Case Histories


The U.S. Army

Iraq and Afghanistan make the headlines. However, one of the most dangerous places to be an American soldier is on highways at home. Last year alone, the U.S. Army lost more than 170 soldiers through fatalities in personal vehicles, as well as through other accidental deaths.

The Army came to Forté for fresh and creative thinking when it came to reaching soldiers about driving safety, as well as a host of other important topics. And it needed those messages quickly, delivered in a memorable fashion.

Working with the Army’s internal resources, Forté launched into an extensive production schedule, producing more than fifty separate spots during a five-month period, giving the Army ammunition to pitch soldier safety, from high-end production values to messages more tactically-driven in scope.


Lloyd/Flanders has been a mainstay of the casual furniture market for more than a century, manufacturing wicker outdoor furniture to endure against the elements – and changes in taste – for generations. Yet the company leadership worried that its brand had stagnated, a concern echoed by sales representatives and retailers alike.

Forté was asked to help inject new life into the Lloyd/Flanders brand. Just as importantly, Forté was asked to help facilitate a new strategic direction for the company as the Lloyd/Flanders leadership developed new priorities and the beginning of a long-term plan for growth.

Because brand is far more than a tag line and a logo change, Forté help mapped out a comprehensive strategic approach to launch the new brand in ways that reach every possible touch point with consumers, retailers, and strategic partners. Even at this early date, preliminary reports show fresh interest and excitement around Lloyd/Flanders.

Summer Classics

Summer Classics a manufacturer/retailer of high-end outdoor furnishings, indoor furnishings, and accessories had enjoyed a decade of steady growth, selling to 300+ wholesale dealers, along with 11 company-owned and licensed retail stores and the contract furnishings industry.

Recognizing the beauty of the product, Forté convinced the client to establish a brand appealing to customers at its retail stores, rather than simply market wholesale to dealer. While newspaper was traditionally Summer Classics’ media centerpiece Forté convinced Summer Classics to use broadcast as well. A modest television and cable campaign launched in the spring, 2006, in the Birmingham test market. After local success, the program expanded to include a dozen markets from Texas to Kentucky, the Carolinas to Florida.

With television acting as catalyst, 2007 saw record growth for the company. In fact, from 2004-2007 Forté’s effort helped fuel a near tripling of sales growth. In 2009, knowing an online presence could impact sales even further, Forté launched a social media presence and a cost-per click media campaign in support of the traditional methods.  Forté also developed the company’s licensed retail store sales and marketing program and supported its contract and wholesale divisions with various projects. Summer Classics enjoyed nearly 300% growth in the process.


Summer Classics has long been known as a family-owned maker of timeless, classic outdoor furniture. At the same time, how does one develop product line extensions without diluting the original brand?

Forté, longtime marketers of Summer Classics, was asked to consider the best way to develop a line of accessories for the home. Unique in nature, made in exotic locations and using unusual materials, the new product line would be made up of accents that complimented Summer Classics’ already strong furniture offerings.

Our solution was to develop a completely different brand with a distinct identity, thereby allowing separation from Summer Classics main product offerings. The brand, Gabby, was taken from the name of a family member to underscore the uniqueness of the brand. And the brand statement, “Décor with a story,” speaks to the ability of Gabby products to inspire conversation.

Gabby Home’s successful launch has provided Summer Classics with a new and growing product line. In a market where big-ticket furniture sales are more challenging, Gabby allows Summer Classics an avenue to generate additional revenue.


In today’s healthcare debate, one of the most overlooked facts is how few medical professionals actually make a profit in their practices. Industry reports show 50% of all surgical centers only break even or operate at a loss. Ambulatory Surgical Centers Of America, our client, is the nationwide leader in the surgery center management, turnaround and development industry.  ASCOA’s unique operating model and physician ownership make their free-standing facilities and hospital joint ventures outperform the industry in profitability and patient care.

Forté was asked to develop a campaign that underscored ASCOA’s incredible track record for success. Just as importantly, we were asked to develop a message that cut through the clutter of ho-hum advertising in a conservative industry.

Our solution? In-your-face creative in both print and web that forced ASC owners to analyze their financial track records, doing so in a humorous way. At the same time, we highlighted ASCOA’s track unmatched track record for achieving profitability.

Today, ASCOA is proud to have turned around or developed more than 60 surgical centers around the country. Hundreds of ASCOA’s physician partners enjoy the benefits of a better return on investment from their professional lives.

The Jimmie Hale Mission

The problems of poverty, homelessness and hopelessness are more pressing than ever. And, since 1944, the extraordinary ministry of The Jimmie Hale Mission has made a difference for untold numbers of those who needed help the most.

