Case Study: How Finding Their Brand Essence Grew Expect A Star By 24%

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Expect A Star is a business on the move. From humble beginnings, they are now a market leader with a national presence in the childcare industry.  A great achievement considering it began as a one-man operation in the apartment of founder Ryan Meldrum in 2005.

In January 2010, Expect A Star engaged MarketingHQ to review their marketing activities with a focus on; brand positioning, new marketing strategies, marketing communications and operational implementation.  Following the review, we set an aggressive target of 20% revenue growth for the 2010 financial year – we achieved 24% and here’s how we did it.

The Importance Of Focus

After analysing the Expect A Star brand and earlier marketing plans, it was clear the brand needed focus.  To grow and differentiate, Expect A Star needed to find its brand essence.  The brand essence  is a single thought that captures the soul of the brand.  It must resonate with customers, differentiate the business,  and give focus for all marketing communication.  It must also resonate with employees and guide their behaviour.  After significant market research including; in-depth interviews with customers, employees, suppliers and senior management, it was clear that “dependability” was the essence of Expect A Star.

We selected “dependability” for a number of reasons:

1. Through research, customers identified it as a key point of differentiation for Expect A Star.

2. Analysis of internal processes found Expect A Star had the systems in place to deliver dependable service every time. In fact, it was what they were known for.

Bringing The Message To Life

After finding the brand essence, we then brought it to life. The  new tagline “Depend on Us” was developed and new marketing tactics introduced – all guided by a new marketing plan for the business.  The new tactics included; refinement of the logo design, use of social media and refinements to the Expect A Star website to increase user engagement and improve search engine optimisation.

The Final Word

After the success of 2010, the challenge for Expect A Star is to maintain momentum. “Everything came together following your review and with the clearer direction after the re-branding, we were able to focus our energies in the right areas.  Now it is just a matter of keeping it going” said Ryan Meldrum, Managing Director of Expect A Star.

To celebrate their 2010 success, Expect A Star treated their staff (including interstate staff) to a Christmas party on Sydney Harbour. A fitting reward for all their hard work.  MarketingHQ is now working with Expect A Star to analyse opportunities to extend the brand into other areas.

About the author

Chris Dale Chris Dale is the founder and Managing Director of MarketingHQ. He is a Certified Practising Marketer with over 15 years senior marketing experience. He helps small and medium sized businesses create great marketing strategies and systems that grow their businesses. You can connect with him on or on LinkedIn.

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