The Countrywide Tax & Trust Corporation was well established as a leader in financial, legal and estate planning services, training and advice, both to a community of professional advisers such as solicitors, IFA’s and accountants and the direct public. They wanted to re-energise their website with a fresh new look.
However, rapid expansion and the multi-disciplinary nature of their offerings had left them unable to define what they did and who their customer base was – the fundamental foundations of a re-design. The messaging and useability of their existing website also indicated this dilemma, and their company name often saw them muddled with an infamous group of estate agents with a similar moniker.
Before we set about modernising the website, Formation first had to delve into helping Countrywide understand who they were, what they were offering and who their clients were. Once a solid set of value propositions were in place, the website was rebuilt from scratch making it more user friendly, with clear signposting, new logos and branding and a clear, consistent identity for the company to build them as a national brand. What resulted was the creation of several individual sub-sites for the different specialisms offered by the business, such as legal, accountancy, private client, tax & trust and professional services, all sat under the umbrella of the newly titled CTT Group.
Formation delivered several value proposition sessions and finally confirmed a split to two main customer bases. Firstly, the Professional Advisor Community such as solicitors and IFA’s who sought a support mechanism and specialist advice on a range of financial, legal and estate planning matters relating to their own clients. Secondly, the end user – A direct customer looking for services relating to wills or estate planning but not requiring the support or training provided by the group.
Not being able to identify the customer makes it impossible to understand their needs or deliver marketing to capture new prospects. By creating separation between each user group, we could confirm key-messaging and identify problem scenarios to support clients at a very targeted level. From here we were able to set a genuine direction for the new group offering; a team of specialists providing multi-disciplinary support to the Professional Adviser community.
One of the fundamental changes we made to the site structure was to create complete separation for CTT’s two main client bases in order to effectively target the messaging towards the appropriate group. Accordingly, Formation constructed the new CTT Group of sites purely for the advisers whilst the old Countrywide Tax & Trust site remained unchanged to continue offering direct-to-client services.
Other areas of CTT, such as Law, had to remain as a separate entity from the group as they offered regulated services and thus would breach regulations from their respective legislative bodies if they were to trade under the group umbrella. These were pitched as strategic partners and given individual websites and brand identities to create appropriate separation.
With the division now in place, we could set about giving the site a facelift, replacing the dated countrywide logo with a clean, modern ‘C’ constructed with overlapping circles symbolising the relationship between the group and their clients, with each sub-site receiving unique colours to make them instantly recognisable. The website’s refresh was elevated further with a new strapline: ‘Problem Solvers, Solution Providers’, with their offering defined as ‘multi-disciplinary support to the UK’s professional adviser community’, giving the company a clear direction and identity.
With a multitude of services on offer, one of the key challenges was to ensure clients were signposted to the correct departments to receive the support and advice they required. Formation undertook an in-depth exercise with the directors of CTT Group to craft a complete user experience that enabled their clients to easily navigate the site and get them to the right place along a much more direct path.
The copy on the former Countrywide site lacked clarity around who it was directed at. There were subpages containing paragraphs of text aimed at the direct public, including detailed explanations of why you should create a Will, how probate worked and the ways an individual would protect their assets in the event of their death. Unfortunately, these were interwoven with convoluted links to membership packages, software trials and support pages. For an adviser who may already be a qualified legal professional looking for support in a field they did not specialise in, paragraphs like this would lead them to believe they were in the wrong place. We worked with the specialist teams at CTT to craft compelling, pithy copy that knows exactly who it’s talking to. With a new voice, the group website can now clearly signpost the customer to the correct teams to access the support they need.
Formation will continue to provide marketing support to CTT Group, working closely with them on rolling out their new branding across their extensive external communications, training materials and presentations. Additionally, we have refreshed their social media presence and will continue to work with their internal marketing team to develop a content strategy promoting their extensive and highly specialised services.