PH Jones Group [PHJ] were leading providers of gas heating and electrical installations. They served social housing providers across the country.
They had a simple brief – “We want a new brand identity”.
Having operated since 1963, there wasn’t much we could tell the second-generation owners about their market. They had plenty of technical knowledge and an enviable reputation to boot. Product and customer service was second-to-none, and competitors were few, so marketing had never been high on PHJ’s agenda. But that changed.
Recent acquisitions of D-TEC & Coolfactor had led to issues that weren’t related to sales. The business’ structure lacked coherence. Employees and stakeholders were confused.
Like many businesses, PHJ thought of brand identity as a logo. Because of the strategic issues they faced – we were steadfast in our advice. They required a strategic marketing plan before considering design. It wasn’t what they had in mind, but PHJ understood the benefits of the process. They got on board.
We hosted marketing awaydays at Carden Park. Our aim – to gain the PHJ team’s consensus on key outcomes and the ‘strategic’ foundations on which we could rebrand.
With our rigorous planning process and plenty of enthusiasm from PHJ, we worked through key strategic marketing activities. Vision, mission, brand values, and customer benefits were hammered out. We also looked at business structure, establishing how each area would fit within the group and its broader value proposition.
Armed with these insights, we helped PHJ settle on the best branding structure to unify the group and to position them as a credible facilities management operator. We considered two structures: service type, or sector sub-brands. Exploring how both might look, and the most powerful way to convey them.
Sensitivity was front of mind. The existing logo was precious to the founder, Phil Jones, his sons, and PHJ’s staff. It reflected the businesses’ humble origins. Before growing into an empire, PH Jones started as a local plumber. The team didn’t want to forget their roots.
Through Intermedia’s intuitive branding process, our creative team came up with dozens of ideas. Some were simple refinements, and some more radical. Each reflected the business’ personality. But most importantly, they reflected its scale. Using a service type sub-brand structure, the final logo was bold. Customers would be in no doubt that PHJ was a credible facilities management brand – a trusted specialist.
The strategic insights and logo formed the cornerstone of the identity. But physical evidence still needed addressing. Head office’s interior was revamped through reception to meeting rooms, signalling a positive change for employees. The PH Jones’ fleet got a facelift. A new suite of livery designs gave it maximum stand-out. PHJ looked the part.
Intermedia couldn’t manage the last element of brand identity – PHJ team behaviour. But the awaydays left management well prepared. They knew what direction they needed to head in, and how to get the whole team onboard.
15 months later, PHJ was sold for £30M to British Gas. They had something big planned after all.
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“We were perfectly placed to consolidate our hold on existing markets and to make significant inroads into new areas. The only downside was diversification and growth on this scale brought challenges in terms of ensuring consistent awareness of our brand. Intermedia’s clear branding strategy and marketing communications have made a significant contribution to our business”
Managing Director, PH Jones
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Many ‘branding’ agencies would have given PH Jones a new logo without question. Thankfully, we didn’t.
Successful brands are built with Bigger Thinking. Find out for yourself, talk to Intermedia.