Strategy and Design Combine to Unify a Big B2B Brand.
Read the story.
What We Did
Brand Narrative Strategy
Brand and Persona Copywriting
Visual Identity System Design
Vertical Business Marketing
Trane Commercial breathes rarified air atop the HVAC industry. Though known for manufacturing the highest quality building systems, Trane Commercial marketers cite its cross-functional expertise as the most significant value it offers its customers. That expertise not only manifests on an engineer's drawing board but through high-touch sales and service and stretches to areas like project funding, energy infrastructure, and climate sustainability. Trane product teams, account managers, and sales engineers strive to provide customers with holistic solutions that meet their unique circumstances versus leading with 'widgets' as many competitors do.
However, this individualized approach created inconsistent brand experiences across product groups, regions, and offices. Tailoring communications to specific industry verticals and customer personas also resulted in a string of one-off messages.
As an agency partner since 2019, Trane tapped us to formulate an evolved strategic brand identity and extend it to a comprehensive visual and verbal identity system. The objective? Excite and unite the entire organization. Our strategy? Discover, define, and operationalize a singular belief, purpose, and idea that transcends product lines, industry verticals, and customer personas.
We got to work by diving deep into their business and marketing strategy documents, customer research, and competitor communications. We interviewed business, product, and marketing leaders for their brand perceptions, insights, and aspirations. We facilitated a virtual joint strategy workshop to identify the core elements of Trane Commercial's strategic brand identity.
From there, we analyzed our discovery findings and strategy inputs to formulate the Trane Commercial Strategic Brand Identity Narrative. This easy-to-follow framework uses plain language to define each element and is formed into cohesive and contiguous statements to speed comprehension and retention.
We built Trane Commercial's strategic identity upon the guiding belief that "Diverse thinking turns problems into possibilities" and defined their brand cause as a mission to "Turn the built environment net positive." The narrative framework culminates in the unifying idea of 'Both/And.' This idea emphasizes Trane has the end-to-end expertise to help building owners achieve the competing priorities of profitability and sustainability. The concept starkly contrasts competitors who offer either/or equipment solutions.
The 'Both/And' idea, along with the Strategic Brand Identity Narrative, informed the development of a comprehensive verbal and visual identity system with market-ready messaging and copywriting.
Visually, we expressed the brand identity by "owning the circle," a creative strategy inspired by Trane's logo shape. This design decision inspired a solid Venn diagram key visual representing the 'Both/And' idea. We built a visual system utilizing a variety of circular formats to frame products, concepts, and lifestyle imagery and extended it to data visualization and motion graphics.
We fashioned a soft, warm, and modern color palette to give Trane greater flexibility. To position Trane as consultative, understanding, and accessible, we softened and opened up the art direction. We laid out the entire strategy, messaging, visual guidelines, and examples in an easy-to-follow reference guide and brand playbook that ensures consistency in execution among Trane team members and their external partners.
The Trane team eagerly adopted and implemented the work to great effect. We've seen it in the marketplace and subsequent projects and heard it from our clients themselves.
A strategic design agency.
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