Celebrating our Rebrand One Year On

Source: Arcadis - www.arcadis.com   

30 September 2016

It has been one year since we officially rebranded to Arcadis and joined 27,000 like-minded Arcadians. Hear from Jill Murray, our Head of Marketing & Communications as she reflects on the rebrand one year on.

It's now been a year since made the bold move to re-brand to Arcadis in Australia and what a year it’s been. While celebrating  with roadshows across all our offices, it had me thinking about the tough year past and exciting years ahead.

Quick history: Hyder Consulting was taken over by Arcadis in October 2014, which brought the Australian business into the global Arcadis family. Not only did we add a new offering to Arcadis but Arcadis brought a whole raft of new capabilities to the Australian business. 

Almost as soon as pen hit paper there was talk of a rebrand and I was told to prepare for a March 2015 switch. Cue bedlam. Not only were we talking about switching over signage and letterhead and doing the rest – a staggering amount of work – we were also introducing a whole suite of new capabilities to both the market and our Australian team. Luckily, we shifted this to September 2015. Cue controlled bedlam.

There are people that see a rebranding exercise as nothing more than slapping a new sticker on the door and adding a fancy new email signature. The reality is so far removed that I don’t know where to start. 

During the rebrand, I was managing seven work streams concurrently, including: Brand, Clients, People, Digital (website and social media), Office and Signage, Operations, and Legal. Each work stream had multiple layers of stakeholders, messaging, budgets… the list goes on.  To make sure we achieved what we set out to, we had to make some tough decisions. Firstly, there was a debate about how and when to position the move with our valued clients. We work on some of Australia’s largest engineering projects, so we couldn’t take this lightly. In consultation with our senior team, it was agreed that some early positioning with clients was the right move. Little and often.

I had the opportunity a few weeks and months after the rebrand to ask some of our clients about it, and the resounding comment was that it was ‘very smooth, not a ripple’. And in our world, where clients are paramount, that counts for a lot. 

But to rest there would be a mistake. 

At the time of the rebranding, I was very aware of the challenges ahead. Although Arcadis was very well known in Europe, we were introducing the brand to the Australian market. Our Global CMO told me the journey to brand recognition would take five years, that may well be the case but in the meantime our whole approach to marketing was getting an overhaul, and the world was changing.

Before we joined Arcadis, I described our marketing approach as ‘capability marketing’. We spoke about the projects we were proud of, the people stories, we did a lot of client events – that really made us feel good about ourselves. However, for me, a new and refreshed brand was a chance to reinvent our approach to marketing.  

Arcadis globally has a content-led approach to marketing, with a strong investment in research-based thought leadership. This is working tremendously well and I firmly believe it is our strongest chance of truly re-positioning us from a mid-tier engineering business to a global professional services firm offering a full suite of services across the full asset lifecycle.

And now, I find myself re-positioning again for more change. More focus and emphasis on digital. Stronger understanding of how our clients want to receive information, and engage with us.  Campaigns specific to the Australian market. Continuing to educate our teams and clients about the strong new capabilities we have. 

The other day, I found myself debating the merits of Facebook re-targeting and I smiled when I realised just how far we have come so quickly. And yes, still very much aware of the challenge ahead.

 

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