New Branding and Website Help The Leadership Forge Rise to the Challenge
Earlier this year, executive coach Joe Scherrer hired Atomicdust to help him find new perspective on his growing business and build a compelling brand that would position him for success on a national scale.
Joe began his leadership career in the Air Force, where he commanded five units at the wing, group and squadron levels and served as the commander of the Air Force’s only combat-coded deployable communications wing. His greatest passion over the course of his twenty-four year military career was to see airmen succeed in their missions and their careers. Shortly after retirement, Joe realized he could apply his military experience to the business world by helping executive leaders find focus, discipline and strength.
Joe called his business “The Leadership Crucible.” In the Marine Corps, everyone goes through a course called “the crucible” at the end of basic training. It’s a series of mentally and physically stressful tests that must be passed before you can become a Marine. Joe saw leadership as its own crucible: a long, difficult test that challenges and shapes people for the better. By providing coaching and consulting on strategy and business growth development, Joe knew he could help leaders through their own tests and trials.
After taking The Leadership Crucible – and Joe – through our Branding Program, we discovered a few things:
The executive coaching industry is all about self-promotion. It’s notoriously cheesy, with websites populated by big type, vague platitudes, and, inevitably, a guy on a stage wearing a wrap-around-microphone. Joe’s humble nature didn’t quite fit the mold. Joe is all about his clients, not about himself. As we worked on his brand, we kept coming back to a quote “A true guru is there to lead you to yourself, not to himself.”
To bring this idea to life, we backed away from industry clichés, instead using copy and photography that highlighted Joe’s hands-on, collaborative approach. Joe speaks with people, not at them.
We also changed the company name. While “The Leadership Crucible” had great meaning for Joe, we discovered that it was confusing to prospects. We renamed the company “The Leadership Forge” after Joe’s popular book, The Leadership Forge: 50 Fire-Tested Insights to Solve Your Toughest Problems, Care for Your People, and Get Great Results. The new name is more clear, more active, more visual and still in line with Joe’s philosophy.
Our research showed that Joe’s military background was a powerful differentiator, even on a national scale, but it had to be positioned strategically to work against military stereotypes. While Joe is all about focus and accountability, his process isn’t as intimidating as some might assume. As we worked to give his visual identify polish and consistency, we balanced typography, military-style badges and Air Force colors – blue and gold – with neutral backgrounds and warm photography to create a sense of authority and accessibility.
And, finally, to help Joe attract more qualified inbound leads, we helped him enhance his content strategy. On the website, strong calls to action, downloadable resources and newsletter signups are helping to capture prospects. In addition, Atomicdust is helping Joe film weekly videos about leadership strategy, business growth, skill development, change management and more.
We were proud to work with Joe on his rebrand, and we look forward to seeing more people benefit from his wisdom. Visit the new website now, or check out his videos on The Leadership Forge YouTube channel. You can also read our recent interview with Joe, where we discussed some of the greatest challenges facing marketers today.