Performance Abstract.

Lauren A. Koenig: Morgan Hill Partners

Morgan Hill Partners (now Orchid Black) was a partner service model that delivered a growth strategy based on data-driven competitive analysis and market research. With a deep well of seasoned operators and a focus on stockholder value and outcomes, they worked to deliver successful outcomes for private equity firms and family offices with growth-stage investments.

The Challenge

Morgan Hill Partners had already attempted a rebrand, but lacked consensus around the following areas: 1) that a complete rebrand was valuable or necessary, 2) trusting a formal process in establishing a new brand identity, and 3) understanding that an emotional and psychological connection to a brand is essential. It was clear the mission and values needed to be revisited, but we recognized quickly there was no alignment among partners as to the organization’s core identity. We worked to establish the importance of hitting  a hard reset button on our identity if we wanted to experience sustainable growth and attract the desired clients. We wound up tearing the organizational narrative to the ground floor, essentially redefining who we were and more effectively messaging what we did, using our value proposition as the starting point. 

Helping the founding team get on the same page for the entire process was challenging, as there was considerable doubt that clients weren’t connecting to the established brand, and we had to break through a ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” mentality. Everyone needed to be aligned for the rebrand to be successful. 

My Role

Associate Partner

I was brought on to partner with the Chief Marketing Officer (Noel Burkman) to lead the development and implementation of a complete rebrand across the organization, including developing the strategy, process and rollout plan. I educated the operating partners on the rebrand process, leading them through various exercises to identify core value propositions and establish new company narratives. I conducted research, helped define messaging architecture, target markets, stakeholders, and positioning, and served as the liaison with the graphic designers and web developer to bring our new identity to life.  

The Work
  • Performed deep research and analysis of competitors and audiences.
  • Developed the overarching brand strategy and process that distinguished the firm across multiple market segments and customers through workshops, white board sessions, breakout groups, interviews, and boot camps.
  • Worked with outside vendors and internal stakeholders to create a new name, tagline, and logo, along with a full suite of identity materials, including the design and development of a new website that was extensively user tested.
  • Challenged stakeholders to work out of their comfort zone in the self discovery process, using skills sets such as emotional intelligence, introspection, and being in touch with their inner purpose.
  • During the rebrand process, we discovered that collectively we were working toward something unique and very different in our journey toward accelerated growth and achievement, which inspired us to carve out a new niche, growth services.
  • Given the social and cultural upheavals in 2020, we intentionally became extremely detailed around redefining our language use and company culture. 
  • Developed the company narrative around value, who we are and what the product is, including areas in sectors, services, and client profiles.
  • Upon completion of the rebrand, we quickly developed a new style guide, website, marketing materials and marketing strategy. 
The Outcome

The entire rebranding process was a valuable lesson in true team unification. Though it was often challenging, we were successful in aligning and defining our values together,  a process that resulted in strong internal cohesion. As a result of this work, we were able to develop and roll out a strong brand that is relatable and exciting. We have since discovered our new name — Orchid Black — is a conversation starter, and our ability to relate a story that the entire team believes in gives us a significant advantage in a crowded marketplace. Everything we developed, from the name to the tag line to our brand identity was developed with deep logic and a thoughtful narrative that is integrated, relatable and memorable. In a short time, our name in growth services has generated a significant amount of leads with no paid advertising.

Website Before Rebrand

Brand is the lifeblood of any business and should be treated as such. Rebranding in any company is a huge undertaking. If you do not believe in the power of branding, you are undermining the human psyche. Once we got the team on the same page, it became clear the rebrand laid the groundwork for exponential success.

––Lauren A. Koenig, Associate Partner