2016 Transform Awards gold & bronze winners
WE
Uncovering the value of authenticity

Why authenticity matters

On occasion, even a great storyteller needs a stronger narrative. Global PR and Communications firm WE (formerly Waggener Edstrom) came to Salt with one challenge: help us rediscover who we are.

With sixteen offices around the world and ambitious plans to broaden their network and expertise, it was a decisive time to re-evaluate their identity. An authentic, unique story would accelerate WE’s momentum and energize their dialogue with new clients.

Finding the new story

Research and positioning work brought us to a revealing place: the impact zone. WE operates at the intersection where people, technology, and brands collide. They’re the first to discover emerging ideas and test the latest communication tools. This insight gave us the true core proposition and personality of the company.

An exploration of impact zones led to a distinctive style of visual storytelling and brand building. Designed around startling juxtapositions of black and white images, we created the fusion points where transformation happens. Interpretive and arresting, they illustrate WE’s forward-thinking approach and invite a deeper conversation.The WE visual identity tells this story in two letters. It’s a geometric assembly of intersecting lines and merging color planes. This becomes a metaphor for the daring new ideas contained in this synergy. (A “fusion” alphabet also built out a toolkit of graphic assets.)

This well-defined POV on PR required a significant shift in voice. Impact zones dictate a kinetic force and strong perspective. SALT created a new tonality for telling these stories with higher energy, confidence, and thought-provoking attitude. In re-discovering who they were, WE also found their true voice again.

Salt took the new WE brand public with a ground-up re-design of their entire website experience. Leading with bold visual juxtapositions and high-level insights, the site presents an integrated and global point of view.

WE took ownership of an authentic story and a distinctive identity. Proof that uncovering what’s genuine and real is often what defines a successful brand.

Energizing the culture

How do you inspire authentic brand ownership?  For this launch, WE and SALT partnered to create Fuse. Part evangelist summit, part road test, this two-day event was designed to energize leaders from WE offices around the globe.

A visual identity workshop gave everyone the opportunity to create their own juxtapositions and impact zones. They discovered first hand the expressive power of this new approach to storytelling.

A brand voice exercise gave the entire team the confidence to speak the new language and find their personal style inside the guidelines. This internal rollout also doubled as future onboarding and education.

By sharing the new WE story in an engaging, highly interactive way, Fuse encouraged people to experience their brand, bring their own ideas for ignition, and take it out into the world. When the story is authentic and riveting, that energy transfer reaches every office from Seattle to Beijing.

Why authenticity matters

For a global enterprise, brand differentiation becomes a major determining force between top ten rank and best in world. Strong leadership at WE provided the impetus for developing a unique, authentic story and a striking visual execution.

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