What was the scope of their involvement?
We enlisted Sandstorm Design to think of a brand-new name, slogan, and website as part of a from-the-ground-up rebrand. Their team started with surveys and interviews within the community to test our theory of the connection between our company name and the lack of customers. Their research confirmed our thought that people were confused about whether they could bank with us or not.
The rebranding process started with the name, brand, voice, and tone, so Sandstorm Design came back with a couple of suggestions. Their team came on-site to meet us first and be introduced to the culture at our branches. We’re colorful and bright, and we wanted to highlight our staff members, so we needed them to come on board and meet us first.
We had a previous website, but it had been built internally and only for functionality purposes. With the rebrand, we wanted to highlight our new look and how our products are different from the competition. Sandstorm Design took over the development process from the beginning and built the site from scratch, including a new logo and theme. We provided our input throughout the design process, but we came to their team with a blank slate. They created a straightforward site on Drupal 8 that integrated our online banking system. They provide ongoing site maintenance.
Since we were debuting a new brand, we rolled the brand and the site out together. We figured out the conversational tone of our brand before building the website.
What is the team composition?
There was a team of 5–6 people that we worked with weekly. They worked on the backend doing the wireframing, and they would pull in other people throughout the projects if needed.
Our main point of contact was Emily (Senior Director of Client Delivery, Sandstorm Design). We worked with developers on the website. For the branding, we engaged with an account manager, but that individual is no longer with the company.
How did you come to work with Sandstorm Design?
I joined my company shortly after they hired Sandstorm Design. My company went through an RFP process and looked at local vendors in Chicago. We wanted a vendor that didn’t specialize in credit unions or know our former brand, because we didn’t want any stigmas of the old brand to hinder the project. We looked for a vendor that was farther away from our location so they'd remain openminded.
A lot of proposals came in, and our decision came down to feeling comfortable with Sandstorm Design’s capabilities. We'd seen some of the work they had done before as well.
How much have you invested with them?
My company has spent between $600,000–$700,000 on this project.
What is the status of this engagement?
The rebranding project was from May 2014–June 2015. They visit our office monthly for maintenance purposes. We also hired them to create a second website for us, which we plan to launch this October.