Smarthinking, Inc.

situation
strategy
solution

In the competitive marketplace, it's not just new players or growing challengers that need to remain flexible and embrace change. Market leaders must be even more agile than their competitors if they are to maintain their position and stay ahead. Smarthinking is the recognized worldwide leader in online tutoring for higher education. Having created the online tutoring space when it was founded in 1999, Smarthinking virtually defined the industry -- creating numerous best practices, achieving success on hundreds of campuses, and bringing proven support to more students than any other provider. In fact, Smarthinking's online tutors have completed more than 3 million tutoring sessions. Quality and innovation have always been Smarthinking's cornerstones, but in a rapidly evolving marketplace being flooded with competition, Smarthinking needed to re-affirm its position as the leading provider with the most effective solution.

Working directly with Smarthinking's President & CEO as well as her executive team, Wendt Partners facilitated a comprehensive BrandPlanning engagement. Through this highly disciplined and detailed process, Smarthinking's market position and competitive opportunities were explored. In addition, input and ideas were sought from across the organization -- including executives, employees, tutors, customers and partners. After the BrandPlanning report was issued, Wendt Partners coordinated its integration into the company's business plan and embarked upon the BrandBuilding phase. The new brand strategy focused on the three key stakeholders who make Smarthinking work: students, tutors and the college and university administrators who select Smarthinking. Tutors were invited to create dynamic profiles that directly connected their experience to proven student outcomes and testimonials from administrators.

By centering the Smarthinking strategy on these stories of success and the proven research that supported them, Wendt Partners allowed the company to present its strengths in a compelling manner while also embracing the best of its market position -- all within the context of a new brand identity. Deliverables included a sophisticated new website with student and tutor profiles, e-commerce connectivity and a customized student self-service portal, as well as print collateral, campus posters and full social media integration. Fresh content was further supported by commissioned photography and a new icon system to guide users through the Smarthinking experience. "As a result," said Smarthinking President & CEO Kathy Clark, "the execution of our new brand strategy flowed naturally and allowed us to position Smarthinking in the strongest possible light."

Sectors:

Business-to-Business, Education, Technology

Services:

Strategic Consulting, Branding & Messaging, Organizational Development, Integrated Communications

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Smarthinking found our experience with Wendt Partners to be exemplary. They did a superb job of educating all stakeholders while leading us through the strategic branding process. During the engagement, Doug Wendt acted as an ex officio member of our executive team, helping us shape a stronger vision and strategy for the company. As a result, the execution of our new brand strategy flowed naturally and allowed us to position Smarthinking in the strongest possible light.
Kathy Clark, President & CEO, Smarthinking, Inc.

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