Case Study: DC Elevator

The Kentucky independent elevator company is a remarkable example of the client we love to serve: A professional service company that lives and breathes their attitude of servitude, founded to outwork their competitors and to offer the best service experience possible.

The Client

Founded in 1977 by Danny and Charlie Breaden, the company set out to provide its customer base with skilled technicians and prompt service at a competitive price.

Four decades later, they are the largest independent elevator company with five branch offices, serving 2,000+ clients in five states with over 80 employees.

The Challenge

Blessed with continuous growth, the company needed to match the visual brand and messaging to their service quality and scale of performance.

It had outgrown the beloved but dated identity and was ready to embrace the structure and organizational representation of a market leader, utilizing 21st Century corporate communications.

The Solution

Analyzing company and brand and setting the strategic direction, employing our 10-week 360-degree strategic positioning program, we worked with the DC Elevator leadership in 2016 to plot a course for their company’s success.

We developed until July 2017, launched a strong and influential brand, and a state-of-the-art website.

The Story So Far

In August of 2016, DC Elevator reached out to us and inquired about an update of their website. As we reviewed site and brand, they decided that the 40th company anniversary be an excellent time to usher the brand into the 21st Century and offer their audiences a more extensive range of information on company, products, and services.

In a two-day on-site workshop with leadership and key employees, we captured the status quo of the company, worked through a range of proprietary analytical models, and discussed goals, needs, and expectations.

Founder Danny Breaden and President Steve Bowlds

We interviewed the surviving founder of the company and the current president in detail to learn more about the firm’s history, the ‘DNA’ of the business and how employees and clients interact. The result of the ten-week process was a booklet with a complete analysis and strategic recommendations, which after two years still serves as a guidebook, reference manual, and inspirational origin story, influencing messaging and long-term goal setting.

The Results of Our Diagnostic Approach

Using another proprietary process, we developed the company’s new brand. It involved more than just a visual update to a contemporary standard – it redefined everything from corporate communication to the company name. Please meet DC Elevator!


We hired expert Louisville developer Net Tango to work with us to create a streamlined and easy-to-navigate design featuring flexible case studies, a custom interactive location map, bold typography, and a more user-focused navigation structure. Rick Lee, an experienced Charleston photographer, captured the essence of critical employees and shot beautiful stills of the tools and building blocks of the business. We wrote over 47 individual web pages and described the company in detail with no less than 92,000 words.

Responsive Custom Website

WordPress offers the flexibility of plugins to add any functionality as needed and is technically already an excellent platform for SEO, right out of the box. The Yoast plugin we utilize is written to improve the site’s SEO on all needed aspects. Certification in the use of the #1 SEO plugin enables us to go the extra mile, to take care of all the technical optimizations, and to write better content. The optimized pages have higher relevancy in Google searches. We measure, optimize, and validate our SEO with Google Analytics and the Google Search Console, continuously.

Clicks and impressions on Google Search speak for themselves

We designed over 30 data sheets, a set of rack cards outlining the main areas of business, a custom folder, localized stationery for the headquarters and five branch offices, specialty labels, and a range of additional deliverables to communicate the new brand to all audiences. Employees and clients alike cheered the look and feel, highly visible and instantly familiar.

Print Collateral

The visual brand was applied to over 200 vehicles throughout the company’s service area, communicating the URL, vehicle number, and the company’s ESOP status. We worked closely with a Kentucky service provider, keeping the proofing and application process smooth and within budget. Keep your eyes peeled; you might see a DC Elevator truck today or tomorrow!

Elevator Service Vehicle

We continue to develop new content for the company, who was recently nominated by their industry for Elevator World Magazine’s Ellies Award in the category Best Contractor Southeast. Our work includes communicating the brand to audiences and employees, alike, working closely with the Charleston Marketing Department, developing marketing goals, creating deliverables, and carefully evaluating the impact of our efforts, following the Made in Germany marketing process.

” … an 80% increase in revenue, attributed to brand perception …”

The impact our strategy, branding, and content services provided since 2016 is measurable indeed – in 2017 the DC Elevator leadership confirmed an 80% increase in revenue, attributed to brand perception gained. As the company has outgrown the Small Business Enterprise Size Standards as defined by the SBA, they now officially have attained the status of a large business. We are excited with them and proud to have contributed to their growth.

DC Elevator Rack Cards

In 2019, the company moved into its new National headquarters. With over 16,000 square feet on two levels, sitting on over 2.5 acres of land, DC Elevator has enough room to grow for the next decades.

DC Elevator Headquarters at 709 Miles Point Way, Lexington, Kentucky

From there, they will shape the future of the business and the industry – training and growing the next generation of elevator technicians, project managers, and company leadership – all within their (well decorated) walls. An outstanding example of American ingenuity and performance, setting a standard of excellence since 1977!

Welcome Area Logo Artwork

Disclaimer: DC Elevator was acquired by the American Elevator Group in 2020 and changed to a groupwide website template in 2022. While the content featured currently might differ from that provided by Made in Germany, our case studies – a most prominent feature – transitioned into the new format. Please read them here.

In 2017, Made in Germany updated our brand and corporate communications. From strategy to execution, Mr. Kiel guided us through the complicated process. With transparency and a smile, and an outcome well worthwhile. We highly recommend Jens Kiel and his company for your brand and marketing concerns and look forward to our continued business relationship. Steve Bowlds, President

DC Elevator Company

124 Venture Court, Suite 1
Lexington, KY 40511

tel (859) 254-8224
fax (859) 231-8740