Stories spark our curiosity, deepen our compassion and open our hearts.
Our client stories show how the Defiers we work with overcome insurmountable odds but go on to build timeless brands. We are humbled to play to walk alongside them in their brand journey.
BRIDGEWAY CAPITAL MANAGEMENT
Tony, the director of marketing for Bridgeway Capital Management, had grown accustomed to his firm’s quiet way of serving their clients, but saw a significant opportunity to finally tell the remarkable story of Bridgeway. Since its inception, Bridgeway has donated 50 percent of its profits to charity, but had not fully differentiated themselves in the market. Tony was seeking a branding partner who could commit to helping him articulate and codify the brand and then enroll the diverse and opinionated partners in embodying the brand. He also was seeking a partner who could help him create storytelling content and train his team on marketing and sales approaches to grow the brand. Working together, Root + River successfully developed a differentiated message that brought together Bridgeway’s financial and philanthropic aspects that appealed to and enrolled the partners. We created and executed a content strategy that established a new category the CEO fully endorsed and supported. After two years of working together, Tony was thrilled with the result. “We never could have done on our own what we did with Root + River. They changed the way we looked at branding and marketing and solved a years-long debate over how to articulate our culture and differentiators.”
Terri Broussard Williams was an accomplished lobbyist and executive who for years had been planning on developing her own personal brand. When she came to Root + River, she had no message, no website and a minimal social media presence. Through a Root Session and brand discovery coaching, we uncovered and articulated her message and helped her establish her category and platform. Today, Terri is an award-winning author and founder of the #MovementMakers community and movement and has a dedicated following of thousands. Her book, Find Your Fire, is an Amazon #1 bestseller and was named #6 best nonfiction book of 2020 by Cosmopolitan. She is a frequent national speaker.
A worthy mission
Upbring had all of the makings of an excellent brand — a worthy mission, a track record of amazing work in the community and a talented team full of rich stories to tell. What they didn’t have was a consistent way to share their message across multiple audiences — donors, stakeholders, community members and employees. They also wanted to honor their storied past and Christian values but also communicate their desire to be warriors of love. Root + River worked with Upbring on a yearlong project that brought together their leadership team to sharpen their message, recommit to their mission and unify their team. Root + River also executed a multi-phased research and listening initiative that surveyed their team, community members and influencers about Upbring’s critical role in the community. We conducted messaging training from top to bottom, including a three-part media training series for the CEO and storytelling training for the marketing and communications team. Upbring now is armed with messaging that touches every aspect of their internal and external communication, setting up the century-old organization for another impactful 100 years.
Alexis & Melissa’s Story
We first met Alexis Krisay and Melissa DiGianfilippo, co-founders of the public relations and marketing agency Serendipit years before they became clients. We serve similar clients, and thrive in the same market space, and yet when the duo realized they needed a sharper, starker, bolder message to differentiate their award-winning agency and help them generate the next level of client and revenue, they engaged with us. In a Root Session that included their 10-person leadership team of professionals in the marketing space, we uncovered and articulated a bold, differentiated message, defined a new category for them to own and aligned their brand language so it stood out. The team was reinspired, armed with new language and had a cohesion not experienced before. “Marketing agencies may not think they need to hire another branding firm to do this work, but this has been so friggin’ awesome!” Melissa said.
Red Team Thinking
We first crossed paths with Bryce Hoffman when he was a best-selling author making the leap from journalism to consulting. After he became the first civilian ever to complete the US Army’s Redteaming School, Bryce applied these lessons to the business world and launched Red Team Thinking (RTT). We worked with Bryce and his team to establish a root system for the fledgling brand: mission, message, category, brand language. Further, we introduced them to one of our Studio Partners to build and manage an effective marketing system. As with many businesses, their offerings and delivery model shifted dramatically when the pandemic hit. RTT was able to pivot to an online model while still keeping the root system of their brand intact. Bryce shares, “Justin and Emily have really helped us articulate what we stand for as a brand and effectively communicate the value we provide to our customers. More importantly, they gave us the courage to lean forward in our marketing and embrace our role as unconsultants, which has allowed us to rise above the competition and claim our unique niche in the market.”
Words of Mouth
““I now feel free to be me. The time in writing my social media has significantly gone down because I feel so aligned with my message and creative brand, and I am attracting the phone consults, podcasts, and other types of marketing strategies that fit me (and don’t feel badly anymore if they don’t).”