If there’s one thing we can say for sure about INvets, it’s that they love their work—that’s apparent right away. As an organization full of veterans, their mission to “attract, retain, and develop Indiana’s veteran workforce” is something they truly believe in, and our team was lucky enough to collaborate with them on accomplishing it.
When INvets came to us, they had plenty on their to-do list—but they weren’t starting from scratch. They already had a website, logo, and good ideas for expanding their reach, but they were missing strong, foundational language that spoke directly and effectively to their audiences. This language would ultimately lead to a totally refreshed brand.
To get that foundation right, we did research that included visits to military bases, job fairs, and veteran focus groups. That meant talking with dozens of veterans and their spouses, and the insights we gleaned were invaluable in helping us shape a strategy that truly spoke to them. Here were a few of our key discoveries:
- Veterans oftentimes don’t understand how the skills they learned in the military translate to the civilian world.
- Exiting the military is a huge shift in mentality and lifestyle—and for most veterans, it’s not easy.
- While veterans themselves are obviously a key audience, veteran spouses are just as important because of their influence on where the family lives.
- Veterans are often reluctant to take advantage of resources they think might be for someone they see as more disadvantaged than them.
- Communication in the military is very different from the civilian world—and employers can be rubbed the wrong way by this straightforward approach.
Armed with this knowledge, we got to work on positioning and messaging for INvets—and after nailing down their voice, we used what we learned to further shape and build the brand.
Executing the Plan
After spirited discussions about everything we’d learned, we landed on a positioning statement: Indiana is one of the most veteran-friendly states in the nation. The next step was figuring out how to translate our positioning statement and messaging language into a commensurate look and feel. We did this with a new website (from planning to development), refreshed logo, digital ads, and upgraded swag.
Striking the right balance between the military and the civilian worlds was critical. The color choices, fonts, shapes, and flourishes we chose were deliberately meant to help bridge the gap between life inside and outside of the military. That meant using colors and shapes that felt familiar to veterans—but also using design elements that helped veterans feel motivated and ready to move on with the next phase of life.
We were also deliberate in creating a cohesive user experience for the INvets website, and we did this by going above and beyond what we were typically seeing from veteran recruitment sites. Instead of simply being a job board, we added lots of useful resources for veterans to help make their transition out of the military easier:
- The ability to explore industry and career pathways specific to Indiana, complete with statistics about salary ranges, what to expect on the job, and more.
- Help with quickly putting together a resume and getting in front of a hiring manager.
- Information about why Indiana is such a great place to live for veterans and their families.
- Providing ways to connect directly with INvets and other veterans via social media and meet-ups.
Finally, to help roll out the new INvets brand and website, we launched a digital brand awareness campaign to reach veterans across the country. So far, year over year, traffic to the site has more than doubled across nearly all channels.
Getting Battle-Tested Results
Working together with INvets has been a privilege. Getting to meet and talk with so many veterans and their spouses gave us perspectives that formed the basis of everything we did—and because they were willing to share their insight with us, we were able to create a solid foundation for the brand.
And the brand is working. INvets is quickly gaining traction with veterans across the country, and while we’re still early in the process, we’re already seeing many of these veterans create profiles. Before the rebrand rollout, the INvets portal averaged about 25 new veteran profiles created each month. In July alone, INvets registered 233 veterans to connect with careers. These aren’t just any careers—these are opportunities veterans actually want—and we know that the satisfaction they get from doing something they’re proud of goes a long way toward helping them live their best life. And we’re definitely proud to help them do that right here in Indiana.
Image via INvets.org