Rebranding a business is no easy feat.
The last time we rebranded was in 2006. Our old brand had served us incredibly well but was simply no longer fit for purpose. We’ve grown a lot as a business in 13 years. Not only are there more of us, but we have become more than just building surveyors. We are now an international business, working with a wide variety of clients, offering support at every stage of the property lifecycle.
Just as we have changed, the world has changed: the use and impact of digital and social media has been astounding. We needed to develop an identity that fits who we are, who we aspire to be, and truly captured the Hollis Way.
From visual marketing to our new brand ethos, Hollis now reflects our global brand in a modern age. But, it wasn’t just a case of changing the logo and the paint on the walls, the whole rebranding process took just over a year to develop and implement.
We started with our name. Malcolm Hollis is a respected name in building consultancy. We didn’t want to lose it entirely, but it needed a refresh. By dropping ‘Malcolm’ and becoming Hollis, the process of saying our name is streamlined. Hollis is simpler, and more agile. This is the spirit we wanted to convey with the new brand. In fact, many of our clients and staff already referred to us as Hollis so it felt natural.
We decided on the new name quickly, but a rebrand that includes a name change touches absolutely everything! We needed a strong project management team, or else the project would have been doomed before it began. Hollis has an exceptional Business Development team, who supported our appointed creative agency Frank Bright & Abel. They provided brilliant creative design and strategic advice. They made us challenge ourselves and push our brand to where it needed to be.
Joining the dots and pre-empting the domino effect was crucial throughout this process. I couldn’t tell you how many times we decided on one thing, and then realised that because of that, we now needed to do ten other things. An effectively managed project plan is key!
Often the biggest challenge for marketeers in undertaking a rebrand is the internal stakeholder. However, our team of Partners at Hollis could not have been easier to get on board. We recognised the need to change and evolve which meant decisions were made quickly and rationally.
Ongoing internal communication and engagement was a priority. Client care is such a big part of a project like this, and for us at Hollis, and if we had gotten it wrong the success of the rebrand would have been compromised. All staff were shown a pre-launch reveal to help them truly feel part of the new Hollis, because they are; our people really are our biggest asset.
One of the biggest challenges we had during the rebrand was keeping our day to day marketing and communications ticking over whilst working on this project. Undertaking the rebrand was a huge task, but we couldn’t allow our day-to-day tasks and responsibilities to slip. Balancing everything was difficult, but I couldn’t be more pleased at how things turned out and proud of my team.
An ongoing challenge for us now is conditioning our employees to drop the ‘Malcolm’. So many of our employees (including myself) have worked here for a long time. The Hollis offices’ now have a ‘Malcolm’ swear jar so every time someone says the ‘M’ word, they’ve got to put a pound in the jar. The money raised will go to support our charity of the year, Acorns Children’s Hospice. I’ve certainly made some contributions!
Whilst the name and look of our brand has changed, as a business we very much remain the same. Our brand positioning is ‘All together different’. This represents our purpose and values; Hollis has one strong team, with many skills, and a strong belief in the power of doing things better, by doing them together.
We look forward to working with you.