Stonehaven’s platform brings together the major players in the capital markets industry to connect on one cutting-edge Fintech platform. It’s a high-tech, future-focused company, but its website, with its greyscale and reserved graphics, wasn’t expressing that. Stonehaven went through a brand overhaul and a website makeover to show that they’re not your typical broker-dealer–They’re on a whole other level.
Founded by David Frank in 2001, Stonehaven is a global capital markets FinTech platform that allows Affiliate Partners (investment bankers and placement agents) and companies to raise capital, conduct secondaries, and execute M&A transactions while helping investors source, diligence and invest.
If you’re not familiar with the broker-dealer industry, that may sound complicated—It did to us, too, when we started this project. So to break it down, Stonehaven exists for this reason: Companies want to grow and conduct other transactions, investors want to identify high quality investment opportunities, and Affiliate Partners want to strategically connect the two. That’s why Stonehaven created its platform—To provide the infrastructure, technology and community facilitate capital markets activities between these 3 major players.
When Stonehaven reached out to us to help overhaul its brand and marketing website, our main challenge became clear: We needed to create a site that spoke to all three audiences simultaneously, while funneling them to learn more about the value Stonehaven provides to them specifically. The current site was classic and informative, but lacked boldness and modernity that would tell the world they were the most innovative, intelligent platform out there.
We wanted to make sure it was clear right from the Homepage that Stonehaven is on the cutting edge of FinTech. In collaboration with our partners at NK Studio, this is how we made it happen.
1. Brand Narrative Workshop
At Indicius we know that a great branding process starts with defining the message behind the brand: Its mission, vision, values, personality, competitive advantage, and a deep understanding of what its customers want and need. That’s why we started Stonehaven’s branding process with a Brand Narrative Workshop, which took our client through a series of exercises to define who Stonehaven is, why it exists, and how they help their customers reach their goals.
This workshop formed the basis not only of the written content for Stonehaven’s website but also its visual identity. The design team paid especially close attention to the “Personality Slider” exercise, where we defined Stonehaven as a rebellious, innovative player in the market who is trying to shake things up while maintaining sophistication and authority.
2. Visual Branding
The decisions made in the Brand Narrative Workshop were then applied to a new logo and Style Tile that would form Stonehaven’s new brand identity. The design team presented four options for the client to choose.
They started with the new logo, which maintained the idea of growth and interconnectedness shown by the arrows in the original logo, while freshening it up with modern, geometric shapes. The next step was the Style Tile, which forms the basis of a website’s look by defining typography, colors, and interface elements. Stonehaven’s Style Tile added bright blue (Bluetiful 💙) as the main brand color to bring an element of excitement, with pops of yellow and burnt orange to give a sense of unexpectedness. As we added these exciting new elements, we made sure the brand maintained a clean, professional look that would build trust in customers.
At the end of this phase, we delivered all the branding elements in a Brand Manual, which is a library of the brand’s style that serves as a current and future reference for designers. All tied up in a bow.
3. Website Design
With the style tile confirmed, we moved onto the longest, yet most rewarding phase of the process: Design and development of the marketing website.
Building on our clients’ ideas, a few key elements of the new site helped us speak to all three of Stonehaven’s audiences—Affiliate Partners, companies, and investors—Right off the Home page. One was an animated sentence in the Hero that rotated through the services for each audience. Another was the value proposition chart, whose content we worked and re-worked until it perfectly represented the many areas of value for each audience, based on which one a user clicks.
Perhaps the crowning achievement of the web redesign was a custom set of animated, isometric illustrations and icons. The illustrators at Esmile Studio worked closely with us and our client to ensure each illustration clearly and accurately depicted each of Stonehaven’s values and services. Illustration animations were accompanied by on-scroll illustrations, on the homepage particularly, giving the whole site a sense of constant movement and flow.
Stonehaven is constantly innovating its technology and growing its community. Now it has a site with innovation and growth written all over it. Right from the homepage, users will be able to see a value proposition tailored to them and be dazzled by sophisticated, innovative design—Two essentials for conversion.
This is just the beginning of Stonehaven’s new chapter. We are already working together to apply the new branding to social media, sales decks, and other assets that the Stonehaven team will be proud to share with their clients.
While we began this project unfamiliar with Stonehaven’s industry, we were ultimately able to work together and succeed in this project because of the key values we share: Moving forward no matter the challenge, and working diligently until we have created something we’re proud to show off.
“Stonehaven conducted a thorough search for a world-class design and website development team, and we are very happy we found Indicius. The entire process was very professional, thoughtful, creative, and well-managed. We worked extremely closely, and the Indicius team was highly responsive to many rounds of feedback. Tight project management helped us stay on track, and our geographic distance played no role on our seamless communication. The team is very talented and personable, and we look forward to continuing to collaborate on future initiatives.”
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