In 2021, Tamarack Grove Engineering (TGE) came to the realization that their brand and website did not reflect them in an authentic way. They made the decision to re-envision their brand as a purpose-driven firm with an intentional culture and a dedication to client-centered actions.
TGE approached Elevate Marketing Advisors (Elevate) to help them re-envision their brand to emphasize TGE’s differentiators in an industry that is sometimes hesitant to stand out and make changes.
“We wanted to show how we work differently as an engineering company — and that is also fueled by how different we look,” said Brian Sielaff, TGE President and CEO.
The brand needed to reflect their strong foundation while bringing in new elements evocative of what the firm had grown to value: a client centered approach built on a core of valued team members geared toward a partnership with clients and finding solutions to solve their most difficult challenges. Elevate initiated the discovery process by creating client personas representing the key client types with whom TGE wished to create long-term and collaborative relationships. To clearly showcase how effective TGE is at solving client challenges, Elevate developed messaging highlighting a multitude of unique and vexing project situations that the firm successfully resolved, establishing TGE as go-to engineers who perform beyond the status quo. Additionally, Elevate gained an understanding of the types of professionals who TGE was seeking to add to their team.
Creating a brand that is authentic and unique to the people who represent that brand can often be a challenge. Differentiation is difficult in the A/E/C industry, but not for TGE. As a company, TGE really is special.
“In my entire career, they are the most genuine and down-to-earth group I have come across,” said Elevate Marketing Advisors’ graphic designer Ashley Rundell. “And they know exactly who they are. They want to communicate their commitment to both clients and to each other. It’s undeniable that the people of Tamarack are building on what is true to them.”
After getting to know the firm and the people, Ashley understood that TGE was a firm of adventurers, both personally and professionally, and that was reflected in every element of the new brand. Ashley ensured that the new color palette reflected the adventurers of TGE using natural colors of the great outdoors.
TGE also used the opportunity to develop a new website addressing their clients’ pain points, presenting compelling case studies of challenges solved. Part of what differentiates TGE is their people, with diverse expertise and hailing from all over the world, who are more than just their resumes. Why-based bios helped represent the uniqueness and passion of their people, their work, and the firm’s authentic self. Another differentiator is that TGE is licensed and experienced in 49 US states and 11 Canadian provinces. While intrinsically tied to its Boise base, TGE is also technically capable of performing work in any locale, important both to clients as well as future employees as recruiting is one of the largest challenges in the A/E/C Industry. From the relationship driven, family-focused culture, to the types of projects a potential team member would be excited to work on, to the opportunity of living in US News & World Reports #11 best places to live — beautiful Boise — every webpage became a recruiting tool.
Adventure Bravely Was Born
To further cement the cultural direction, existing core values were refined and icons created to represent TGE’s values and market sectors. These icons adorn the walls of individual offices and project team areas, selected by each group to personalize and showcase their commitment to clients and how that commitment connects them to a core value. They were also turned into badges given to team members by other team members to recognize their contributions to the culture of TGE.
The idea of adventure was a repetitive theme and emerged repeatedly in multiple discovery sessions. From the employees who live for the outdoors and love exploring together, to the investment TGE puts into their staff both on and off the job, to their ability to find new paths that help their clients solve their biggest problems, TGE does adventure bravely, which evolved into a new campaign in 2021: Adventure Bravely, a 6-part postcard campaign focused on sharing the stories of how they solved unique challenges for their clients by going beyond the norm. The series, available for viewing (www.tamarackgrove.com/brave) also incorporated the whimsical side of TGE with their fun, find-the-hidden-adventurer game incorporated into the one-of-a-kind artwork, where participants could win one of the unique Adventure Kits created for the campaign.
This theme also inspired their 2022 Campfire Conversation’s campaign. This new video and podcast series will showcase the people of TGE discussing how they work together in collaboration with clients to find new solutions to complex project issues.
Messaging Comes to Life
With TGE’s growth, it became time for a comprehensive office remodel to expand capacity and provide spaces that more genuinely reflected them as a firm. This presented an optimum opportunity to incorporate the new brand. What the firm’s website career page did to support and grow recruiting efforts digitally, the new physical space also needed to portray the unique culture and appeal to a wider base of potential professionals. The virtual graphics package created by Elevate contained all of the elements to transform the physical office environment.
“The TGE team knows who they are and had a clear vision of what they wanted for the space from the very beginning. In our experience, we typically have to encourage our clients to “go bigger” or “go bolder” when it comes to branding their spaces —TGE gave us the green light to do both.”said Andie Kelley, Trademark Design and Fabrication. “The updated TGE brand is cohesive, vibrant, and full of personality. From core value badges to large-scale wall graphics, this space has been transformed into an uplifting environment where customers and employees alike can form meaningful connections with their brand.”
White walls featured predominantly throughout the space allow accent walls to pop appealingly in contrast to the neutral palette. Brand-specific artwork and signage appear throughout the office at every opportunity. A towering timber pergola and a custom designed fire pit welcome anyone walking through the doors. “As you walk through the building, you start experiencing it as a whole, from the lime-colored handrails and bike rack outside to the welcoming interior. You can feel the culture when you walk in — it’s a fun, vibrant, bright atmosphere.” stated Doug Hardin, Principal and Director of Engineering.
The entrance lobby displays an early version of the TGE logo reminiscent of the roots of the company. The mission statement plaque on the lobby wall etched on frosted glass sits atop a backdrop of whimsical trees painted in the firm’s new signature colors. As guests reach the south entryway they discover TGE’s core values on wall-mounted lasercut emblems treated with a rust effect. When a client enters the lobby, they instantly know who TGE is and what they stand for.
“Prior to the renovation, you could figure out TGE’s vision and mission by talking to our people. Now it’s obvious with intentional messaging, use of accent colors, strategic use of logo, and the display of the values throughout the office in various applications such as wall motifs, a value wall featuring perpetual awards, and plaques,” said Duncan Robertson, the firm’s BD and Marketing Director. “The space now represents a very intentional and unified office.“
The break room was transformed into a large, open area serving as a collaborative gathering spot with bar top bistro tables; a custom, Tamarack-branded arcade game featuring over 5,000 games, and a wide-screen television and webcam to facilitate informal meetings.
“Everything about this space was a forethought, not an afterthought,” said Brian J. Sielaff, CEO. “Each space, each item in every corner, and every representation of the brand were designed to make our team excited to come to work. It’s the people who make up who we are and who created and live this amazing culture.”
Every inch of the new office represents the firm, its people, and its body of work while creating a path to the future grounded solidly in a mission and values embraced by all.
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