Inside the Waterworks

Change your business model, expand into new niche markets, extend your technology, and do it all quickly and well - people need to know about it! Investors, customers, potential customers. One of our clients, Clean Membranes, did just that, in terms of a business transformation, and let us be part of the process. A new logo, a literature system, a unified look and message, a new responsive, immersive website, all on hyper-speed. And more to come.

Clean Membranes was transforming itself from a start-up solely focused on treating fracking water to a firm that was addressing unmet water treatment needs from laboratories to olympic pools, to cooling towers and emergency water supplies. There was technology continuity and system engineering continuity across these new niche markets, and an application continuity in terms of “water” (hence the title Waterworks), but the client was aiming to reach new types of customers, and speak their specific language.

Unified look & message

One thing we knew was critical: strong imagery. A lab is a lab is a lab - but it can look mundane or come alive. Tim Llewellyn, our go-to videographer/photographer, makes things come alive. We spent a day in their lab and pilot plant, and their partner’s manufacturing site, and got 11 “scenes” and 976 outtakes.

The message - that came earlier in the process, with the client team and our team at WeWork in an in-depth strategy and action drill with our print designer and web designer and writer/strategist. And a bright, engaged, opinionated, and open client team. It really was a co-creative effort, critical for any marketing initiative, but even more important when things are moving quickly. The tone and direction was set nicely, which helped drive photo and design decisions.

Design in the Device

It was important for the client to be strong on mobile. One thing our lead web designer/coder does: design in the device. We coded a responsive site early in the process, so the client could easily see how designs worked in mobile, on tablets and on desktops. One simple thing: specification tables (critical to engineers!) needed to be designed to “respond” as you shrink the viewing window.

Won’t Swim the Same

It helped that our clients had decades of experience in water treatment and water purification, and knew as much about their core technology, ultrafiltration, as anyone. It helped that we had a science background and had been in labs and manufacturing plants around the world, getting customer stories for other clients. They learned something about web QC with “browser stack” to test the new site quickly on hundreds of devices. We learned something about “sand filter backwash filtration”, which we never knew about! And we’ll think about that jumping into a pool in the dead of winter, and how, in a small way, we’re helping our client make that jump better.