Top takeaways on rebranding a legacy.

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In 2020, we were given the opportunity to rebrand one of the most trusted voices in agribusiness: Scoular.

For more than 130 years, Scoular has worked to provide safe, reliable and innovative agricultural supply chain solutions worldwide. As their services and product offerings continued to evolve, they needed a refreshed and modern brand to bring them into the future.

Through a strategic collaboration with our Scoular client partners, we developed thoughtful, authentic and colorful updates to its external and employer brands. A new logo, tagline, position and value proposition were just a few ways we helped establish a foundation to propel the brand forward. The work was recognized by the Pinnacle awards in 2021 and is a favorite of ours, too.

Ervin & Smith, alongside Amy Bailey, director of brand marketing at Scoular, shared the story of how this rebrand came to life during the 2022 OnBrand conference in Omaha, Neb.

Couldn’t make it? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are our top 3 takeaways from the branding process that began in November 2019:

1. Set a solid foundation

When evaluating a brand, our team doesn’t stop at how it looks – we look at the core of what it needs to stand for. Not just what sets your organization apart, but what makes people care. And as a brand with more than a century in the industry, it was important to reflect what the brand means today and what it needs to be tomorrow. We start by defining a brand platform:

• Vision: Your desired future state.
• Mission: How you’ll achieve your vision.
• Position: What you do and who you do it for.
• Value Proposition: Why you’re better than your competition.
• Promise: How you want people to experience your brand.

Once defined, this platform keeps us laser-focused on creating a brand identity that authentically stands for what an organization is at the core, both externally and to employees.

2. Include employees in the process

Employees are a critical piece of your value proposition. They are at the heart of your business and are on the front lines in supporting customers, sharing groundbreaking ideas, and defining a workplace culture, so it’s essential that they are involved in helping identify what your employer brand is all about. Is what you’re saying what you’re actually doing? Do employees believe in your mission? Does your vision excite them?

Enter the brand alliance team. Ervin & Smith worked alongside the Scoular team to identify key stakeholders from a range of business units, locations and roles to ensure that what we uncovered rang true throughout Scoular. The brand alliance team helped our discovery by asking questions, sparking conversations and guiding us on finding the single truth: what it meant to be a Scoular employee. This group continued to be instrumental in our internal rollout and continues to advocate for the brand years after our launch.

Key takeaway? Employees help you measure, learn and improve. Engage your people to have your core brand message hit home.

3. Be intentional with your launch

Your employees shouldn’t learn about your rebrand from an email or Twitter. A launch strategy is a phased approach where your employees take the #1 slot. They are your company’s most authentic brand ambassadors and the best opportunity for your customers to experience your brand, so it’s important to ensure they are aligned with the new brand and how to communicate it to customers.

For Scoular’s rollout, all employees were invited to a launch event that celebrated the company’s vision moving forward, recognized the work of the brand alliance team and – even more excitingly – showcased the new Scoular brand with a never-seen-before video and newly branded swag. With employees on board, only then was time to share it with customers. And finally, with the public.

Today, Ervin & Smith continues to work alongside Scoular to evolve and grow their business through marketing in several capacities. We’ve worked alongside Alley Poyner Macchiato Architecture to bring the brand identity into Scoular’s new 68,000 square-foot headquarters. We helped create new sub-brands for proprietary products and new lines of business. We transformed Scoular’s web presence. And the list goes on.

As an award-winning, full-service advertising agency, Ervin & Smith specializes in solving complex marketing problems with results-driven strategies, media, creative campaigns and brand design. Learn more on how we transformed the Scoular brand here.

Psst! Interested in seeing more? We knew you would. Check out our latest work here.

Meet the presenters:

Leanne Prewitt, President & Chief Creative Officer at Ervin & Smith
As president and chief creative officer, Leanne leads the agency’s culture and creative direction and also oversees our team of writers, designers, developers and public relations professionals who create award-winning work for clients.

Erin Gambaiana, Associate Creative Director at Ervin & Smith
Erin is an award-winning designer with nearly 20 years of experience in advertising. In addition to her expertise in brand development and creative strategy, Erin specializes in environmental graphics—combining her skills to bring brands to life in captivating and engaging new ways.

Amy Bailey, Director of Brand Marketing at Scoular
Amy is an experienced business leader with over 25 years of marketing, communications and strategy experience and currently serves as the Director of Brand Marketing for Scoular, one of the biggest privately owned companies in the US.

Interested in having Ervin & Smith speak at your next event? Let’s chat!

Leanne Prewitt

President & Chief Executive Officer

Shaped by her background in creative direction, Leanne leads the agency’s culture and creative vision and also oversees the operations that allow a team of marketing, design and media specialists to create powerful and effective work for their client partners.

Leanne began her professional career in New York City working for some of the nation’s leading agencies. In 2016, after a five-month sabbatical around the world, she returned to her hometown and joined Ervin & Smith. Her global perspective and expanded professional experience influence the work she does today.