In-depth research
and hard-hitting
strategy first

The Problem

Updated marketing for an updated brand

Northern Kentucky University has been working hard on its brand. The university has a very distinct look and feel, but it also has a very distinct on-campus culture that they needed to more strongly weave through their marketing. A huge selling point of the university is the small-town campus culture, but with access to big city benefits being so near to Cincinnati. It’s a hard message to pinpoint and articulate. Additionally, NKU needed to ensure that their website was serving their unique audiences: current students, prospective students, and staff. The university already had an agency of record with which they had been working for years, and this agency was heading up a lot of their initiatives. But when it comes to website strategy and development, the agency reached out to Choptank for support.

The Solution

In-depth research and strategy

Choptank was brought in to conduct research with current students, potential students, and staff. To truly understand their needs from a website perspective and to help round out the brand messaging strategy, Choptank needed to get face-to-face with the people at the heart of this tight-knit university culture. Through one-on-one interviews, on-campus focus groups and broader online surveying, we were able to get to the meat of the expectations of each audience. We built marketing personas to reflect the different demographics and audience groups that needed served by NKU marketing, and leveraged those personas to build a website sitemap and taxonomy structure for multiple NKU websites. Consulting with their lead agency on creative, we then took on front-end development and handed off dev files to NKU’s internal marketing team for implementation of the various websites. Ongoing collaboration with these teams was critical throughout the creative and back-end development phases, so we stayed on as consulting support until the new websites were launched or, at least, well underway.

Naming, branding,
strategy, and a full
marketing program

The Problem

A current client expands

RF WasteWater, a current website design and development client of Choptank and international powerhouse in environmental waste water remediation, had expanded as a company.The company focused on turning waste water, from places such as breweries, into fresh usable water for other businesses. With the expansion of their company came a new portfolio of tangental services. While these services didn’t fully fit under the service set of RF WasteWater, they were complementary and an essential part of the future vision of the company. The client came to Choptank to help plan the marketing vision of the company.

THE Solution

A new company emerges

Choptank worked with RF WasteWater to name this new arm of the company as Nuvoda, or literally “new water.” Additionally, we developed the logo, brand messaging platform, collateral, marketing materials and a new website for the client. With initial success for the brand and a fleshed out brand voice, Nuvoda needed a platform to communicate with their audience base during events and on an ongoing basis to support their content marketing strategy. So, Choptank worked with them to launch a presence on social media. We built a social media messaging strategy, content calendars, and social content for Nuvoda and we continue to support the execution and management of this strategy across their social channels. Not only does the company have an outlet and audience base for their content and messaging, but is having two-way conversations with their customer base like never before. In addition, Choptank is working with Nuvoda on several new top-secret initiatives set to roll out soon.

Mobile app ideation,
strategy, and development

the problem

Innovation in a world of innovation

Express was looking for fresh “outside of the box” ideas for a new mobile application. With the launch of the Apple watch and the crazy emerging technology in the mobile space, Express wanted their mobile app to provide innovative and cutting-edge technology, more strongly tie their retail experiences with their online experiences, and further position themselves as the fashion authority that they have grown to become. The Express team asked Choptank to ideate new mobile app features that leverage emerging tech in innovative new ways and keep them on the forefront of fashion app innovation.


Augmented reality mobile app

To better connect a customer’s experience with Express across the retail space and the mobile channel, Choptank ideated, sketched, and designed multiple mobile application options. Through a rigorous narrowing-down process based on specific criteria, Choptank and Express landed on a mobile app that leverages augmented reality through a customer’s mobile device when the customer is in-store. Through cutting-edge technology, this application would be used by customers in the retail store as they interact with mannequins and other POP displays to get the down low on new looks, complementary styles and accessories, and tips from Express stylists. In addition to the augmented reality features, the app also leveraged content, motion graphics, video, interactive menus, and more.

Branding, naming, strategy,
web, social, content…
name it

The problem

An exploding brand (in a good way)

Sinkology was one of Choptank’s first clients – and the relationship is still going strong. Sinkology was producing beautiful, handmade, solid copper kitchen and bathroom sinks for years, but selling under retailers’ store brand names. They were working with some of the biggest home retailers in the market to distribute their products: Home Depot, Lowes, Menards, Overstock, and even Amazon. But the brand needed to establish itself as a standalone name, so they reached out to Choptank to get the ball rolling.

Sinkology (then under a different brand name) was having huge success selling through third-party retailers as sub-brands, that they saw a business need to expand what they were doing. By rebranding as a consistent, standalone brand, the company was able to provide a more holistic approach while still offering the same high-quality, handmade sinks and products.

The solution

A true partnership

Choptank was engaged to help rename the company, develop the branding and launch a new award-winning website. The projects went so well that Sinkology engage Choptank on a retainer basis to support them with social media support, SEO services, content marketing and blog services, award-winning print design, photography, videography, and overall strategic support. Choptank works in lockstep with Sinkology to launch new products, promote sales, run advertising, forge new partnerships for the brand and more.

With an innovative and progressive brand like Sinkology, they need support that is as nimble and thoughtful as they are. The company is always pushing to expand the copper sink category, but also to break into new categories and innovate products – both new and old. Choptank answers the need to be quick and nimble with our support and our thoughtfulness. Sinkology and Choptank are a great fit with each other because we are both passionate about what we do, and we have a great deal of respect and trust in each other. A true partnership like this has yielded great successes for both sides and forged strong relationships that are leading to even more awesome work and killer results.

A website redesign
as massive and innovative
as our client

The Problem

Big changes for a big company

Things Remembered was truly evolving its brand. A new logo, a new look, new products, new photography styles, you name it, they were updating it. With the new leadership and new vision, the brand also needed a new website. eCommerce website are already complex, but with the addition of the personalization aspect from the Things Remembered brand, even more complexities were involved.

THE Solution

Planning, design, and collaboration

Things Remembered engaged Choptank to help them, not only design a new look for their website, but to help them plan the website sitemap, taxonomy, flow of the personalization process, and other strategic planning initiatives. Once we were able to create a plan for these complex pieces, we designed the look and feel of over 30 different website templates and countless features and widgets. Working with Things Remembered internal marketing team and with their back-end development team, we were able to support the client with the upfront planning and design work, and seamlessly pass the designs off to the development team according to their requirements. While Choptank handles development for projects of many scales, we worked in lockstep with the Things Remembered dev team throughout the entire process to ensure the smoothest of smooth transitions.

Strategizing, launching,
and expanding a large
direct mail campaign


Direct mail campaigns

When Adidas approached Choptank about their Outlet Store marketing support, they hadn’t launched direct mail in the U.S. before. The company had identified a few target markets in which to test their direct mailers (around a few specific high-performing outlet locations), but needed some help on the best approaches to ensure maximum impact of these campaigns.



Piloting and expansion

Tiptoeing into this arena, Choptank provided guidance on the marketing strategy and the approach to the direct mail campaign. Working together, Choptank and Adidas developed a campaign of marketing tactics that targeted Adidas’s outlet locations in Florida for a pilot launch. Including 2 tip-on cards with different offers and a “text to win” program, Choptank helped to design direct mailers and newspaper inserts. Choptank and Adidas built tracking on every aspect of the campaign. While redemption and “text to win” entries were tracked by Adidas, other links in the program were tracked and reported by Choptank to get a full view of the customer activity driven by the campaign.

After a successful pilot of the program in Florida, Adidas wanted to expand the program to include California. With new offers, Choptank designed a new campaign, including direct mail pieces and newspaper inserts. Redemption of offers in this second campaign showed a 3x redemption rate increase in California over Florida.