Unifying a brand identity after many M&As.

Through acquisitions, Saint-Gobain consolidated a group of regional companies—in the US, Canada, the Czech Republic, Spain and Italy—and began to merge them into the single, global identity of Saint-Gobain Technical Fabrics. Each of these companies had strong brands in their own right—our job was to unify their brand position and marketing content. This posed a sizeable challenge.

Each group was so tied to their own brands, the process of merging the brands was repeatedly stalled. Leaders could not agree on even the first steps of implementation. That’s when the group asked us for help. We started with thorough interviews of each company’s leadership and documented all areas of disagreement and areas of concurrence. We crafted an initial brand message based on the areas of agreement and used this to support a new brand positioning. As the project moved forward, the group leaders began to see the significant benefits that would be reaped once the new brand was in place. Once over that hurdle, we were able to refine the brand positioning and gain full consensus. As a “test case” to see if we could get all leaders to work together, we began by applying the new brand to unified website content. This too, we did in steps—first we created content for an “umbrella” site which would link to the individual brand sites. Within one year, we were able to merge all sites into one strong branded site. The new identity and marketing materials were launched at an international meeting involving all key “opinion-makers” and was immediately embraced.