Effective design is more than look…

…a case study.

 Our client:

Anne Borschneck, V.P. Communications, at Minto Research & Development, Inc., approached me in 2003, not pleased with her current graphic design and sales tools. Anne recognized design must offer more than mere looks, and prep for printers.

Our first discovery meeting was long, during which I realized a huge potential in working with and helping this family-run business achieve far more through their communication and advertising. Like many of our clients, Anne needed a design communication partner to effectively market her company’s remarkable emergency response products onto the next level.

Anne was fully conversant and knowledgeable about Minto’s product capabilities, but she needed creative help in presenting them to prospective users through effective advertising, marketing and communication design but also required ongoing advice regarding new and emerging possibilities, such as leveraging the web and online business-to-business networks.

Our brief:

The Sager® product logo and the Minto™ company logo had 25 years of branding value and was not to be considered for a make over, everything else was up for discussion and renewal. The only other proviso, Minto™ should not be seen as competing with their stable of world-wide distributors in terms of soliciting direct sales, but rather, be seen as augmenting and helping drive sales through their distributor networks, a tough course when competing with an array of alternatives sold through the same venues.

Our first order of business: identify and produce a plan of action, provide time lines, a strategy and a budget for reshaping the face of the company and its brands.

Work for print and the web:

On agreement from Minto™, we proceeded (working closely with Anne) to create a distinctive branding message applied to a modern, clean stationery package, a compelling sales brochure for the primary splint products, a product newsletter and the initial phase of what would be the first of two web sites designed and produced over an 8 year relationship.

Minto’s and the Sager product line identity.

Click to enlarge

We recognized early, there had to be a stronger understanding of the Sager® products strengths and differentiate Sager® by highlighting the superiority of the Sager® products through a succinct and quantifiable branded message. We began a series of updated, marketing newsletters, aimed directly at EMS responders – Emergency Medical Services – delivered via direct mail to the Sager® list of distributors, demonstrating the superior quality of the Sager® splints through comparative studies and white paper medical reviews.

We also designed and produced a series of EMS World periodical full-page ads carrying the same distinctive messaging which could be tailored and customized for product specific announcements. Minto™ knew the importance of consistent and repeated exposure through well designed advertising, in fact we have helped Minto™ win awards from two of the top U.S. trade magazines (EMS World and JEMS) for what reader surveys considered – the most engaging, memorable and professionally produced ads, over a 12 month period.

Design for Sager ads 2003/11. (click to enlarge)

Other products necessary for increasing sales:

Minto™ provided us with a copy of their first training video produced for the fractured femur treatment kits. They had not found an effective means of distributing it to potential buyers other than through direct product sales or individually mailed. We recommended, streaming the video, breaking it into chapter by chapter offerings, providing the end-user choices for information relevant to their particular product purchase. We designed a consistently branded DVD version for packaging with all newly purchased products along with the comprehensive product guideline.

The training kit they were distributing through snail mail was difficult to update and maintain, so we redesigned the publication, along with the necessary completion certificates and additional instructor power point tools. During the planning phase of the first web site, these were introduced into the site and made easily accessible through one click off the home page. These initiatives alone saved Minto™ money on bulky packaging and postage. It made sales calls easier by providing simple directions to the appropriate location on the web for answers about training questions and appropriate downloadable resources.

2003 to 2011 award winning prints ads (click to enlarge)

Minto™ Research & Development didn’t sit on their laurels, over the last 5 years they’ve developed additional fracture response kits – SEFRS®, Sager Extreme™, Stormpac™ and the Minto™ Fracture Kit – all requiring sympathetic branding design and their own specific communication and training tools. In 2009 we began the design of the second web site, art directed and produced a new video and packaging kit, provided Minto™ with a conference display kit and continue to help them develop ongoing advertising, providing the company with a ROI, the only true test of quality and consistently well applied design.

David Lach, Baseline’s Senior Web Developer recently completed a CMS editing suite for the newly designed web site and provided Sager® with an effective online newsletter tied to an email announcement and pdf generator for those wishing to print the document. We completed the implementation of the Minto™/Sager® Facebook and LinkedIn landing pages and we’ve produced and trained Anne in the use of a custom company blog, providing this valued customer the tools required for ongoing success.

2010/11 web site and social BtoB launch. (Click to enlarge)

2010/11 web site and social BtoB launch. (Click to enlarge)

Sager began working with Baseline in 2003.
We have since relied on Ian Bateson, Baseline’s Creative Director:
  • to revamp our identity to better reflect the corporate structure of Minto and it’s Sager brands.
  • reposition the Sager products through design of product specific marketing brochures.
  • design, illustrate and produce extensive training and teaching manuals for all our product line, and effectively allowing any user of our products immediate access to this valuable resource online.

design, produce and manage our web site, with the most recent addition of;

  • a streaming product video, Ian designed and art directed.
  • banner advertising development placed in a trade web site that effectively leads potential customers to the Sager web site providing us with a valuable data entry point for ongoing and future sales.
  • Baseline has implemented and designed a comprehensive on-line quoting ability for customers around the world, without compromising our relationships with long standing distributors.
Ian remains a valuable partner and supplier to Sager, both in a marketing capacity and design and implementation function. He is committed to our ongoing requirements both in print and the web and never compromises on quality of execution wether it’s a full-colour trade ad, or an update to the web site – Ian has never missed a deadline.
I would highly recommend both Ian and Baseline, to anyone for their skill in understanding sometimes complex issues, and dedication to timely execution of a finished creative result.
Yours sincerely
Anne L. Borschneck, Vice President, Marketing
SEFRS™, SEFRS Adaptor™, MINTO™ and SAGER™ are registered trademarks of Minto Research & Development, Inc. 20270 Charlanne Drive Redding, CA, USA, 96002

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