Engineering brand and digital success for SMC

South Midlands Communications (SMC), is a world-leading manufacturer of masts, antennas and specialist communications products. SMC works with several industries but primarily its history lies within the military and defence sector.

Operating for over 60 years, and with offices in both the UK and US, SMC design and manufacture a wide range of specialist mast and antenna systems that are used by government agencies, police, broadcast agencies, meteorology companies and commercial businesses all around the world.

SMC first approached Carswell Gould to support it with a marketing campaign to raise awareness of an innovative new mast system it was about to launch: the SMC Ultralock. Following the launch, we were subsequently asked to support SMC with a complete corporate rebrand and come up with a new visual identity.

Both were used in the creation of a new website for SMC, designed to better reflect its position as a global business which sits at the leading edge of communications technology.

Client SMC
Year 2022
Project team Stuart Hunt Gareth Miller Emily Braybrook Lizzie Walker-Arnott James Nethersole Lee Martin Giuseppe Sciascia

What we did

During our early discussions we realised that SMC had no verbal or visual guidelines – both vital tools for ensuring that marketing campaigns are consistent, appropriate messaging is being used and visually everything feels aligned.

We met with SMC’s senior leadership team to determine and agree who its key audiences were and then set to work on creating a tone-of-voice document that spoke to each of the key marketing personas we identified.

SMC wanted to reach customers that it had not communicated with in a while, and so it was decided that it would be of benefit to SMC if we updated its website, which would serve as a perfect means to reconnect.

This would also:

  • make it easier for people to navigate their website and find products
  • reflect the new visual and verbal identity, presenting SMC as a modern and innovative manufacturer of specialist communications products
  • make the website work harder for SMC’s sales team in relation to lead generation

For the brand messaging, we focused on SMC’s rich 60+ year heritage; the fact it’s a global company with offices in the US and the UK; that it is renowned for delivering high-quality, dependable, mission-critical masts and antennas; and that its products allow its customers to communicate with confidence anywhere in the world.

We began by working with our design and web team to come up with a new structure and taxonomy of their website to make it work harder for SMC. We grouped products to make them easier to find and put masts and antennas at the very fore; making shortcuts to these two core SMC products from the homepage but also allowing visitors to search and filter them by criteria type.

Regarding the look and design of the new website, we overhauled the dark and dated look of the previous website and replaced it with something altogether brighter, clearer, more inviting and corporate in feel, with white and navy colourway that harkened back to SMC’s roots.

With access to good on-location product photography proving an issue, we circumvented this by leveraging website imagery on the ‘communicate with confidence anywhere in the world’ strapline. We used a mix of striking visual landscapes and vistas to help entice people in. We wanted them to easily visualise the impressive and diverse geographical scope that SMC products enjoy.

Another area we focused on was lead generation. SMC had also told us that web enquires had also dropped off considerably since the previous website design, so we improved this by adding gated assets and content to the website. This included product data sheets and a mast service guide that provided customers with tips and guidance on how to look after and maintain their SMC mast, year after year.

The Outcome

“We have been delighted with the output and the quality of work of Carswell Gould. Everyone at SMC has been impressed with their professional approach and the way in which they work with us as part of our extended team. We are very pleased with our new website and feel it encapsulates the direction we want to take SMC as a business. Thank you so much for all your hard work.”

Janice Blaxall, Head of Corporate Clients, SMC

SMC now has a new website to provide consistency with the look and feel of its marketing campaigns going forward. We have also helped SMC to rationalise its value proposition, the key focus areas of its business and the sectors it works with.

The process of updating SMC’s marketing collateral to better align with the new website is now well underway and the first marketing campaign – one communicating the importance of mast servicing and maintenance over the winter period – is already seeing vast improvements in terms of engagement and interest owing, in no small part, to the new visual and verbal identity that SMC now has.

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