Pamlico Capital is a sophisticated private equity firm that manages capital and leveraged buyout investments in middle-market companies in the business services, technology services, telecommunications and healthcare industries. Based in Charlotte, NC, the team originally entered the market as First UNION Capital Partners in 1988. The firm rebranded to Wachovia Capital Partners in the early 2000s and eventually spun out of Wachovia as part of the Wells Fargo acquisition process, rebranding again, as Pamlico Capital.
In early 2013, the Pamlico Capital team decided that it was time to retire their existing website and create an entirely new digital experience. Pamlico Capital chose to partner with the UNION team to craft this new digital experience to better tell their brand story and articulate the firm’s value proposition.
An Established Brand with New Style
As with most established brands, Pamlico wished to maintain their value and market edge with investors and entrepreneurs. However, they also wished to take advantage of more opportunities within the middle markets to drive growth — seeking new clients and segments of business to engage. To fulfill this vision, Pamlico would have to transform its online experience and embrace cutting-edge brand practices.
UNION reviewed their existing brand assets and worked with Pamlico’s senior management team to identify elements that could be leveraged within the new platform. We also presented mood boards to help Pamlico visualize areas in which we felt new brand elements and styles could be introduced to push the entire style of the brand forward. Afterward, we built a brand style guide that would be used to guide our visual design work as well as marketing materials created by others in order to ensure everything would be designed with a consistent look and feel.
Outlining the Framework
Pamlico manages $3.8 billion in assets — invested across many of the nation’s industry-leading companies. Their work is thoughtful, intentional, and high quality. It is also driven by personal relationships.
With these knowns, as well as insights from qualitative and quantitative research, UNION set out to break the mold of private equity marketing experiences. We received a crash course on leveraged buyout investments, incorporated all appropriate digital opportunities for Pamlico and presented wireframes of our strategy that would enable a richer, more memorable storytelling experience — while still addressing the business needs of Pamlico’s various audiences.
Our platform strategy would need to address their great work, leadership and 23-year past — as well as their future and their business network — all working together to properly communicate the key messages of value, stature and business credibility.
Designing the Experience
Pamlico’s new digital platform experience was designed as a fully responsive website that scales to deliver the same user-friendly experience across any connected device.
Designed for Validation
Visual storytelling was emphasized throughout the site to craft a better and more engaging experience for readers. A primary goal was to quickly create a sense of validation that Pamlico was a seasoned and credible firm.
To assist the Pamlico team in realizing this editorial (and personal) feel, UNION developed visual concepts and art direction for the platform, which strongly encouraged the people of the team to take a central role in the story itself.
A valued UNION partner, Sean Busher, was engaged to capture the essence of the Pamlico team and their culture through still images and video footage. To further enhance the new digital platform, UNION put a content management system in place to support the new website and allow the Pamlico team to track leads as well as update their website content to keep it current and relevant.
Active CEOs and Investors
Lower middle-market business owners and potential private-equity investors were the two key audiences for Pamlico. Building a platform that would respond to various types of connected devices was important to reach these two busy target groups, since both do a great deal of business from their smartphones.
“We were very happy with our decision to partner with UNION for the design and development of our new website. The team was extremely helpful and organized throughout the process, and produced an end result that exceeded our expectations. It was a significant departure from the look and feel of websites that you generally see in our space, and has provided a better platform for reaching out to the various constituencies with whom we work.”