Water is a basic building block of life that makes life on our planet possible. Since 1966, Hilliard-based Advanced Drainage Systems (ADS) has played an important role in managing it. Synonymous with innovation, the global industry leader continues to engineer, acquire, and refine its impressive suite of products with a prominent stance on the importance of sustainability. We helped lead a rebrand that focused on an ode to earthbound stewardship.
When you’re busy challenging the status quo and growing your business, marketing can fall to the wayside. This was true for ADS, which suddenly found their ever-expanding product offering causing confusion across digital domains with an assortment of disjointed logos, naming conventions and marketing strategies. Digital Marketing Manager Heather Schrieber, put it best: “We needed to decide what we wanted to be—a house of brands or a master brand.” That answer then needed to be translated into a strong, modernized look and feel that would extend far beyond the reaches of digital.
Our agency teams started where they always do: embracing collaboration. In close partnership with ADS, we gathered to share ideas about where the groundbreaking company was and where it was headed. Through data-driven testing and our creation of the Brand Advisory Council, checks and balances were applied to every decision to ensure ultimate success through early consensus building.
Schreiber notes, “Mindstream’s research helped us better understand our audience before the project even began—every move we made had a reason to justify it.” Easing hesitation made a difference when we ultimately decided to pursue a Master-Brand approach, bringing every product under the ADS umbrella. This resulted in some challenging but needed changes in direction, like eliminating some long-held company names and updating the visual hierarchy of logos. Nevertheless, we knew it was the best course of action to improve user experiences and brand recognition moving forward.
Thorough strategic insights inspired our creative team, who continually refined branding concepts to arrive at the modern color palette and typography. Likewise, the updated voice and tone proved to be a productive joint effort between Schreiber and our copy team. The resulting guidelines—grounded in a messaging map that clearly outlined mission and values—were formatted for both print and web mediums.
Important to note in our branding efforts is the messaging shift toward sustainability. “Focusing on water’s role in the community better aligns with who we are and what we do on a daily basis,” Schreiber added, “instead of forcing our products on people.” In an era where sustainability has become a buzzword, ADS is the rare company that can actually support the claim—recycling millions of pounds of plastic at its own facilities to then be used in products.
That authentic story, which Schreiber referred to as The Lifecycle of a Raindrop, was transformed into a two-minute manifesto video that introduced our updated branding and messaging to the world.
For Schreiber, the quick adoption of the branding has been observed in both the boardroom and among competitors—the latter of which stands as a testament to ADS as an enduring and evolving leader. “Mindstream worked well with our CEO and C-Level teams who feel proud of our new branding, especially since we’ve seen some competitors trying to tell our story now and failing to do so,” she told us. “The work was socialized correctly to the whole company, and it has set the stage for everything to come in a way every employee can feel proud of.”
“You were collaborative, listened to feedback, and created early buy-in with our busy CEO through efficient work approaches.” - Heather Schreiber, Digital Marketing Manager at ADS
2021 Gold Award