Every year comes with its struggles and opportunities. No year is completely good or bad.

But 2020 had a way of challenging that positive, glass-half-full mentality. And while it was likely one of the most difficult 366 day-periods (thanks a lot, leap year) we’ve gone through, hard times have a way of getting us all back to focusing on the things that are most important.

In that spirit, we want to take this opportunity to highlight several Kolbeco clients who’ve experienced a transformational year in 2020, taking what the world gave them and making something from it. These clients took the opportunity in this challenging time to explore who they wanted to be and focused on bringing value to the people and businesses they served.

Krilogy

We kicked off 2020 with excitement with the reveal of the newly refreshed brand for Krilogy, a $1.6 billion independent wealth management firm serving clients across the United States. Kolbeco and Krilogy, which today is one of the St. Louis region’s largest wealth management firms, have worked in close partnership since their founding in 2009 when we launched the original brand together. Ten years later, it was time to update the brand experience to solidify Krilogy’s position in the market as a mature, proven team of trusted guides for clients.

To accomplish this, Kolbeco led Krilogy leadership through a series of branding exercises to transform key messaging to speak to the range of audiences the firm communicates with. These exercises also helped us develop a clear positioning statement which would create alignment for who the firm serves, how they were different, and why it matters. Through this work we ultimately arrived at the primary brand promise of “You’re Ready” – a rallying cry which was born from Krilogy’s values of dedication, abundance and leadership, and was quickly embraced by the team.

Following the messaging, a refreshed logo and set of identity materials was created, along with a complete redevelopment of the firm’s website and digital presence. The new, more integrated website was a dramatic visual transformation. And even more impactful was the user experience. Throughout the year, Krilogy effectively used content creation to bring added value to, and build deeper relationships with, their clients and followers. The newly designed website logged 64% more unique users in 2020 (over 2019) and nearly 90% of them were new visitors.

And the big reveal? Well, something this big calls for a party, and that’s just what Krilogy did. In early January, the entire firm gathered for their first look at everything, celebrating this major milestone with several members of Team Kolbeco in attendance. It truly was an amazing, collaborative effort that we were honored to lead. The entire Kolbeco team is proud of the results that came from our diligent work together with Krilogy.

Pet Food Solutions

Pet Food Solutions has quickly become a driver of innovation in the pet food market. Having realized that the impurities of the traditional chicken fat used in most food created a host of issues for manufacturers including the risk of salmonella contamination, damage to their brand when recalls occur and slowdowns on the production line due to the fat clogging the machinery, they set out to create a better product that would address these challenges and deliver even more value. The result was the development of “refined chicken fat” through a process which removed all the impurities, while improving the taste for our four-legged friends. (and yes, they have taste tests to prove it!)

The Kolbeco team worked with the company in 2020 to help change the way they went to market. We developed fresh brand messaging and created a new advertising campaign to highlight the benefits of switching to refined chicken fat. We went on to create a brand for the product, Gold Shield®, which is now trademarked and differentiates the product in the market. Sales grew steadily throughout the year, and Pet Food Solutions has expanded manufacturing capacity for Gold Shield® (right here in the U.S.) to meet the increased demand. Our work together has helped support Pet Food Solutions as they transformed their product from being perceived as an “expense” to manufacturers, to being embraced for the added value and savings it delivers.

Hair Saloon

When a company is truly mission-driven, it’s even more evident through difficult times. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March, every Hair Saloon location was completely closed for six to eight weeks. The company quickly recognized a need to take care of their employees. The Kolbeco team worked with Hair Saloon to launch a Go Fund Me campaign allowing faithful Hair Saloon clients to donate to an employee relief fund, helping their staff meet financial demands through the shutdown.

Once their locations were allowed to open, Hair Saloon made the health and safety of staff and clients the top priority, adopting stringent practices to meet or exceed local requirements. In response to the death of St. Louis Police Officer Tamarris Bohannon, Hair Saloon held “Haircuts for Heroes”, a one-day fundraising drive in September that raised over $5,000 for The Backstoppers. Even during a year that challenged the business in new ways, they remained focused on what the Hair Saloon brand stands for.

EDC of St. Charles County

When new director Scott Drachnik took over at the EDC of St. Charles County in January 2020 he had a mission to enhance communication across the board. For an organization like the EDC, “wins” are bigger, but less tangible, as they represent community investments and improvements that can take years to develop. So communication on progress is critical.

Kolbeco and the EDC kicked off 2020 with the development of an annual report, detailing everything- loans, new businesses, events, and more that the EDC had brought to the communities it served. We helped them demonstrate the cause-and-effect relationship between the EDC and new business coming to the area. Throughout the year, we worked together using social media, traditional advertising, and PR channels to reach community stakeholders and business leaders with critical and timely messages.

rbm

When longtime Kolbeco client Red Brick began talks to merge with another firm, the team sought a fresh start with a newly imagined brand, expression of the new entity’s collective mission and values, and an identity that would represent their modern approach to community and property management.

We began by moderating a series of branding exercises with rbm leadership, learning what they were truly passionate about, exploring how the newly formed firm could differentiate from the well-known, longstanding brands that were coming together, and how they wanted to impact the communities they served. Together, we developed clear communication for rbm’s mission and brand promise, along with a modern and clean logo which gives a nod to the Red Brick legacy while positioning rbm for the future.

If there’s one thing each of these companies has taught us with their transformational experiences in 2020 that we can carry forward, it’s the power of meeting adversity with resilience. We look forward to helping all our clients (and a few we haven’t even met yet) write the next chapter to their success story in the coming year.

Pat Watters is the Brand Media Director at Kolbeco. He’s passionate about helping our clients tell their stories in impactful ways to reach and grow their audience.