Following the merger of our two complimentary businesses, we decided that a new brand would be the best way to portray our enhanced proposition of a truly end-to-end and future-focused offering.
CP Plus (with 30 years of parking management and FM expertise) and Ranger Services (specialising in cutting-edge parking technology) enjoyed a strong “client-supplier” relationship. In 2015, CP Plus acquired a controlling stake in Ranger, taking the relationship to the next level.
Over the next few years the infrastructure of the two companies, the nature of the relationship and the demands of the market shifted to allow the final phase to come into play.
In May 2019, Ranger Services and CP Plus joined forces to become GroupNexus.
Now, a few months post launch, we’ve taken a look back at what we learnt along the way so we can share our successes (and the challenges overcome).
Here are our 5 key learnings.
1. Take staff along on the journey
It was important to us that the vision for the new brand was shared and embraced by the whole workforce.
A month before the new brand launch, we invited staff from across both businesses to come together to hear about why now was the right time to merge and rebrand and what GroupNexus stands for.
We spent time trying to anticipate the types of questions that would be asked and this pushed us to take a deeper look at the reasons behind the rebrand and how to explain the rationale clearly.
By sharing the details with our cross-section of staff at this point, it allowed people to provide crucial feedback and input into the final phase. For example, interest in the thinking behind the new name prompted us to include a little explanatory animation on our new website.
And discussions with staff also helped us to preempt the types of questions that would come from our clients.
2. Be clear on what’s required for go-live
With a launch deadline in place, it was essential that we had a clear view on what had to be live by this point, verses what we could roll-out at a later stage.
Once we had mapped every change required, we took a pragmatic approach, highlighting the essential tasks required for go-live. This allowed us to prioritise and focus our attention where it was needed most to hit the deadline.
Of course, we’re still making updates across the business, and adding to that list, but careful planning and a pragmatic approach allowed us to have all our ducks in a row for a smooth brand launch.
3. Don’t assume others care as much as you do
While we’d been working on this for months on end, debating the merits of the various pantone colours in the new logo, it was important for us to take a step back and appreciate that it would take time for our clients and prospects to become familiar with our new brand.
We developed an internal and external strategy to inform the market. Internally we developed tools to assist staff when explaining the rebrand and external activity included press releases, ads and sponsorship of key industry events.
Following the initial announcement period, we developed some lovely looking GroupNexus banners for an event stand. The new brand looked great and attracted some prospects that might not have considered us in the past, however we also found that there was merit in mentioning the old brands to certain people – as the rebrand was still news to many.
From this we learnt that we need to keep telling our rebrand story and can’t assume that others care quite as much as we do.
4. Keep momentum going after the launch
So back to that action list…
We kept up momentum by defining key follow-up phases, with clear deadlines.
We’ve now ticked off most of the additional tasks and are about to embark on a brand campaign to continue to tell our story and promote our new brand to the market. This will be conducted with a ‘test and learn’ approach in order to feed into the next phase of our brand development.
5. Find a way to celebrate your past, while looking to the future
While GroupNexus is only a few months old, we’re fortunate to have a great story to tell from the vast experience of our composite businesses.
We’re currently developing a series of case studies that demonstrate both our long-standing expertise as well as our innovative approach.
As we embrace the new brand we’re learning how to share the successes of our past along with our vision for the future.