Brand Marketing Strategy Helps Summit Mortgage Extend National Reach

Founded in 1992, Summit Mortgage is a mid-sized mortgage lender based in Minneapolis with local branches throughout the U.S. As secondary lenders, they provide personalized services to first-time homebuyers, military veterans, current homeowners looking to refinance, and investors at competitive rates. When Summit Mortgage approached Olive & Company, they had recently experienced a leadership change, empowering them to set ambitious company objectives for the years to come. With these new goals in mind, the need for an updated, clear-cut brand marketing strategy became a priority.

The Challenge

The challenges for Summit Mortgage were twofold – the structure of their existing website wasn’t approachable for potential homebuyers and loan officers, and their branding was outdated. At the time, each of the 80+ Summit Mortgage loan officers had their own microsite, resulting in a variety of brand voices, multiple marketing approaches, and SEO-limiting duplicate page content. The overabundance of sites was also unmanageable for their internal team, contributing to redundant, and in some cases, inaccurate content that was confusing for website visitors.

Summit Mortgage Corporation Logo Design
A selection of Olive & Company's brand work for Summit Mortgage.

The Process

To better understand the Summit Mortgage brand, Olive conducted a series of interviews with internal and external stakeholders and held a brand discovery workshop with senior leadership team members. From this research, we created a full brand platform, buyer personas, customer journey maps, and key messages for the marketing team and loan officers to use going forward. When it came to the website redesign, we created a unified template for all loan officer profiles within the website, created new content to help educate homebuyers on the loan process, revamped loan officer recruitment steps, and implemented an updated structure and design to make the website more user-friendly. Prior to launch, Olive also helped create a Launch Box containing updated marketing collateral that was sent to each Summit branch office to drum up excitement and get all teams on the same page from a brand consistency standpoint.

The Results

With a modernized website, updated visual identity, and new marketing materials, Summit Mortgage is now equipped with the tools they need to ensure all marketing communications, including social media content, are on-brand and in line with their new direction. The intuitive, easy-to-use website continues to generate business with past, current, and future customers, as well as attract prospective loan officers. Additionally, Olive customized WordPress to meet the specific needs of Summit Mortgage, allowing them to quickly and easily add or update content with no need to write or edit code. And with an eye toward future growth, Summit Mortgage continues to partner with Olive for ongoing marketing support and website enhancements to maximize the value of their current efforts and future initiatives.

Project Highlights

  • Defining the Summit Mortgage brand for a new generation provided a foundation for future marketing endeavors.
  • Integration of all website properties into a single, unified website improved user experience, site performance, and site administration.
  • The updated website content and experience is straightforward and approachable for all users.

Services Provided

  • Brand Strategy
  • Visual Identity and Guidelines
  • Web Design and Development
  • Marketing Strategy and Management
The Summit Mortgage website shown in responsive desktop and tablet displays.