To gain insight into what made these three businesses tick – and what made them valuable to their customers and competitive in the marketplace – I examined a raft of their existing marketing materials, sales presentations and feedback from customers. I also toured the three companies’ sites and interviewed members of staff.
From the inside looking out, much of what I read was about products and capability. But in conversations with key members of staff, I found there was a wish to be seen as a valuable partner rather than just another supplier. I was told things such as “When customers say jump, we ask them how high?” and “We’re the ‘can-do’ engineering company.”
This was neatly underlined by a letter from a key customer, HMV, whose praise was primarily directed not at the products, but the level of service and support they had received.
From this insight, I developed the idea of joining the three companies under an umbrella of ‘The Postive Partnership Group’ and created a narrative around the ‘Positive Partnership Process’ (the three companies’ distinct way of working both together and alongside their customers).
Visually, I explored ways to bring the three company identities together, with each option featuring at least a small nod to one or more existing elements such as a colour or font. The chosen route featured a 3D shape made out of three ‘+’ symbols. As well as referencing the three companies and the new ‘Positive Partnership’ concept, the 3D shape also linked to the nature of the companies’ products.
I expanded on this notion in the company capability animation shown above, which I created for use on Altex’s stand at an engineering expo.