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November 19, 2014

Deconstructing an Industry

November 19, 2014

Industry disruption comes in many forms. Sometimes it’s as simple as investing in marketing when the rest of the industry focuses exclusively on sales. Sometimes it’s as bold as putting faith and culture at the forefront of a brand experience. Sometimes it’s leveraging an entire team of experts as true thought leaders.

In the case of the Indianapolis based performance contractor, Performance Services, Inc. (PSI), it’s all of these things. What started as a kernel of an idea to redesign a stagnant website, grew into an industry-leading marketing strategy imagined from the ground up.

3 Heads are Better than 1

We began with an exploration of the challenge through a SmallBox-led Discovery process that included in-depth audience research, including current website activity and the web presence of other industry leaders. The outcome was a vision for marketing that included leveraging the PSI team as brand ambassadors. To bring this concept to life, we knew our challenge was to develop an extremely deep content strategy that would make a meaningful impact in an industry that is focused almost exclusively on relationship-based selling. To do so, we divided roles up between 3 teams that would create focus and clarity.

The project was a collaboration between 3 organizations:

  • SmallBox - Brand and web savants. User experience advocates!
  • Kairos Zero - Content kings. Customer advocates!
  • PSI - Industry visionaries. Organization & brand advocates!

Role Playing Strategy

Once roles were defined and we had the “scent”, we gathered for several collaborative meetings to develop an outline for the site including content architecture and page layouts.

In the exercise below, each team developed a concept for the sitemap by sorting cards with various topics written on them. Each team’s perspective had a different take on the architecture based on the role they were advocating for, which led to an iterative, interactive process.

PSI Collaboration

Once we had a clear vision for the content architecture, it was time to go deeper and develop wireframes for key page templates. Again, each team brought a different perspective to this process, which expanded the sheer number of creative ideas that were brought to the table and also ensured we were making decisions with every user at the center.

Design for Performance

The collaborative planning process created lots of inspiration to draw from throughout the design phase, including a focus on “precision” and a need to highlight the unique culture at PSI.

The style-tile below was created to provide visual guidance and consistency throughout the process.

PSI Style Tile

The final product included a “Resources” section designed to be the hub of their culture-powered marketing program. This solution allows for their thought leaders to produce, publish and promote problem solving content for multiple industries and audiences in an organized manner. This feature brought the strategy for empowering their experts to be content publishers to life in a way that solves challenges for their customers.

The outcome not only boosted the PSI brand presence online, but also brought their culture of faith and giving back to the community to the forefront of their marketing. This can be considered a bold approach for an organization, but we find it to be highly attractive for the right customers and future team talent.

Now, PSI has the platform to expand their team and the business into new markets, while keeping a highly consistent and meaningful brand experience.

Click here to see the new Performance Services website >


Cover image via Flickr: vonderauvisuals.

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