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Posted August 26, 2011

The rebranding of Wind Point Partners

If you’re of a certain age, you may recall the dramatic growth of private equity firms in the early 1980s. In Chicago — now second only to New York as a hub for PE activity — one of the first firms on the scene was Wind Point Partners. Since their founding in 1984, Wind Point has raised seven funds with over $2.8 billion in commitments and acquired more than 90 platform companies and 160 add-on acquisitions. Obviously, they’ve kept busy for the past 27 years.

In late 2009, Wind Point asked Jell to collaborate on a complete brand refresh, to signal renewed strength, clarity, and focus, for the benefit of both their staff and their investors across the country.

The only things not on the table, of course, were the firm’s name and their signature lighthouse — the historic beacon located near the office of one of the founders.

A new logo, visual brand language, identity system, and website were all significant outputs of our process, but messaging and positioning were key as well, and that’s where we started. Jell conducted both in-person and online qualitative research with key Wind Point personnel to surface perceptions of their own brand as well as those of similar firms. We also discussed where the firm was going and what differentiated Wind Point in a now-crowded market for private equity.

The messaging platform, focused on value creation and corporate culture, was concisely distilled in the home page presentation on the new Wind Point website. The site also provides a simple CMS (content management system) to allow Wind Point marketing staff to connect all the dots in the firm’s complex web of portfolio companies, CEOs, and Wind Point team members.

Our engagement also included a suite of other marketing tools for communications to investors, including various identity applications, PowerPoint templates, and HTML email newsletters and alerts.