Paper company stamped rebrand with humor, commitment to customers
In his 20s, Simon Schaffer-Goldman had no plans to join the family business; he was too busy sheep-farming in New Zealand. Yet he would eventually become chief marketing officer at Case Paper, the company his grandfather founded, and would shepherd the 76-year-old organization through a successful rebrand featuring a modified logo, a fresh personality and a new purpose.
How did he do it? Schaffer-Goldman focused on the strongest pillars of the brand’s rich history: irreverent humor and a commitment to customers. Adopting the purpose-driven tagline, “On the Case,” Schaffer-Goldman made sure that humor was part of every form of company communication, from its website to email signatures, from trade show booths to print ads. Schaffer-Goldman also established the “On the Case” awards to inspire Case Paper’s more than 400 employees to continuously exceed customer expectations.
Why did you decide to rebrand?
There was always an entrepreneurial spirit within Case Paper, but we needed to build an architecture within the organization. We needed some shaping, some forming. We were 75 years old, but still like a startup because we didn't have a foundation that we carried through over the years. It was time to cherry-pick the key components that were going to be the architecture that we lay everything else on. It had to be more than just a marketing scheme; this was built into the fabric of who we were. In the very beginning, we knew we had a voice, but what could we do with all of these great stories and the employee engagement that we had? How do we corral all of that and harness it to build off of it?
How do you describe the company's customer service focus?
Our customers have always been front and center for us, to the point where we would go to extraordinary lengths to support our customers. Back when we were just in NYC, we centered on slogans like, "We never keep a press waiting." We were there for you when you needed us, and a lot of times, it was when you needed us quickly. That mindset also supports our new purpose-driven statement, "On the Case.” It really summed up, in three words, how we take delight in doing something more for our customers, whether that be going that extra mile for them, making that extra phone call, sending that extra email, following up on something just to double check it’s right. Those little things build relationships with customers that go far beyond any big gestures.
How did bring your new tagline to life?
We prioritized an internal launch. One of the first things that we did was activate the first-ever employee recognition program at Case Paper, aptly named “On the Case,” or the OTC awards. Employees from different divisions built this program together. What we're finding is that we're getting these amazing stories and employees are owning “On the Case.” They're changing it, they're adding to it. There's so much color and dimension that's being built because they are personally connected to “On the Case.” They each have their own connection; that's what makes it powerful, makes it real. That's how you get buy-in. Probably more than anything, I've learned that you need to empower your employees to be a part of the decision-making to bring something like this to life.
How did you incorporate humor into the rebrand?
In our space, everybody is doing the same thing, so we looked for areas where we could have fun doing something different. We were a paper company, so we were going to have fun with it. We had a lot of fun coming up with headlines. Just like the employee recognition program, once we set forth where we were headed, it was amazing how many employees would contact me with a new idea. They really embraced it. They’d email me or text me with great things like, "We give a sheet" and "Sheet happens here." We started doing new premiums, printing on our own paper, but having a lot more fun with what we were doing. Our product spec sheets, our trucks wraps, even things like our email footers—we’ve been having fun, being absurd and humorous, and it’s working. It’s also tradition for us: Case Paper, way back in its early days, would print and release a “Printer’s Home Companion” filled with ridiculous—really, really absurd—newsletters, pictures and articles, and people loved it. It was so different and really helped us build a brand.
What’s next with “On the Case”?
First, we're building that foundation internally; the next step is our customers. Most of the time, we’re “On the Case” because they have short deadlines. They don't have two weeks to do a job anymore. When something happens in the marketplace, they make a decision. By the time it filters down to the print service provider that you're using, there’s not much time, so they need a reliable partner who's going to have product on the floor, can deliver things quickly, and also present new, different papers—and even opportunities to add to the marketing budget by doing custom sizes. All of that brings value to them, and ultimately, they are doing that all for their customers. What we're doing is making that process easier, quicker, more seamless, along the way making them financially stronger as well as making their platform and their service to their customers stronger.