In 2013, we first began the journey by benchmarking existing brand architecture practices in the global defence and commercial engineering sectors and by auditing the Group’s corporate brand portfolio. This allowed us to move the client team beyond the generic brand architecture models found in marketing literature and focus on those architecture and portfolio models relevant to leading global brands in the sector.
We defined the corporate brand hierarchy in terms of the different types of brands and their roles. We also developed criteria for a decision tree. This decision tree helped calibrate the degree of linkages and association across the entire corporate brand portfolio.
A brand identity system helped manage the portfolio on both a Group level and on an SBA level. The key part of this system was the consolidation of each of the business units under the four SBA brands through a formal identity lock-up, linking almost every brand used by the business unit subsidiaries back to their ‘parent’ SBA name. An endorsement line by ST Engineering complemented the system with a link to the ‘grandparent’.
And in 2014, with a detailed guidelines document, a rigorous checklist and compliance process, we delivered the tools for the Group to control the implementation of a portfolio of 35 branded corporate entities across the globe.
In 2017, we were engaged by the same client team to streamline the ST Engineering corporate brand portfolio even further, to help them take the final step towards a more unitary brand architecture.
The strategy was to create a master brand using the ST Engineering name and to maintain the four SBA names as descriptors. This required the renaming of what was previously the ‘Kinetics’ SBA to the more descriptive ‘Land Systems’ so that it aligned to the brand nomenclature.
We developed a brand migration plan that prioritised certain items. We created a set of principles that would encourage the use of the master brand
And this time round the challenge involved more comprehensive internal and external stakeholder engagement: explaining to employees the reasons for the change through an internal campaign and announcing the change to the external market in 2018.
From hundreds of subsidiaries and variations of names to a corporate portfolio of 35 names organised under the four SBA’s in 2014 and now to a single master brand with descriptors four years later, ST Engineering joins its leading global peer brands in the defence engineering sector.
The team at Sedgwick Richardson guided the ST Engineering leadership and management through a participative process of corporate brand architecture modelling. This resulted in a refined brand identity system that leveraged the corporate brand across the portfolio as part of a strategic solution.