The Cole Group

Logo and web design facelift for growing B2B company

Overview

Almost all new business of The Cole Group (TCG) was created through word of mouth.

Their out-dated, unresponsive, website did not do them any favors. It was not well ranked, did not visually represent their price-point or explain their service offerings. Even though they serve clients across industries around the country, they consistently struggled to attract new clients upfront. Many of their current clients work with TCG after having a poor experience with an online competitor.

The Cole Group is a pre-employment background screening company in Houston, Texas.

Problem

A dated logo and website  slowed down the sales process, some clients did not take TCG seriously.

Key Goal

Design a new logo and website that shows TCG is an established and innovative company.

Timeline

3 months from strategy through development

Tools

Paper
Adobe Illustrator + inDesign
Sketch
Invision
Webflow

Year

Launched Spring 2019

My Role

I was the primary creative for all design and development efforts.

During our strategy phase, I collaborated closely with the business strategist to guide stakeholder interviews and define business goals. Then I was the lead designer and developer. I checked in with my boss to review designs internally before presenting work to the client.

My Role

  • Market research and analysis
  • Logo design
  • Web design
  • Webflow Development
  • Visual QA

Strategy

During this phase I collaborated closely with the business analyst to understand the background screening industry and our client's approach so we could better position TCG as an elite provider.

Market research

First I conducted secondary research to familiarize my self with this b2b industry, personnel background-screening. I learned what is common practice, how other businesses market themselves and a common pricing structure.

Competitor Analysis

Building off my secondary research, I analyzed seven online  competitors of TCG. I reviewed the strengths, weakness and tone of their websites as well as their branding.

Secondary Research Insights:

  • Avoid large blocks of text, give users bite-sizes information so they can digest content. This may help when they are choosing a provider
  • Successful sites create a clear user flow between industry and services pages in order to showcase a brand’s complete offering
  • Address the screening candidates directly, candidate pages can help confirm these competitor’s confidence in their product
  • Use imagery to bring humanity to the brand but it should not be the focal point of the pages

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Persona

Unfortuantly we were not able to interview TCG's main audience, we relied on the executive team to inform us about their clients needs and motivations.

I contributed to the stakeholder interview script the business analyst used. I was not able to attend these interviews, so I reviewed the stakeholder interview recordings. These interviews helped shape our personas, content strategy and the remainder of the strategy report.  


For the purposes of this case study, I created a provisional persona  to help frame the TCG's target user.

Sheryl
How can I hire better people? Is The Cole Group's in-depth screening really worth the price?
Motivation
  • Increase rate of successful hires
  • Reduce turnover
Pain Points
  • Hard to know if client's potential hire is being truthful
  • Not informed about new or local hiring laws
Needs
  • Source employees in a timely manner
  • Understand the cost and benefit of implementing a new screening program

Logo Design

My goal was to present TCG as an established company offering premium services. The final logo was approved after three design rounds with the client. We designed  a responsive logo that would condense down to the initials of the businesses.

During the logo design process, the client got a Cliff’s notes version of marketing, I helped TCG define their value statement in the marketplace. After an ah-ha moment , the client came back with a request: teal within their brand. They loved the color was unique to the industry, we loved that it an additional boutique  element

Sketching out letterhead ideas
Branding notes

Web Design

The biggest challenge was designing while developing. A hard deadline was sprung on the team before the web design phase began, we had to rush into development so I had to make a lot of design decisions while building the webflow project.



Here are key goals for the website:

  • Clearly communicate the value of the background interview process
  • Provide applicant-specific information
  • Utilize a combo of imagery and text to preview the site from being too heavy & improve readability
med-fi Sketches

With the exception of the homepage, we presented medium fidelity mockups of the all the unique pages to speed up the approval process. This approach allowed the client to focus on layout and content instead of colors and photography.

Homepage

Goal of the page

Introduce TCG as a boutique pre-employment screening company and drive clicks into key pages like the Services or Technology.

People-First

From their research methods through their customer service, TCG puts people first. In the hero imagery, we used a square outline to focus on individuals within their key industries.

Navigation

Contact Sales is the emphasized page in the navigation because TCG's overall goal is to increase in-bound sales calls

Expertise

The first half of the homepage, emphasizes  TCG is an expert in this field. The teal section even touches on their unique approach to screening.

Scroll to view this mockup

Industry Template

Goal of the page

Show TCG's industry-specific solutions and recommended services.

History of success

The top section gives the client space to summarize their long term expertise within each industry

Recomended Services

During development, the client wanted to frame recommended services as a service package to help guide the sales process with new clients.

Testimonials

TCG sources testimonials from their clients to highlight their service and expertise, this section is seen throughout the site.

Scroll over the image to view the entire mockup

Applicant Page

Goal of the page

Educate applicants on their rights and how to prepare for the pre-employment interview

Who is The Cole Group

It was important to clearly position TCG's role in the hiring process. Part of their negative web presence was caused by their cleint's unhappy applicants.

Applicants FAQ

Answer common questions and provide some transparency about the pre-employment interview.

Clarity

Provide all basic legal information applicants should be aware of including how to dispute results of a background check

Scroll to view this mockup
View the Live Site

Outcomes & Lessons

I flexed my communication skills during this project and landed myself a promotion.

design presentation lessons

When presenting design comps, I had to really emphasize the why behind every section and decision to create a helpful feedback loop with the TCG executive team. Outside of a weekly sync, email was our primary tool to connect with the client. After a few weeks of tinkering, I found a format that created clear response from the executives.

Client Feedback

TCG has relayed several compliments about their new brand, they are standing out at trade shows and are proud of their new look. Poetic is currently measuring the success of the website.

more work