XEquals: The story behind the brand

Case Study – Branding in collaboration with Quietly Studio

How important is your brand when it comes to breaking into a new market?

If you’re arriving fresh into a new market where potential customers aren't aware of who you are and how you can solve their problems, brand becomes a powerful tool to create the right perception and build trust over time with the right people. But first, you need to sense check whether your offering in its current form will be valuable to the new people you’re trying to reach. Are their problems the same as your existing customers? Sometimes it’s hard to take a step back and see these things with fresh eyes.

That’s where we come in.

We can create a clearer picture of your target customer, establish the value you can offer them, then build a brand that will speak their language and start a meaningful conversation that they’ll want to join.

Here’s the story of how we did exactly that for XEquals (formerly known as Akero).

Who are XEquals?

XEquals is the student conversion platform for the US Higher Education Sector. By combining human expertise and powerful data they connect digital marketing spend to enrollment. This eliminates guesswork in the recruitment funnel and helps admissions teams spend more time and budget on students that will convert (and less on ones that won’t).

What was causing friction?

No one was currently solving the problem that XEquals could solve but in a market that is built on trust and relationships it was even more important to make the best first impression possible.We were brought in to be an extension of the team and work together to redefine the offering and build a brand that would create meaningful cut-through in a noisy competitor space.

How did we get things moving?

  • Strategy + Insights - We didn’t make assumptions. We started by working with research expert Robin Landy to truly listen to customers on-the-ground and understand the problem we can solve for them.
  • Value proposition - The features within the pre-existing platform had been created based on individual client needs. These clients saw a huge benefit but in order to create growth we needed to establish what the value-add was for a whole market. Working alongside Lisa from JOLT, we used insights from the research to centre the language around benefits rather than features.
  • Visual Identity + Renaming - We renamed the business to position them firmly in the Higher Education space and worked alongside Quietly Studios to create a visual identity that would help the brand stand out in a very crowded, noisy marketplace but had room to grow with the business.
  • Messaging + brand personality - To connect with customers we needed to talk in their language and introduce our personality. We worked with the internal team to access their wealth of expertise and bring that knowledge to the forefront.
  • Go to Market - With strong foundations in place, we needed to ensure we talk to our customers in the right places, create meaningful exchanges and positive action. We built a whole load of assets to make a splash in the market, establish the team as ‘Xperts’ and get them moving towards conversations with prospective buyers

“I had the pleasure of working with Mac+Moore on the development of the X equals offering and brand, and it was an absolutely brilliant experience. They truly went above and beyond, and I couldn't be more pleased with the final product. The launch exceeded all of our expectations and it's thanks in no small part to the hard work, expertise, and dedication of the team.I would highly recommend Mac+Moore. They are an exceptional team of professionals who truly care about their clients and are committed to delivering outstanding results.”

Alex Calder

Managing Director, X Equals

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