture capital groups. He's even introduced some investors to me. I'm now planning to have The Monogram Group handle my next, bigger project to grow my future franchise.

What is the team composition?

I work closely with Scott.

How did you come to work with The Monogram Group?

I came to know Scott through a mutual friend who works for a large PR company in Washington, D.C. When he came to Chicago, he introduced me to Scott, and we built a friendship.

Ultimately, I chose to work with The Monogram Group over a big firm because of their exceptional authenticity and tailored approach. Based on my situation and budget, working with them was the best solution.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together when I set up my own company in February 2017. We've continued to collaborate and are currently discussing our next two-year project for my franchise Chinese medicine practice.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

We have a good reputation in the marketplace. Our advertisements with Google, Yelp, and Facebook have been successful. Strong clients are coming in based on our marketing terms and keywords. In terms of visual assets, they've created a beautiful logo based on our philosophy, messaging, and strategy; we use it everywhere.

They've also helped us define a future strategy to grow our business. With bigger ideas in the pipeline, I'm happy with what we're doing together. Everything seems to be on the right track.

How did The Monogram Group perform from a project management standpoint?

The Monogram Group is extremely responsive. They deliver high-quality work and are professional. Although they're a small team, their core competency is their authenticity, focus, and client-driven approach. They don’t work from a formula; rather, they understand us and work with us to form solutions.

What did you find most impressive about them?

First, their customer focus is spectacular. They really want to help us be successful as both our partner and our friend. Second, they’re professional. The work they've produced is high-quality. From a strategy, design, and creative perspective, I am happy with their deliverables. And third, they’re hardworking, responsible, and always quick to give me feedback.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No. I’m happy with them. They’re flexible, and they have a great team for long-term partnerships.

Do you have any advice for future clients of theirs?

I’m excited to introduce them to companies like ours. The Monogram Group is good at smaller and mid-sized branding projects. My advice to potential or new clients is just to trust them.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    I’d give a higher rating if I could.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer