Looking to sub-brand a new organizational entity

World Business Chicago (WBC) was created by Mayor Richard M. Daley in 1999. It is a public-private, non-profit partnership that drives inclusive economic growth and job creation, supports business, and promotes Chicago as a leading global city. WBC has three core functions: Business Development, Research, and Marketing. These functions continue to support WBC’s mission to drive regional, inclusive economic growth. However, following the addition of a new function, referred to as The Plan, World Business Chicago was seeking to revisit its brand architecture with an eye toward developing and launching a new sub-brand that would help it more clearly and logically communicate its primary function. Specifically, it asked FullSurge to help it craft an evolved sub-brand for The Plan to empower more robust relationships and engagement, and to define an articulated value proposition for the evolved Plan sub-brand.

Identifying a higher-order benefit as means for a differentiated positioning

FullSurge worked with WBC and a number of its high-profile Board of Directors members, which included the likes of Motorola, Allstate, McDonald's, Boeing, JP Morgan, Walgreens and United Airlines. Through our work, we helped them critically assess and evaluate the strategic intent of The Plan, and based on that, develop a positioning that both represents The Plan sub-brand, as well as remain true to and reinforce the World Business Chicago master brand. Namely, it was jointly determined that The Plan—and therefore the sub-brand representing it—should not only stand for “inclusiveness” (the going-in hypothesis), but also convey higher-order benefits such as connectivity, cohesiveness, and empowerment. From an architecture perspective, several alternatives were explored ranging from no separation from the WBC brand to a completely standalone new master brand. The going-in hypothesis of an “in-between” alternative—i.e., a sub-brand tied to the WBC brand—was validated.

It was jointly determined that The Plan—and therefore the sub-brand representing it—should not only stand for “inclusiveness” but also convey higher-order benefits.

From positioning to a strategic roadmap for growth

FullSurge formally presented its findings and recommendations to World Business Chicago. The recommended positioning and architecture were embraced, and work then began to activate the strategy in the Chicago marketplace. With the positioning of the sub-brand in place, we then helped WBC develop a strategic roadmap for growth. The roadmap was designed to help the association build a diverse network of collaborators and an expanded base of partners, develop deeper relationships with new and current partners, build a stronger foundation for multi-year philanthropic support, and infuse stronger value to the overarching WBC brand, particularly in the eyes of WBC’s Board of Directors.

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