Building a Brand around a
Multi-Billion Dollar Portfolio
GDS Companies had a problem common to many of our clients: they had decades of experience in the physical world, but couldn’t effectively communicate that experience in the digital world. Despite their years of experience - the CEO, Greg DeStefano, had overseen more than $3,000,000,000 in construction projects - their old website presented them as young up-and-comers, barely speaking about their achievements or the dozens of projects they had worked on. As they looked to grow and add more projects to their portfolio, they needed a brand that more accurately reflected their credibility and reliability to large capital partners. This would then enable them to start sales conversations on the right foot, and ensure that multiple stakeholders on the client side felt comfortable trusting GDS with their project.
Combine Financial and Architectural Design Patterns to Build Credibility
GDS Companies had two primary differentiation points from its competition: 1) they were “Value Added Project Managers”, who, through their financial acumen, could avoid genuinely damaging project errors, and 2) Greg, the CEO, had a background as a licensed architect, and consequently had experience on “both sides of the table”. To cement the feeling of financial responsibility and “value-add”, we borrowed design patterns from financial institutions like banks and insurance companies. To highlight Greg’s unique credentials, we needed to create a project portfolio befitting of an architect, with plenty of high resolution images and quickly-scannable project facts.
After a thorough design review of other financial and architectural websites, we put together a creative brief which outlined our aims and aspirations. We then went through an iterative design process, rapidly determining the best stylistic direction for us to head in. With our style guide in hand, we set to work developing the framework of the site while providing guidance and editing for the content GDS was assembling.
The two most essential areas of the website were the “About” page and the Portfolio. The about page had the vital job of properly positioning GDS as a small but reliable team with decades of relevant experience in multiple industries. We adamantly did not want to present them as a large company, instead opting for a design pattern and content structure which highlighted the intimate client service they’d be able to provide their clients. To humanize the business to potential stakeholders, we created a section for team bios, complete with headshots and detailed resumes.
"Collaborating with Ezra Digital was an seemless and efficient process, as they quickly got up to speed and understood our goals. Our digital presence now reflects the level of professionalism and quality our business partners have come to expect from GDS Companies. We couldn't be happier with the end product or the hands-on process Ezra Digital used to get us there."
Director of Marketing
A Brand GDS Companies Was Proud Of
The GDS Companies project was an exciting - and successful one - for both Ezra Digital and the client. When we began, GDS Companies had an extensive portfolio of construction projects, but their website didn’t convey that level of expertise. Our goal was to create a branded website that mirrored their talent and record success. In the end, that is what drove the entire project.
We worked with GDS Companies to show the breadth of their knowledge. We also made certain to feature varying types of projects from all different scales to further establish their credibility, reliability, and level of experience. And, with projects ranging from $10 million to $150 million, it wasn’t hard to illustrate their successes across multiple mediums.
The beauty of this fully-branded campaign was that we really created soft calls to action with a cohesive contact form. GDS Companies continues to drive business themselves, so we focused on highlighting that the client is an expert in the financial side of real estate projects. As such, we created a platform that conveyed that client’s unique ability to marry the physical construction development with the financial side.
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