SWF Industrial

Branding & Marketing Strategy

The Challenge
It started with a few simple questions and a conversation. What makes your company unique? Who is your target customer? How are you different than your competition? And, most importantly … who is SWF?

Founded in a one-car garage in 1983, SWF Industrial had built itself into a regional powerhouse with over 100 employees and $25 million in sales. As a metal fabrication company making everything from small parts to large equipment and structural steel pieces for companies across the United States, SWF grew mainly on the strength of word-of-mouth and their own good work. If it’s metal and needs to be fabricated, SWF was known for doing it like no one else.

But SWF had no marketing plan to speak of. Until now, it hadn’t needed one. However, following the tragic loss of founder Al Stewart, SWF’s management team knew that what had worked in the past wouldn’t necessarily help carry on Al’s vision to grow the company in the future. Their goal was big but straightforward: to purposefully build a company that attracted the best clients and employees – while still holding true to Al’s values. That’s when the conversation with Synapse started.

The Solution
We first set out to find out what makes SWF so special. After dozens of team member and customer interviews, and hours of research, we came to a powerful realization: SWF wasn’t different because of what they make; they’re different because of how they make it. With this insight in mind, Synapse crafted a new brand strategy and a modernized logo for SWF – a fresh take that spoke to SWF’s heritage as well as their future aspirations.

To support these brand efforts, Synapse developed a new go-to-market product strategy and – starting from scratch – created an entirely new design and copy approach, directed video and photoshoots, and crafted a hard-hitting messaging strategy. This work culminated in a strong, modern, heavily branded website. It is no-nonsense, reflecting SWF’s values. Synapse also created a brand-identity guide, designed a complete array of sales collateral, and clarified SWF’s core values into “The Three Cs,” matching icon and all.

“I was a bit nervous when it came time to present our vision to SWF’s entire management team. Many of them had worked with Al for years. They had been very successful for a very long time, and we had some big shoes to fill. But, when they saw the logo and the ‘Three Cs’, heard our messaging strategy, and understood our vision to grow the company,” says Synapse’s CEO, Bobby Deraco, “They loved it and offered full support. We felt immediately that it could become one of the most powerful brands in the industry.”

The Result

  • SWF Industrial has had an 85 percent growth in revenue in 16 months.
  • SWF now has a backlog of as much as seven months, up from six weeks.
  • After not having a marketing plan for nearly 40 years, Synapse created a marketing asset library with more than 1,200 high-quality photos and 19 hours of B-roll footage to relaunch and support the brand.
  • SWF’s workforce has grown by 20 percent, with 150 employees.
  • SWF’s organic website traffic has doubled.
  • Their LinkedIn audience has grown 6x in just six months, to almost 2,000 followers.

What’s Next?
This isn’t just about building a brand – it’s about transforming a company – and we’re just getting started. Since officially launching the brand in 2022, the Synapse team has focused on building great content to help extend brand awareness in search and social media networks. Increased awareness has brought more opportunity with it; we are currently implementing a company-wide CRM system to help them manage this growth efficiently and profitably.

Key Takeaways
We often say that many of Synapse’s clients need to “punch up”. They want to attract bigger opportunities and customers, despite heavy competition. To do this, we help them tell their story in an impactful and unique way. Synapse’s brand strategy and design work took SWF Industrial from where they were, and helped them define and tell the world what they were becoming: a heavy-hitting, mid-eight-figure company with serious reach and a strong reason to succeed. Most times, the story already exists; you may just need a bit of help telling it.

Want to learn how we can help you tell your story? Visit swfindustrial.com to see our work, then let’s talk about how we can transform your business today.

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