Client Challenge

A multistate developer with a multigenerational story.

Hawkins Companies is a Boise-based, real estate development company focused on multifamily, retail, storage, charter schools and hotel development, along with retail property management. Hawkins is family-owned and operated, and is known for providing the highest levels of professional service to more than 400 clients for 40+ years. As a strong industry player focused on growth and building a larger national presence, Hawkins engaged COHN to revitalize and refresh its brand marketing to build on its legacy while paving a road forward for its future.

COHN Solution

Refresh the Hawkins legacy.

It’s not uncommon for family-owned, multigenerational businesses to engage COHN for brand strategy development. After all, even the strongest brands need a tune-up after 40+ years of business. In our discovery with Hawkins, it was clear that building on Gary Hawkins’ legacy was fundamental to our work, but that COHN should also intentionally envision the future state of the Hawkins brand for the next generation.

COHN sought to leverage Hawkins’ past but also evoke the full breadth of the Hawkins vision and growth strategy in a way that is relevant and impactful to its audiences. For example, in this visual refresh, we knew we wanted to highlight success stories through a people-focused, rather than property-focused, lens. We also knew that we wanted to place a greater emphasis on the services Hawkins offers in addition to retail development—for example, its growing multifamily development team.

Most importantly, nearly every conversation COHN had with internal and external stakeholders circled the idea of integrity. In fact, one of Gary’s quotes repeatedly appeared in conversations we had with the Hawkins team. Gary was known for saying, “I never want to face someone and not be able to say, ‘I treated them fairly.’”

Because integrity is such a fundamental part of Hawkins’ business, its people, and its character, COHN decided to make Integrity the central thesis of the Hawkins brand. Why does Hawkins succeed? Because it values the Return on Integrity (ROI). This concept—that only through integrity can you build a company like Hawkins—became the heart and soul of the revitalized Hawkins brand, carried through to a corporate identity package, style guide, and new website.


Where ROI means Return on Integrity.

The signature design piece of any brand refresh is the website, and COHN was fortunate also to be chosen to redesign and redevelop the Hawkins website. Whereas the old Hawkins brand and website used a deep red (“retail red,” to be specific), the new website features airy white space and brings the new Hawkins brand to life visually.

“Where ROI means Return on Integrity” is prominently featured in the marquee, and COHN was intentional about highlighting Hawkins’ people in a more significant way. In fact, Hawkins now features actual tenants and testimonials on its home page, signifying a human commitment to the success of its tenants.


Brand Strategy
Creative Design