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March 2008

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Rebranding Means More than a Logo Change
a SourceGas Campaign Summary

by Jerry Sexton, CBC, President, PGM Integrated

Rebranding a company can be a daunting task. That's because so much more is involved than simply creating a new logo.

The story of one such comprehensive rebranding initiative was presented at BMA Colorado's January Breakfast Roundtable. It described how PGM Integrated, a Denver-based advertising and marketing firm, developed its campaign to rebrand SourceGas (formerly Kinder Morgan).

Operating in Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming, SourceGas provides natural gas services to residential, business and agricultural customers.

PGM's rebranding campaign was developed to help: (1) create a new regional SourceGas identity that could be expanded nationwide, (2) maintain current customers while expanding the SourceGas customer base with new markets and services, and (3) further clarify the SourceGas brand promise.
The SourceGas campaign consisted of five distinct phases:

1. Research and Planning
PGM conducted interviews with SourceGas management and customer service personnel. The company's existing corporate identity and marketing communications were reviewed, including their web presence. A review of their nationwide competition was also conducted. This stage was critical because it takes a thorough understanding of the current marketplace to develop an effective rebranding initiative.

2. Messaging Platform
PGM learned that the key SourceGas brand attributes were the company's local presence, its service commitment and the positive qualities of natural gas. PGM then formalized these positioning attributes into a brand personality best described as “your next-door neighbor” - one that is friendly, approachable, helpful and speaks to you like a local.

3. Visual Identity System
First, PGM identified the attributes of the “SourceGas” name. As the earth is the “source” of natural gas, SourceGas is the “source” for clean natural energy and for information responding to customers' questions and needs.
Next, a logo with color scheme was designed. Green means “environmentally-friendly” and supports the concept of clean, safe energy. Blue is the color created when natural gas burns, evoking warmth and comfort. Blue also communicates confidence and professionalism. These attributes were then designed into new corporate signage, stationery and all other marketing communications.

4. Internal Communications
A brochure was created to proactively provide information to employees, along with newsletters and meetings conducted by senior SourceGas personnel. These communications served as a catalyst to reduce the worries associated with change and to build excitement for the rebranding program.

5. Integrated Campaign for Brand Launch
Using “SourceGas -- Energy, Re-energized!” as the tagline, an integrated campaign was launched, combining radio, TV, billboards, newspaper ads, a new website and other marketing materials. The campaign elements were designed to speak with one voice to all customer segments.
The success of a rebranding campaign often takes years to gauge. However, all indications are that this program has been a resounding success for SourceGas.

Jerry Sexton, CBC is a BMA member and president of PGM Integrated, an advertising and integrated marketing company in Denver. The company offers seasoned, multi-disciplinary expertise in advertising, marketing, web design, public relations and interactive. He can be reached at jerry@pgmcreative.com


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