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Posted September 7, 2018

Building the Clarus Hall brand

Imagine that you’re an independent life insurance advisor, and that you’re focused on serving high-net-worth individuals. You’re smart, you have your own company, and you’re doing well. Now, further imagine that you’re very ambitious and eager to grow your business. The question: how do you go about doing that? How much can you grow the business without outside help? Could it make sense to sharpen your skills and improve your offerings by joining ranks in some fashion with other brilliant, like-minded, independent advisors?

The answer is yes, and it’s the reason the Clarus Hall brand was born.

But before Clarus Hall had a name—or any of the trappings of a brand—we met with its founders, the management team of a well-established brokerage agency named Producer Resources. They had already garnered considerable success providing comprehensive back office support to independent advisors across the country. Now they wanted to take a leadership role in the industry and make a splash in the process.

The new company, we learned, would be an elite group: a nationwide network of smart, motivated professionals with high aspirations, an appetite for collaboration, and a shared commitment to principles of honesty and integrity. Our job was to develop the brand from the ground up: positioning, messaging, naming, visual identity, website, and collateral—the works.

We began by conducting internal workshops with the leadership team, including founder Michael Kasula and Sales VP Nick Shaheen. With their help, we sought to clearly differentiate the new brand from the old, as well as from other existing “producer groups” such as Lion Street and Valmark. We then executed a brand audit that included qualitative research—one-on-one phone interviews—with their target audience: those smart, ambitious, independent advisors.

It quickly became clear that the new brand would distinguish itself by providing a creative, methodical, and proactive approach to growth—a roadmap for collaboration between the best and brightest.

We came to understand that the brand we were developing together was something of a private club, invitation only, that celebrated the achievements, ambitions, and shared values of its members. We named the new venture “Clarus Hall” to evoke an exclusive sense of place, a collegial gathering where the best and the brightest would collaborate. We underscored the company’s mission with the tagline: “Envision success. Grow brightly.”

The positioning, messaging, and naming were phase one: the guideposts for the new brand. With those established, we entered phase two. We began by designing a logo that acted as a bright beacon for prospective partners, then developed a color palette and an extended visual language that wove together cherished traditional values with timeless styles. We completed the initial round of branding with a bold corporate identity system, a full suite of print and digital collateral and templates, and a distinctive website with a Partner Portal.

From the outset, Clarus Hall's founders were determined to burst onto the scene as the best producer group in the country, offering a unique combination of strategic growth with a sense of partnership and support. With a complete branding and marketing system, Clarus Hall was able to hit the ground running as a leader in its field. A globally distributed industry publication, Finance Monthly, quickly took note, publishing an interview with Michael Kasula about the Clarus Hall launch.