Case Study: ADL Embedded Solutions


ADL Embedded Solutions Inc. has, for many years, led the industry as a key provider of rugged, high-performance single board computers (SBCs) targeted at demanding industrial and military applications on a global scale. In recent years, the industry (as well as ADL) has experienced a shift in demand for embedded systems design. Understanding the importance of this shift in demand, and what it means for the company’s longevity, ADL decided it was time to evolve their external brand and internal corporate strategy for both their US operation, as well as their Germany operation, to better service their growing systems customer base. That’s where we came into the picture.

In order to redefine the brand’s identity to reflect their new direction as a company, 3Block needed to rebrand from the foundation upward. They first began by conducting a branding analysis to better understand how the current ADL brand impacts their target industries, why their product is better/different, and whether their internal infrastructure in the US and Germany is ready to handle the inflow of qualified leads. Once the brand strategy was more clearly defined, the next step was for 3Block to work with ADL to align their internal and external brand attributes.

Repositioning the Brand

As part of 3Block’s proprietary branding process, the team worked with ADL to clarify and define their business, sales, and marketing objectives. Crystallizing these three factors within the company helped to set the foundation for the additional tactics 3Block developed to reposition and elevate the brand.

In addition to establishing the foundation for the company’s ultimate long-term brand position, 3Block was able to analyze competitor strengths and weaknesses to profile opportunities for clearly differentiating the ADL brand. By leveraging the Blue Ocean competitive canvas mapping process, 3Block was able to analyze multiple variables, attribute a weight, and recommend which variables could be utilized as part of a long-term strategic outcome plan to shift the direction of the business as well as the brand. By leveraging ADL’s strengths to position them as unique and “blue ocean,” 3Block tied their competitive canvas recommendations to a targeted marketing strategy to increase sales and maximize profitability.

Bringing the Brand to Life

With ADL’s brand foundation clearly laid out, 3Block next set out to plan a series of effective strategies and marketing tactics for maximum impact.

The final work products were as follows:

– 1,200-page WordPress Website
– 30’ x 30’ Tradeshow Booth
– 48-page Product Catalog
– 2-day Product & Staff Photoshoot
– Setup New Marketing Automation System
– Multiple Landing Pages, Email Blasts, & Press Releases
– Onsite & Offsite SEO Setup & Optimization
– Google Adwords Campaign Optimization

Once the brand strategy was set, 3Block next step was to redesign their tradeshow booth as part of a global rebranding strategy to relaunch the brand in the US and Germany at the 2016 Embedded World Tradeshow. Working in tandem with teams based both in the US and in Europe, 3Block Branding & Marketing Agency took great care to make sure both parties were part of the collaborative design process and the ultimate design was an accurate reflection of the brand with a fresh interpretation that would resonate both with the US and European target audiences.

The new tradeshow booth design showcased a complex, detailed infographic with industry subsets tying together the various ADL products (embedded SBCs & systems) with the Internet of Things (IOT) theme for the tradeshow. The use of larger-than-life blue and black duotoned imagery paired with crisp illustration gained the attention of both the tech and engineering worlds combined. The overall design elicited a modern and refreshing reaction as the ADL brand now reflected the true caliber of their product line and innovative thinking behind their system design expertise.

The tradeshow booth also incorporated four key demo areas with “use case” scenarios targeting four primary customer industries. Each demo area was branded slightly differently to appeal to each of their unique target industries with photography and illustration paired together to capture the complexity of the ADL product and it’s relationship with each prospective client audience. Demo videos, a 48-page catalog, and additional client collateral all combined together to extend the brand look and feel based on the parent tradeshow branding that had already been established.

ADL-redesigned-tradeshow-boothADL Embedded Solutions old tradeshow booth and new revitalized tradeshow booth design.

The freshly redesigned and rebranded 48-page product catalog featured all new custom product and location photography. It was a complete refresh on the previous design to emphasize a better user experience with a clearer, easier to read design. Extending the brand included leveraging all new infographics, illustrations, and product development processes along with detailed product descriptions and color-corrected product imagery. Company services, targeted industries, informative matrices, maps, and other clarifying illustrations brought to life the many features and benefits of the ADL product line.

Photorealistic-Magazine-MockUp-2ADL Embedded Solutions redesigned product catalog.

Extending the Brand Family

With a new, modern and more user-friendly interface, the upgraded UX design of the new WordPress Website elevated the brand experience to match ADL’s strong history and quality of their product/service reputation. Thoughtfulness, in regards to content organization and page layout, aided in controlling the user experience and emphasizing the key differentiators found within the ADL product line. Today, the ADL website now correctly embodies the company as a whole to exemplify how mindful and creative design can be leveraged to appeal to companies and customers alike.

ADL-website-redesignADL Embedded Solutions old website and new refreshed website design.

As part of an integrated online and offline strategy, 3Block boosted ADL’s brand by curating well thought out email campaigns paired with landing pages to excite prospects, engage current clients, and attract media attention. To ensure continuity of online brand attributes and key differentiators, 3Block also worked with ADL to setup, customize, and optimize their new marketing automation platform. By setting up templates, workflows, and systems, they ensured ADL had the marketing infrastructure natively integrated with their existing CRM system.

All additional marketing assets extended the brand by leveraging a unified color palette, consistent typography, intelligent hierarchy of information, and clear messaging to generate a consistent look and feel down to the finest detail. The final work products hold true to a refined push and pull marketing strategy. 3Block two-pronged approach allowed ADL to get in front of their clients with a stronger value proposition and attract better qualified prospects. In addition to a strong forward-facing rebrand, 3Block also upgraded ADL’s onsite and offsite SEO as well as optimized and refined their Adwords strategy for better conversions at a lower cost per acquisition (CPA).


Evolving the Brand

Since the revitalization of their new brand, ADL has already seen a significant increase in their existing client and qualified prospect requests for embedded SBCs and embedded system design. Both ADL Embedded Solutions and 3Block are very satisfied with the end result. The foundation that was established and brought to life through a long-term and sustainable strategy has paved the way for the ADL brand to evolve, adapt, and thrive in their changing market environment.

> Click here to view other design examples on the ADL portfolio page.

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