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Lawton Standard raises the bar in marketing and communications: An interview with Terra L. Fletcher

Lawton Standard works with Terra L. Fletcher of Fletcher Consulting to ensure consistent imagery and messaging across their foundries. Here’s what she told us in a recent interview.

Terra, please tell us what you do for the Lawton companies. I understand you started with The C.A. Lawton Co.?

My first introduction to C.A. Lawton was in 2016 or 2017. The company had been in business for nearly 140 years yet had never done social media marketing. Together, we developed a robust social media presence: LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

With help from Cultivate Communications, C.A. Lawton redesigned their website to offer deeper content. Together, we developed an editorial calendar and blogging schedule. Though the #MoltenMonday posts featuring gorgeous molten metal were popular on social media, we needed something with more depth to move potential customers closer to choosing Lawton. The blogs and email newsletters have really made an impact.

And how were you able to help other companies as the Lawton family grew?

I learned so much from The C.A. Lawton Co. I’ve designed checklists and communications plans that helped each company that was added to the family transition smoother than the last.

C.A. Lawton’s interns have been instrumental in carrying out the regular social media posts in the last few years. This frees me to work on brand identity guides, social media policies, terms of use, and big-picture marketing and communications planning. In addition, because our current intern, Sarah Sprout, has taken the initiative to keep the content calendar up to date and add to the social networks, I’ve been able to help refine the marketing collateral for each foundry.

Where did you start?

Temperform’s website was the first big project I tackled for our sister company. Their website was ok, but it wasn’t easy to update, and the General Manager didn’t like the dark sepia tones of the site. Temperform’s logo colors are orange and brown, making it hard to design a pretty site or brochure. Rather than redo their logo, we added a bright, cheery, yellow color to their brand identity.

To bring some consistency between C.A. Lawton and Temperform, I used the same website fonts and other elements to help them look like sisters. For example, CA Lawton’s slogan is “Remarkable people. Remarkable results.” Temperform chose “We are remarkable” for its tagline.

Being inspired by C.A. Lawton, Temperform quickly ramped up its social media efforts and soon posted twice/week on most channels. Once their website was ready, we added in blogging and soon a monthly newsletter.

Penn-Mar Castings was next on the list. Their site was dated. I mean, it was built on software that no one uses anymore, and because the name changed from Inc. to LLC, we really need to update the website. It required a complete overhaul because the old one wasn’t user-friendly. You’ll notice it very much looks like Temperform’s sister. I built lawtonstandard.com with the same look. You’ll know you’re in the right place if you visit any of the companies.

Speaking of Lawton Standard, let’s talk about them for a minute. How did that identity come to be?

Before the leadership team knew what the company would be, they had a placeholder name. And let me tell you, it took several meetings, one-to-one interviews, and lots of brainstorming to come up with Lawton Standard. But it was unanimous. You can read more about it in the press release.

Once the name was decided, I created an identity for The Lawton Standard Co. First, we went through a few rounds of logo ideation. Then, I made a couple of website mockups and our marketing intern, Sarah, helped get the social media usernames claimed and accounts started. Email signatures, business cards, and other collateral came next. Once I mock up something everyone likes, we work with designers to polish the design.

A similar thing happened with our identity for The C.A. Lawton Co. in Minster, OH. That company’s name changed when they became a second location of The C.A. Lawton Co. because we couldn’t retain their previous name. They were proud to be part of the Lawton family, but we worried they’d lost a bit of their identity. Rather than rebrand everything, Andy Mastalir suggested we change the color of the classic C.A. Lawton logo and add their city to the logo. I mocked up several shades of green. After the votes were in, we picked what we liked. Everyone was happy! Sarah made a cool split color logo for social media. I added a page to calawton.com to feature the Ohio location and added the new green color.

HR comes in to play here too. For example, they asked about getting banners and table covers for an event in Minster, OH. The logo I designed with the green was ok for smaller applications, but I’m not a pro designer. I knew it would have to be enhanced for any large application. HR mocked up the banners and table covers; then, we passed it off to the designers to finalize it. They took my clunky logo recoloring attempt and made it shine! I’m so proud of how well our skills were utilized in this instance; everyone focused on what they do best, which saves us all time and money.

Do you work with HR often?

I work very closely with Human Resources. Hiring is a significant need at many of our locations right now. So we’re constantly asking questions like, “how can we let the right people know why this is a great place to work?”

Our skilled HR departments help with our “people posts.” They showcase our culture and show behind the scenes at each of our foundries on social media so potential employees can see what it might be like to work here. Having interns, HR, and myself create content means we get more variety than if only one person were posting. It keeps our posts exciting and engaging. But because we all stick to the style guides, everything fits the overall brand. And because I don’t have a dedicated intern at each location (yet), HR helps fill the gap.

What’s next for The Lawton Standard family of companies?

There’s still work to be done on marketing and communications. I’ll be doing website audits, getting Penn-Mar’s email newsletter going, and creating sales tools like case studies. In addition, I’ve been working on standardizing the capabilities documents. So if you’ve seen one, you’ll recognize the others and be able to find the info you need quickly and easily.

November and December are short months. So, The Lawton Standard Co. has all marketing and communication plans for each of their locations completed before the end of October. I recently met with the gentlemen in the C-Suite to ensure the overall goals and objectives that I’ve outlined for each foundry are what they have envisioned.

I’m grateful they’ve given me much freedom to push forward in whatever direction I think is best. They encourage me to “run fast and break stuff.” We like to fail quickly so we can improve.

Be sure to follow each of the Lawton companies on social media to see what we’re up to!

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