In 2003, The Jimmie Hale Mission engaged Forté to help it grow in its service to the men and women of Birmingham. In addition to increasing donations, Forté has involved itself in a host of areas, from the creation of a strong brand to supporting a wide array of services designed to help women and children, provide important jobs training, raise money through the operation of thrift, and achieve spiritual growth among those who have lost everything—giving them the strength to begin their lives anew.

Our brand line is “Our Product Is Changed Lives.” And nothing describes the ministry of The Jimmie Hale Mission better. It is a source of humble pride at Forté that, in our own modest way, we contribute to such an amazing story.

Today, The Jimmie Hale Mission has enjoyed spectacular growth, as evidenced by its new campus east of downtown. More importantly, the Mission is able to serve ever larger numbers of those in need, so that no one hungry is ever turned away.

Jimmie Hale Mission Cutouts


The world’s greatest health problem? The lack of clean drinking water. At Forté, we believe strongly in marketing for a purpose. When approached by Neverthirst, we leapt at the opportunity to make a difference for people in Africa and Asia.


The first priority was fundraising. Our challenge was to create a sense of urgency among potential donors, ensuring that Neverthirst would be funded enough to execute their mission of drilling wells.

We developed materials that dramatized the need for clean water, showing how unsafe water supplies greatly increases the number of deaths from diseases such as cholera and hepatitis. At the same time, Forté developed a strong visual display program that complemented Neverthirst’s fundraising efforts. Forté’s Jamie Warren and photographer Jason Wallis even went to India, showing just how far we’ll go to meet the client’s needs.

Finally, because there is no area of our client’s operations that doesn’t deserve our very best effort, we created a compelling environment for Neverthirst’s inaugural fundraiser. Interactive displays highlighted both the chronic need for clean water in the developing world and showed how Neverthirst means hope for so many. The result? The launch was an absolute success, going a long ways towards meeting the organization’s fundraising goals, in turn allowing them to expand operations.

Neverthirst I Neverthirst II Neverthirst III Neverthirst IV Neverthirst V Neverthirst VIII

Trident Technologies

In computing, Database Management is becoming more and more of a strategic priority to large organizations. From the everyday friction of reconciling different databases to finding valuable information for better sales and performance, this highly-specialized field of information science is becoming more and more in demand.

Trident Technologies, a new company, asked Forté to help reach a highly select number of blue-chip accounts with its message of database specialization. At the same time, Trident needed to reach a diverse number of industries in both the private and federal sectors.

Given the very small target market, Forté eschewed traditional media solutions in favor of one that truly hit paydirt. While token print ads announced our presence to the overall business community, we chose an innovative path to create awareness: We distributed metal detectors to our fifty prospects, complete with a message that underscored our ability to find solutions when it came to databases. Delivery was coordinated with the development of an updated website, ensuring a consistent brand.

The result? A message that could not be ignored. The metal detectors were delivered, and follow-up calls were made. Already, new clients are signing up with Trident. All because we told them where to look for the best results.

Gone For Good

Organizations need sensitive documents destroyed. People with 
disabilities want to feel productive. United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Birmingham found a way to serve both with Gone For Good, a document destruction company, and asked us at Forté for help.

Our primary focus was to assure businesses that the Gone For Good could be entrusted with sensitive documents. To accomplish this, we stressed the organizations security measures with a step-by-step visual portrayal of the shredding process.

At the same time, we wanted to communicate the human dimension of Gone For Good’s mission. The spot’s voiceover, a communication device used by those in the later stages of the disease, intrigues the viewer at first until the ultimate identify of the spokesperson is revealed. The result? Immediate attention from the business community, laying the foundation for ongoing sales efforts.


Founders Investment Banking

When it comes to marketing, quality of prospects is often far more important than quantity. So when Founders Investment Banking came to Forté for ways to find potential clients for mergers, acquisitions, and other strategic decision-making, we were ready to help.

We developed materials for a seminar designed to intrigue CEOs needing to maximize the value of their companies. The all-day seminar was marketed primarily through direct mail, referral relationships, and a micro-site. Only a select list of carefully chosen prospects were contacted. 

Our creative approach underscores the need for companies to remain vigilant to opportunities and responsive in volatile economic times. Further, Forté designed the seminar materials as well to create distinctive professionalism, which would provide a halo affect for other areas of its operations.

The seminar met its attendance goals. Just as importantly, Founders’ seminar provided extraordinarily valuable information, building a foundation of new clients for growth.
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