Over the course of a half-century, L&H Industrial has grown from a local, six-person welding shop into a worldwide leader in the design and manufacturing of the biggest machines on the planet for the oil, gas, and railroad industries.
With a developing global footprint and an iron-clad reputation for leading-edge innovation, L&H was ready to shed their small-company image and embrace a persona that better reflected their elevated status in a highly-competitive marketplace.
Working in partnership with L&H, Warehouse Twenty One (W21) rebuilt the brand from the ground up, crafting a distinct company voice and clearly defining and articulating a modern corporate character complete with reimagined logo imagery. We delivered a sophisticated brand experience that captures their core identity and serves notice to the competition that L&H has arrived on the world stage.
Our work with L&H represents a high-water mark for W21 and exemplifies our ability to reinvent a client’s brand across multiple channels and across the globe, while retaining their rich heritage and essential character.
With a clear sense of the L&H ethos and a firm grasp of their vision for the future, we began a holistic discovery process with a comprehensive inventory of every L&H brand asset, from name tags and line cards, to signage and hard hats. Every aspect of the company’s brand image was considered and more than 400 logo-bearing line items were cataloged; each and every one tagged to eventually display redesigned imagery.
Moving into the second phase of the discovery process, we performed a multi-faceted brand analysis that identified and compared key brand attributes of L&H’s top competitors. We considered tone of voice, brand lexicon, key messages, writing style, domain authority, and page ranking when we profiled the brand characteristics of each competitor – as well as L&H – and then constructed a matrix to identify L&H’s relative brand position in the global marketplace.
We layered our discovery process with additional data culled from stakeholder and executive interviews we conducted to understand the internal perception of the L&H brand. These interviews were paired with an extensive customer survey designed to elicit candid impressions regarding customer perceptions of L&H. Together, the interview and survey results informed and shaped our brand development strategy.
Our discovery stage was bookended by an extensive Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunity, and Threats (SWOT) analysis that allowed us to round out our 360º perspective on L&H to accurately guide our marketing recommendations.
L&H has established a global presence in the five decades since its founding, but it remains heavily invested in its small-company, customer-centric culture. With many of the company’s long-standing customer relationships based on a handshake and a promise, L&H merges an old-school business ideology with the cutting-edge manufacturing capabilities of a twenty-first century innovator.
Our challenge was clear: Devise a strategy that would utilize the foundational strengths of L&H while moving the company in a direction that would increase its leverage and brand foothold in the global marketplace.
One of our key strategic recommendations – and the most time-sensitive – was to synchronize L&H’s upcoming 50-year anniversary with the enterprise-wide brand relaunch we would design. With hundreds of branded line items in their marketing assets inventory, the massive process demanded, logistically and financially, a carefully-planned and phased implementation process.
We launched the rebranding effort by creating several different logo designs in an effort to modernize and simplify the L&H brand look without abandoning the core elements that made the logo immediately recognizable. Each option represented an evolution – rather than a revolution – of the company’s existing logo, and the concepts encompassed a broad range of design approaches.
The final logo design features a simplified rendering of a gear (a hallmark of previous logo iterations over the years) integrated with the company name. We eliminated the drawings of mining equipment and refined the color palette, retaining the orange hue from the old logo, but removing the yellow. Creating the gear out of the typography’s negative space resulted in a clean, solid design with a contemporary feel. The logo places emphasis on the company’s name, while using the gear to visually communicate the idea that precision manufacturing is an integral part of the L&H identity.
We created an array of deliverables to support the official introduction of the branding initiative at the company’s 50-year anniversary event in July, 2014. These elements included banners, patches, stickers, hats, tees, a video, print ads, a website update, billboard, event invitations and the most comprehensive global standards document to come out of the warehouse to date. We mobilized an integrated multimedia brand blitz that was calculated to clearly introduce and communicate the goals of the initiative to employees, customers, and the public, while also generating strong recognition for the company’s new logo.
There’s much more to come as we continue to collaborate with L&H, crafting new creative that celebrates the company’s history and defines the brand for an expanding global marketplace.