Stuart Olson

Comprehensive rebranding program positions an industry leader under one unified name and unites 4,200 employees under one shared vision.

Churchill Corporation operated for over twenty-five years as a publicly traded holding company. The company owned nine operating businesses that were individually branded. Even with Churchill’s success, it was largely unknown to many of the markets it served, and its subsidiary brands were largely unknown to the capital markets. As the industry moved towards a fully integrated solutions model, it became clear that brand unification was essential.

In 2013, Churchill Corporation made the decision to transition into a unified operating brand under the name Stuart Olson. To spearhead this initiative, BryanMills was retained to lead a comprehensive rebranding and reputation enhancement program. The program began with a research and insights gathering phase that included discovery sessions across six companies, spanning three provinces and including over 100 employees. It also featured local, regional and global competitor and peer audits that provided valuable insight for the rebrand.

Stuart Olson logo

At the core of this program was a strategic brand framework and positioning platform that focused on instilling, nurturing and communicating a unified corporate culture with a strong sense of pride and purpose – “We are People Making Progress” and “We are Stuart Olson.” This new positioning was brought to life through the development of a strong brand architecture that enabled visual unification while allowing for retention of legacy naming in core niche markets. A master brand logo was created to halo the many subsidiaries of the newly formed company. The orange and blue were used to separate the two words and differentiate the company in a competitive marketplace. The external and internal visual identity design work included: new logos, brand standards guide, brand promise, signage, and hoarding, as well as design and copywriting for brochures, stationery packages, trade show booth displays and more.

A fully responsive website experience was created to introduce the company to the marketplace and to establish its credentials with new and existing customers. BryanMills achieved this with a digital strategy that included advanced, interactive and responsive corporate and subsidiary websites. These sites ran on a unified CMS platform and also hosted a large-scale enterprise Intranet that utilized Microsoft SharePoint. On launch day, every Churchill Corporation website and those of their subsidiaries were greeted with a pop-up announcement that introduced the rebranded company through an inspiring brand video that was directed and shot in the days leading up to the launch.

Stuart Olson’s collateral brochure material was extensive and was created to address the many sectors and verticals of the multi-operational company. Within its three service areas of Public, Private, and Industrial, there were several unique vertical markets the company needed to address in particular. BryanMills’ answer to this was the creation of a “pick and pack” system that allowed Stuart Olson’s sales force to tailor the contents of a presentation for their target audiences. The sector brochures would provide high-level capabilities while the vertical brochures would address specific industry capabilities. A complete list of marketing communication templates was created so the many facets of the brand could be managed internally. These items consisted of newsletters, PowerPoint templates, and ad templates, to name a few.

The primary message BryanMills set out to communicate was simple: Nothing had changed regarding Stuart Olson’s position as Canada’s strongest construction and industrial services company, but much had changed in how the company operated and served its customers. This approach was integrated within every asset and was a key message that was woven through the entire three-month launch campaign. To promote this message externally, full-page ads in newspapers and trade publications were launched in major markets to communicate the rebrand. BryanMills also created a comprehensive range of corporate clothing that included T-shirts, hats and even Stuart Olson socks! Each item was accompanied by a clothing tag that further reinforced the brand’s message. Bringing the brand to life within these various channels was another means for Stuart Olson to extend the company’s influence to its clients and employees.

To unify 4,200 geographically dispersed employees, BryanMills conceptualized, managed and executed an award-winning employee engagement program – The Stuart Olson Challenge.

Every quarter, in each Stuart Olson office location across Canada, the company set “Stuart Olson Challenges” for its employees that were focused on safety, innovation, culture, efficiency and sustainability. At the end of the year, the employee with the most outstanding achievements received the distinction of National Grand Champion and was awarded the quickly coveted Stuart Olson “Work Boot.”

Creating a unique and endearing identity for the newly formed company was only the beginning. Critical to the success of the company was the unity and hard work of its people, and BryanMills wanted to help Stuart Olson celebrate this key part of the organization. Part of this involved deconstructing the brand to its core values and inviting employees from across the country to, quite literally, “sign on.” A high-quality, laminated plaque was distributed to every office across the country to remind employees of the company’s promise to its clients and to clearly communicate its internal values. In addition to this, a Stuart Olson Brand Standards guide was provided in both electronic and print format so that each market could maintain the brand’s consistency in terms of voice and style. As part of the company’s core strategy of having ongoing dialogue with its employees, Stuart Olson held town hall meetings each quarter to celebrate and communicate the progress of the new company identity and what it meant for them.

The program was a success and saw a marked increase in overall employee engagement, national brand awareness and client satisfaction. BryanMills executed over 350 projects for the company, and the strategic brand framework created for Stuart Olson remains the foundation upon which the company builds all of its internal and external communications materials.

The Communicator Awards 2015
Brochure and Kit Cover
SILVER, April 2015

The Communicator Awards 2015
Corporate Website
SILVER, April 2015

Astrid Awards 2015
Branding Campaign
HONOURS, April 2015

The Communicator Awards 2015
Integrated Campaign
SILVER, April 2015

Mercury Excellence Awards 2014/15
Branding/Rebranding
BRONZE, February 2015

Marcom Awards 2014
Marketing/Promo/Campaign/Branding
PLATINUM, February 2015

Marcom Awards 2014
Website/Corporation
GOLD, February 2015

Marcom Awards 2014
Design (Print) Logo
HONOURABLE MENTION, February 2015

Marcom Awards 2014
New Category/Other
HONOURABLE MENTION, February 2015

Marcom Awards 2014
The Stuart Olson Challenge Award (Boot) Trophy
Marketing/Promotion/Specialty Item
HONOURABLE MENTION, February 2015

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P 416.447.4740