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The Gershman name is well known among St. Louis residents—especially those who have purchased a house. For Gershman, over sixty-five years in business had given them a reputation as a home mortgage company. But, the strategy to expand into the commercial development category presented some real brand challenges.
As a family business that practically owned the home mortgage space, how could they expand their operation to venture into commercial development without jeopardizing the home mortgage side of the business?
When it came to the commercial side of the real estate business Gershman was known for managing strip centers. In reality, Gershman has three separate entities: Gershman Mortgage, Gershman Real Estate, and Gershman Commercial Equities.
Gershman Commercial Equities, the component which focused on development projects and building new commercial buildings was having trouble overcoming the market’s assumption that they only worked in the management of strip centers. Whenever there was an opportunity to develop another type of project, like an office building, Gershman wasn’t being considered.
Gershman came to Sandbox Creative looking to clarify their image. They wanted to come across more professionally and showcase different types of projects beyond just strip centers. Sandbox helped them create a story, short and sweet, that would debunk the perception that Gershman exclusively managed strip centers.
But telling that story wasn’t enough. Sandbox’s real challenge lay in presenting it in an engaging way. With most people today consuming information from their phone, tablet, or computer, there wasn’t one standard website design that would be optimally viewed on all of those devices. Even if they had the best story in the world, if it wasn’t displayed properly, they were going to lose audience’s attention. The best story couldn’t overcome a bad presentation.
Sandbox created a mobile responsive website that accounted for the different devices where Gershman’s content could potentially be viewed. Websites that presented the same material in the same way on all devices typically had information that was hard to read and difficult to navigate. Gershman’s Commercial Equities website, on the other hand, utilized a design that was tailored to each different device and that would respond with different text sizes, picture sizes, layouts, and even content depending on how one was viewing the Gershman story.
Gershman Commercial Equities’s Joe McGauley went from being a hesitant doubter of the technology to realizing that the Sandbox Creative recommendation was the key to success. With attention spans declining, Sandbox helped Joe understand it was important to make his points quickly, so that people wouldn’t lose interest. This refinement of the presentation and the story paid off. Since developing the website and the story, the amount of traffic the site receives has grown exponentially, and Gershman Commercial Equities’s story is reaching more people than ever before.
• brand promise
• brand persona
• brand positioning
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