Rebranding strategy built on new digital experiences

The challenge

Help California Steel Services to rebrand the company focusing on precise fabrication services.


  • Customer base expands to the neighboring Nevada, Arizona and Oregon states.
  • Real-time online customer support system moves business portfolio towards custom steel fabricating services.
  • Doubled online visitors retention rate, the visits duration up by 178%.


The 37th 2017 Annual Telly
(category: online video – infomercial production).
2016 People’s Telly Award
(category: online video production).

The outcome

  • A refined brand image, new strategy and corporate identity across channels.
  • Redesigned mobile friendly website.
  • Services specific promotional videos.
  • New marketing brochures.
  • E-commerce platform.

Shaping the Strategy

Company introduction

California Steel Services is a steel processing company. It operates since 1983. A company that unrolls steel coils and produces large flat or bent steel products. For the most part, these products used in the construction industry.

The recent acquisitions of precise fabricating equipment required a new marketing approach. We had to transform the brand look of the company as an old-fashion coils processing business. We had to produce a new image – a full cycle hi-tech steel fabricating company.

Rebranding - company warehouse aerial view
Redesigned logo - California Steel Services

New Corporate Identity

Redesigning logo and corporate guidelines

At first, it was difficult to imagine a different identity for the company. The old logo has served California Steel Services for so many years. But with a new business direction, it became outdated in many ways. Designing new corporate identity became inevitable.

We aimed to safeguard the company’s heritage while emphasizing new business values. Might as well, the new logo had to look great on the company’s truck door and on VP of sales personal email signature too.

We shaped the sign as a steel coil (see above). With a coil flap added at the last moment, the resemblance was perfect. Then, we tossed many ideas for the company’s name abbreviation typography and placement. Finally, everything clicked together with letters arrangement that looked-alike thin metal laser cutouts.

Corporate identity new letterhead envelope design
Branding new identity screen laptop
Brand packshot for the forming video
New corporate identity - business cards

Visual Branding Strategy

Building trust with a visual language

We selected simple and direct strategy for visual branding. We created vivid and personalized imagery of real people at work.
Actual employees perform their job operations, show human emotions and solve real problems. Being authentic was the main goal. We also produced lots of creative shots revealing the beauty of the steel material.

Thus, by creating an effect of presence and amusement, at the same time, we help to built trust in the company’s brand. You start feeling that you know the company, recognize its products, and people.

Branding services visual - company people
Branding services visual - plasma cutting services
Branding services visual - coil product
Branding services visual - forming services

Website Branding

Crafting the first Impression

Today user’s experience is more important than ever. You can only make one FIRST impression, so you need to make it a good one. For many businesses, the company website IS that first impression.

California Steel Services had no mobile-friendly website before we get assigned. The site visitors suffered from a poor user experience when using tablets or cell phones. So it had a direct impact on visitors retention, conversion rate, as well as revenues.

We completely redesigned the website and made it accessible on every mobile platform. The key was to keep website branding balanced with the corporate identity guidelines. The other words, to maintain a familiar look for the brand’s online storefront.

Responsive design branding all devices

E-commerce Development

Brand online commerce for new opportunities

Developing an e-commerce platform was vital for our client. First, it was an easy way to start receiving the online orders for precise steel fabricated parts. Second, the main online competitors had strong marketing positions on the East Coast. So, due to the high shipping costs from there, it created opportunities for our client on the West Coast.

We integrated a full featured responsive e-commerce platform into the company website. The idea was to make browsing and shopping experiences smooth and seamless on any device.

We also implemented the following custom built features:

  • Instant pricing calculator module for variety of formed and flat products;
  • Truckload and Freight LTL shipping options;
  • Discounts management;
  • Add-on paid services addition;
  • Product-level, as well as inventory-level price management.
E-Commerce branding image for CalSteel

Target Marketing

Branded videos production

Production of branded videos accounted for a half of the entire project. To raise awareness of the brand and create interest to the company’s services were the main goals. The client asked to create a tree-minute corporate video to represent the brand. After discussing the objectives we agreed to find another solution.

First of all, three minutes are not enough. You can’t describe four services and their very specific benefits in three minutes. You will get stuck with a limit of three hundred sixty words of content at the most. Yes, that is how much of textual content you can narrate within three minutes of video duration. Unless you start talking like a car auctioneer.

Another challenge is that you can’t blend different topics together in one video.

It can’t be persuasive, people will get lost in the message.

Finally, the viewers tend to lose interest in any business video after two minutes of watching it. That is a well-known fact from many studies.

We produced series of one-minute promotional videos. Instead of one video, we created five. Four services promoting videos focused on their specific benefits. The fifth video provides a brief company overview and serves as a short corporate video.

Thus, we produced narrow-focused branded video content for different target audiences. This approach created many opportunities for online marketing and social media outreach.

3D Product Rendering

Realistic 3D rendering: elements of aesthetics, art and technique

Lack of professional quality images for finished products was an obvious issue. This is a typical situation for any manufacturer. Most of the time you see pictures taken with a cell phone camera on the go. A short shelving time for shipping ready products is one of the reasons. Not planning ahead and costly photo shooting sessions are two other ones.

By employing realistic 3D rendering we created a wide range of visuals for all products. We used them everywhere: website, e-commerce, marketing and sales brochures, trade show posters. 3D models were developed based on design drawing and photos in this project. Our production process was efficient and controllable. We applied 3D product rendering techniques for all photography and video purposes.

For branded intros and video packshots, we used 3D models and also added video animations. As a result, we guaranteed the best possible products representation across all touchpoints.

3D rendering intro shot shearing
3D rendering packshot plasma cutting
3D rendering gussets
3D rendering intro shot laser cutting