A non-profit that serves children and their families was planning to expand nationwide, more than doubling its local chapters. The organization’s execution and messaging were disjointed across all stakeholder groups including the board, paid staff, volunteers, families and donors. The organization’s inconsistent execution and misalignment were impeding the planned expansion and creating financial shortfalls.

We conducted in-depth interviews with all the stakeholders across the existing chapters to identify why they were involved, what was important and what motivated them to stay involved in the dysfunctional environment.  From the data, we pulled out the common themes and identified the emotional connection to the organization. Leveraging this work, we built a brand positioning including the background, values, history and vision/mission and positioning statements. To support the execution of the brand positioning, we developed the brand standards (graphics, colors, fonts, images), a messaging plan with talking points for all audiences, a social media strategy and an annual giving campaign.

With the successful implementation of the brand positioning and its emotional connection, the annual giving campaign doubled the donations of prior campaigns. Additionally, the organization was able to get on track with expansion of chapters.


Our client, a reputable civil litigation law firm, had undertaken a costly SEO campaign through a digital marketing agency, expecting to generate desirable cases. The SEO campaign setup took several months, and when inquiries finally came in, they were not for the kinds of cases our client desired. What’s more, the digital agency spent a lot of time and money creating content that was not aligned with the firm’s brand to support landing pages.

Through a series of discovery sessions, we identified the firm’s core values and created content for their website that accurately reflected the compassion with which they handled each client’s case. SEO and website inquiries remained an aspect of our overall strategy. We designed and implemented a search campaign that allowed website visitors to self-determine whether the firm could help them. 

We immediately cut the firm’s monthly expenditure on lead generation and marketing in half. Within the first 90 days, we reduced the quantity of incoming inquiries by 75% while improving the quality of inquiries by 100%.


A global shipping and logistics company was operating without a dedicated, in-house marketing team. The communications team, already spread thin by the demands of internal communications for three shipping terminals, was expected to handle marketing and PR as well.

Civilis became their outsourced strategic marketing partner, and through a variety of PR initiatives, social media engagement and ongoing organic content production, we set out to position the company as an asset to the communities in which they operate. We included a community nonprofit and charity outreach campaign which highlighted the efforts of those organizations, further positioning our client as a community social cause champion.

Over the course of several years we effectively positioned the company as a key contributor to and supporter of environmental and social progress in their local communities. This awareness-building also positioned the company as a desirable place of employment for individuals looking to build or continue a career in the logistics and maritime space.


An innovative Cleveland-based memory care company was growing rapidly and had plans to open a new facility in Central Ohio. While the company had a well-established reputation in Cleveland, the principals faced the challenge of entering a market where they were relatively unknown.

We designed a relationship-based sales and marketing strategy that would set them apart in the crowded Central Ohio market. Through a series of discovery workshops, we helped the principals zero in on the company’s driving factors and core values. We created and implemented a go-to-market strategy which included press talking points, brand standards, and website design and navigation.  We also identified events and strategic referral partners integral to launching a grass roots awareness campaign within the community.

Within 12 months, we created and optimized social media channels, built a website that accurately reflected the company’s unique value proposition, and provided cohesive brand standards and messaging guidelines. This allowed the principals to focus on the logistics of building their new facility. What’s more, the press talking points served as a foundation for a brand philosophy and manifested in actionable cultural practices and training protocols once the new facility was opened.