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Posted November 16, 2018

Discovering a brand: Eastern Shipping Worldwide

What does it mean to discover a brand? Every case is different, but sometimes it means uncovering what has always been there. It’s simply a matter of allowing a brand’s best traits to shine. But identifying those key traits, and then distilling them into a compelling and memorable combination of words and images, isn’t always easy. It’s a process.

Just over a year ago, we began that process when we met with Eastern President Eric Wagner and Marketing Manager Diane Mercurio. Eric founded Eastern in 2001 as a new and feisty freight forwarder ready to make its mark in a field of well-known global shipping behemoths.

Eric’s vision for Eastern was refreshing: team members should focus on building relationships and improving customer service. Rather than chasing sales, Eastern was committed to treating customers with respect—a mission that earned customer loyalty and an astounding customer retention rate.

Sound too good to be true? Through a qualitative research program of one-on-one interviews, we found that perceptions both inside and outside the company proved Eastern’s mission was more than just words, no matter how improbable it seemed. We discovered that Eastern employees genuinely love their work. They enjoy caring for their customers and providing complete peace of mind. In turn, their customers enjoy talking with them—whether it’s about tracking shipments and navigating customs, or as we learned, just about life in general. The Eastern story involves real people enjoying authentic, long-term relationships. 

Our challenge: taking a brand that sounded unlikely (especially in our increasingly cynical times) and portraying it not only as plausible but as a reasonable expectation—a level of service that all good business people simply deserve.

Once it became clear to us that “peace of mind” was the benefit Eastern’s customers valued most—and that Eastern team members excelled at delivering that peace of mind cheerfully, even under the most stressful circumstances—we were well on our way to developing the new tagline: “Easy going.”

With positioning and messaging in place, everything else followed naturally: a logo that evoked Eastern’s zen-like management of complex global shipping routes and logistical mazes; a bright and airy new color palette, website, and identity system; a concise corporate manifesto named “The Eastern Way;” a breezy, more direct copywriting style; and detailed brand standards for future marketing.

We look forward to working with the Eastern team for years to come.