As the leading provider of integrated compliance services, Schellman & Company (Schellman) is setting the pace in the compliance industry.
Here, we examine how Schellman successfully rebranded, connected with current clients, reached prospects and communicated its unique and powerful message through a website redesign and brand harvesting process.
Schellman sought to implement a new corporate name and completely overhaul its branding to better reflect its position as the pacesetter for its industry.
Formerly known as BrightLine, the company has very little need for advertising or marketing thanks to impressive growth resulting from its reputation in the industry. For that reason, the company’s website is its primary marketing tool.
A unique player in the compliance industry, Schellman’s previous website documented its service offerings, but it lacked a certain appeal. The firm wanted a dynamic new site that would showcase its value proposition and precedence as the largest boutique CPA firm in the United States.
A website redesign combined with a name change and rebranding meant addressing the following challenges:
Using information collected from meetings and interviews, the Kuno team discovered that it is the Schellman team and the way the firm approaches compliance and attestation projects that set it apart from its competitors.
Through current and former client interviews, we found that Schellman’s customers believe Schellman offers clients a level of quality and experience not commonly found with other firms. This is achieved by hiring experienced professionals with compliance and attestation experience as well as the superior planning and execution of projects.
The Kuno team assumed the task of effectively conveying Schellman’s role as a premier brand via its website.
Because Schellman was changing its name, the Kuno team conceived a way to maintain brand equity while educating site visitors of both the impending new site and the new name. The first step was to keep the old BrightLine site active but create a splash page to greet visitors and announce the exciting forthcoming new site and name.
Kuno had already determined that Schellman was known as a “high-end” provider in the compliance and attestation market. Inspired by the likes of other premium brands, Kuno developed the tagline “Quality, Above All.”
We displayed this new tagline in the hero image on the home page. The hero area also includes a link to a blog post with more information about Schellman’s name change, and a call-to-action to speak with a specialist. To maintain brand awareness, we kept the original logo and added “Formerly BrightLine” underneath.
The blog post about the name change has been one of the most popular posts since the site’s launch, gathering more than 1,000 views.
The site design incorporated the angled elements from Schellman’s logo, which lent itself well to a page layout that forced the user’s eye to flow down the page. By applying angled section breaks, we were able to bring together an aesthetic that further enhanced the Schellman brand across the whole site.
The photographic and illustrative imagery used was carefully chosen to represent a sleek, minimalistic and professional depiction of the services Schellman provides.
We achieved this with simplified line icons to represent each service, and photographic imagery that showcased a pathway to success. By applying filter overlays and a splash of light, we achieved a sense of ongoing direction that leads to the success of the individual or team.
As the user goes deeper into Schellman’s service offerings, he or she will experience professional, close-up imagery that conveys a sense of “digging in” on finding the service that meets his or her needs.
As a single assessor, Schellman offers several services to a wide variety of industries. From our research and interviews, we knew the pain points of many of Schellman’s client personas were similar. We also knew that grouping services by industry would not provide the best experience because compliance or attestation services can extend throughout many verticals. For example, a technology company may need a healthcare certification.
To create an optimal user experience, the Kuno team branded Schellman’s offerings as a single suite of services, and incorporated it into the site navigation.
Now, when a user clicks on the item, he or she gets a drop-down menu of services to choose from.
On the previous site, prospects were mostly limited to completing a “Request a Consultation” form. This resulted in lost opportunities to nurture a prospect and a less-than-optimal user experience.
From our interviews and research, we knew a pain point for many of Schellman’s client personas was figuring out how to adequately prepare for an audit. To address this, the Kuno team worked with Schellman to create a top funnel piece of content and placed a call-to-action (“CTA”) for that content in the middle of the home page.
Since the site’s launch, the audit readiness CTA has achieved a 30 percent submission rate, resulting in a 12 percent new contact rate for Schellman.
To showcase the Schellman staff, our team incorporated headshots and quotes from each subject matter expert, so when someone chose to “talk with a specialist,” they knew with whom they would be speaking. We also incorporated “talk with a specialist” CTAs across the site, giving visitors more opportunities to convert.
The high-end feel and human element also carried over to Schellman’s blog, rebranded as the Schellman Advantage blog. To feature the expertise of each writer, we added a “Meet the Writer” section to the end of each post with a photo of the author, more information about their specialties and the option to read more of their content.
Because Schellman had a new name, the Kuno team wanted to ensure the brand’s SEO didn’t plummet as a result.
The team examined the old BrightLine URLs as well as the new Schellman URLs to consolidate pages and make sure the old URLs matched the new URLs in HubSpot. We also carefully kept an eye on Google Webmaster tools and 404 errors.
Schellman’s new website features a sophisticated design and updated messaging that reflects the brand. It includes strategic inbound marketing elements that make it an effective sales tool for the Schellman team, such as conversion paths to help turn website visitors into leads, and bottom funnel contact forms on all service pages to keep visitors engaged as they browse the website.
Since the site’s launch, Schellman has seen the following improvements:
For Phase 2 of the website design project, the Kuno team will use the data collected from our inbound marketing efforts to continue to make improvements to the site. Already, the team has redesigned landing pages to include more imagery and value, which includes sneak peeks at offers.
Additionally, we are featuring relevant pieces of content on each service page to further educate prospects and move them along the sales funnel.
Ready to explore how a website redesign can create value for your organization? Contact Kuno today.