DCT Industrial

DCT Industrial turned a yearly shareholder report into a long-term brand strategy.
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Make the annual report larger than just numbers.

DCT Industrial is a real estate leader in acquisition, development, leasing and management of light industrial properties. In 2013, the company felt it important to differentiate itself against the competition, being in a commodity-centered industry. DCT repositioned itself by building and strengthening a market-based infrastructure, which is increasingly enabling DCT to lead the competition and outperform the competition. To do this, the DCT executives wanted to make a statement with the 2012 Annual Report.


Marry financial success to brand story.

Financial results typically headline a company’s annual report, and for good reason: What could a shareholder care more about than the performance of the enterprise, anyway? But numbers without context don’t inform or impress; they’re weightless and need to be rooted to a larger story to make any meaningful impact.

For the DCT Industrial annual report, COHN sought to contextualize financial results by tying performance to brand. DCT Industrial is committed to doing everything it can to make its shareholders’ investments successful. COHN needed to convey that passion to all audiences, plus the internal teams as well. COHN helped DCT Industrial put a professional and confident face on the brand in a way the company has never done before. The theme, “Building Toward the Future” spoke directly to the strategic growth and success DCT has enjoyed since the economic downturn recovery and the momentum they are capitalizing on – literally – for the future. This report marks the first in a series of new, brand-based initiatives as DCT strives for industry leadership. The company has put a stake in the ground that helps define it as a brand-centric company focused on the future.


A powerful project turned into long-term strategy.

One thing literally led to another. The CEO was so pleased with the message and design approach for the annual report that he requested COHN undertake a comprehensive brand strategy platform for the company. A complete strategic brand review and corporate expression process began the following year, including internal brand messaging and rollout, and COHN continues to use DCT Industrial’s powerful brand story in all marketing communications.

“DCT’s brand was always great, now we have the right language to communicate it,” said Melissa Sachs, Vice President, Corporate Communications. “We are now encouraging our employees to embrace DCT’s values and principles in a consistent way by giving them what they need, such as our brand book, new materials, messaging, and more. “We are definitely on the right path.”