Diving Into the Rebranding Process for Cornerstone Advisors—Case Study

Branding
Marketing
September 1, 2023

The L Street Collaborative team worked with Cornerstone Advisors to refresh and elevate the entire look and feel of their brand, including their logo. Cornerstone Advisors is a leading consultant for banks, credit unions, and fintechs looking to pinpoint, address, and align their needs and outcome targets. They facilitate in-depth conversations with financial institutions and produce next-level company performance through smarter technology decisions and meaningful business strategies.

Client Concern & Partnership Goals

Cornerstone is a large company with various practice areas. A variety of teams are responsible for assembling presentations, but without clear brand guidelines there was a lack of consistency across assets. Conflicting color themes, varying fonts, and a multitude of logo styles were some of the few pain points Cornerstone was looking to address. 

original Cornerstone logo in red and grey

The main goal of our partnership was to update the overall look to reflect their modern initiatives while also standardizing the style for all employees across their various departments. The priority was on presentations, with the intent for the new design guidelines to carry over to all aspects of the brand.

L Street Collab Solution

The project kicked off with a discovery phase. The L Street team did a deep dive into Cornerstone’s current collateral—use cases and brand assets—in addition to organizing key stakeholder meetings. The team also performed research on competitor brands, trends, and market landscapes in order to fully understand the industry and ways that Cornerstone may be able to stand out. 

Phase two of the engagement was an ideation session. The L Street Collaborative team visited Cornerstone’s headquarters in Arizona to meet with practice area leaders and essential contributors. We led two-days of brainstorming that examined the current state of the brand and then pushed the team to envision and ideate around new and modern directions. Rooted in the Design Thinking process, the L Street team created a custom approach to hone in on key pain points throughout the organization, drive open and honest communication (in a moderated environment), and produce meaningful results. Through a variety of interviews, exercises, and heuristics we aimed to determine the best colors, style, font, and voice for the brand. 

photos from in-person brainstorming session

This time spent with the Cornerstone team was invaluable to narrow down the direction of the visual identity options. After several rounds of feedback and reviews with the client, we were able to present a final design direction. Once the new brand guidelines were approved our team began transitioning existing Cornerstone presentation decks, brochures, and collateral to the new templates. 

The new visual identity for the presentations was well received but did not align with a now, out-dated looking logo. As a result, the Cornerstone team requested that we explore a new logo to potentially replace the existing one. After several iterations and evaluating the various messages behind each option, Cornerstone elected to update their logo, providing a completely new look and feel to the market. 

various ideation versions for the new Cornerstone logo

L Street believes that partnership does not end with the completion of a project, so we didn’t stop there. The L Street team presented a company-wide virtual training to provide background on the process, share the new brand guides, show how to use the new template, and allow opportunities for clarification and questions. Additionally, we created PowerPoint templates and an easy to follow guide on how to convert existing decks to the new style and build slides from scratch. Following the engagement the Cornerstone team kept the L Street team on retainer for assistance in the transition as an easily accessible expertise for projects.

Final Results & Lasting Benefits

The new brand features black and white photography, colorful gradients, and joyful people. This style is not as straight-laced as other competing banking institutions, aligning with Cornerstone’s sub brand, Gonzo Banker and persona of being disruptors. Our team is confident that this fresh clean look will elevate their brand and continue to push them forward as market leaders. 

new Cornerstone logo with matching branded collateral

Cornerstone’s contemporary elevated look is reflected across all their assets and provides a level of consistency to their employees that they did not have previously. Our team provided all the tools they needed to easily incorporate the new brand into their ongoing projects whether they are exporting reports, updating the website, creating social media campaigns, or designing collateral. 

Since the completion of this process, you can now see the new Cornerstone brand featured on their podcast, at events, and throughout LinkedIn. The team has received great feedback from clients while the internal Cornerstone teams have reaped the benefits of having easy to use templates and a brand they feel confident in showing. 

“When I think about the next generation of people drawn to Cornerstone Advisors, I'm grateful for the hard work that went into making our new first impression smart and fun. Big shout out to L Street Collaborative and our team here at Cornerstone for thinking through what we love about our past and want to be in the future.”

— Managing Director at Cornerstone Advisors

overhead view of Chicago at night with streetlights lit up in orange

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