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HGOR Rebranding
Refreshing a Brand after 15 Years


Project Overview:
The branding process on which Schroder Public Relations embarked with HGOR exemplifies how extensive due diligence, creative analysis, and smart implementation of a new brand can help a business succeed in the marketplace.

In preparation for Hughes, Good, O’Leary and Ryan’s celebration of its 15th year anniversary, the firm asked Schroder PR to participate in a joint branding process with another local marketing firm to rebrand the planning and landscape architecture firm.

Strategy:

We led the corporate identity assessment portion of the process and worked collaboratively with the marketing firm to brainstorm the brand position and tagline. Once the elements of the new brand were in place, Schroder PR set out to promote the brand through media relations.

Assessment
Our first task was to conduct an in-depth communications assessment of how the firm was positioned and perceived both internally and externally as well as the goals for how the firm wanted to be perceived. The assessment included extensive interviews, surveys and a SWOT analysis.

The assessment showed there was internal concern about the firm’s name as the partners approached retirement age. Hughes, Good, O’Leary and Ryan’s name was shortened to HGOR to accommodate future leadership but still capitalize on the equity the name had developed in its 15-year history.

During the assessment process, it was also found that many people did not have a clear understanding that the firm had four studios. Additionally, the firm noted that there was a big misconception about what a landscape architecture firm did. To combat this misconception, it was decided that communications would include a focus on the planning side of the firm’s work.

The assessment also showed the firm was known for its ability to come up with the solutions to difficult problems faced in the planning of projects. As a result, our recommended brand positioned the firm as a solutions-oriented firm.

Another strength that was identified was the firm’s long-held practice of approaching projects from a balanced perspective that considered the social, economical and environmental components of the landscape. HGOR calls this its SEE philosophy.

Results:

Brand Position
Taking into consideration all that was learned in the assessment phase, the joint marketing team recommended the new brand position — We SEE Solutions.

The position marries the firm’s SEE philosophy with its approach of finding solutions. The new brand was rolled out in early 2008 after which Schroder PR began a media relations plan to secure coverage that showcased HGOR’s problem solving capabilities and SEE philosophy on projects in each of its studios and for the firm as a whole.

Media Relations
We launched our media effort at end of 2007 and throughout 2008 with the goal of getting the messages out that HGOR provides solutions to complex land planning and design issues and that every project has a perceptive balance of the social, environmental and economical elements.

We gathered due diligence on the firm’s projects, the problems the firm addressed, the solutions HGOR offered and the SEE elements that were incorporated into business decisions. We identified target publications for each project and studio, drafted story angles and pitched these ideas to key media.

During the campaign we garnered 12 placements that included the new brand message in 7 different publications. See the stories here.
One of these placements was a much sought-after feature article in the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Fifteen years earlier when HGOR launched the company the principals were featured in the Business Chronicle. Our team was able to secure another feature article in its 15th year about the growth and direction of the firm.


Atlanta Business Chronicle Story

Feature story, 15 years earlier

 



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