This story tells the history of our ongoing relationship with TBM Consulting which begin three years ago as a repositioning and rebranding initiative and then evolved into helping TBM both create and improve its thought leadership to impact the quality of leads and opportunities.
TBM is the operations and supply chain consultancy responsible for first introducing American manufacturers to the Japanese concepts of lean and six sigma. After enjoying a long period of rapid growth in the 90s, the company saw sales drop significantly following the Great Recession, which heavily affected manufacturers—their primary target market. TBM engaged Rattleback to help overhaul the brand and reposition the business for renewed success in an evolving business climate. The partnership has helped TBM:
President and CEO
A Brand that Had Become Everything to Everyone
Over the years as TBM grew, the firm began adding many niche services to cater to many different industries. At the same time, its core area of expertise had become somewhat commoditized. The initial brand strategy—grounded heavily in lean—no longer resonated the way it once had. A leadership change and evolution in how the company wanted to be viewed added to the problem. Then, when the recession hit, it compounded these issues, and TBM found itself operating without a clear sense of who it was and the value it could offer its clients.
Repositioning the Business to Succeed in a New Era
The Rattleback and TBM teams aligned around the immediate need to rethink the corporate marketing strategy and reign in the positioning. By taking a purposeful approach to rebuild the brand from the ground up, TBM established a solid foundation on which it could build out its marketing efforts. Based on the new positioning, TBM realigned its brand strategy, consolidated its service mix, redesigned its online experience, and reimagined its approach to thought leadership marketing. The process included:
Establishing a point of view
As a first step, Rattleback and the TBM teams came together in 2016 for a marketing review and some much-needed strategy and messaging work. The primary objective was to streamline the firm’s industry focus and service offering—they had more than a dozen of each—and align everything around a strategic point of view that could help the firm better articulate its value.
TBM recognized that the differentiator and value of its approach came down to the idea of speed and its ability to work at the point of impact to quickly move the needle and generate results for clients. “Speed wins every time” became the cornerstone of the consultancy’s marketing strategy and served as a basis for narrowing both its service mix and industry focus—a challenging process that initially received a lot of internal pushback. After aligning the team, Rattleback crafted a new messaging platform beginning with its corporate umbrella message and supporting messaging around the six identified key service areas to better articulate the positioning and solidify the importance of speed and rapid results in each of TBM’s core areas of expertise.
Visually representing the brand
With the POV established, the TBM team turned its attention to identity. Rattleback presented a diverse and vibrant color pallet along with a new logo and mark—the TBM Spark—to bring the message to life. The colors and mark work together to tell the brand’s story of speed, momentum, and working at the point of impact.
Reengineering the website
The Rattleback team presented a new architecture for the TBM website based on the firm’s six core solutions. We helped TBM tackle its massive content library and streamline its assets, going from more than a dozen formats down to six primary types of content. And we optimized the site for conversion by leveraging thought leadership and better connecting it to proof and capability.
Enhancing the content strategy
With a new home for its thought leadership, TBM began maximizing its ability to impact. Rattleback helped the TBM’s marketing team select and implement the right software to bring marketing automation in-house.
Director of Marketing
The team also changed its content focus from higher quantity to more quality. With its new POV and narrowed service line focus to guide it, the marketing team had a better handle on the type of content it needed to create. It began focusing less on producing fewer one-offs and more time producing thought leadership that could help solidify its positioning. Throughout 2017, Rattleback helped TBM through the process of creating major cornerstone content assets and then distilling them down into more digestible formats including blog posts, articles, and infographics. Finally, Rattleback worked with TBM to optimize and expand on its organic content delivery model which included the use of email marketing, social media, on-page search optimization, and lead nurtures.
Looking beyond the known audience
The next step for the TBM marketing team was to amplify its thought leadership beyond its existing customer and prospect network. To help, Rattleback worked with TBM to develop its paid media strategy to be built on a digital only model which allowed the benefit of real-time spend optimization.
In 2018, TBM expanded beyond its search and paid display focus and began testing sponsored posts within LinkedIn with the goal of gaining exposure to new targeted leads. It’s an effort that has seen early success with both an increase in new visitors coming into the website as well as higher quality leads being generated.
More Qualified Leads and Renewed Growth
As a result of TBM’s positioning, brand, and marketing overhaul, the company has seen increases across key metrics and bottom-line growth: