Omicron is one of the largest integrated development services, design and construction firms in Western Canada, and one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies. It was formed in 1998 by people who believed architects, designers, engineers and builders could work together in a more integrated way to deliver a better experience for their clients. We were asked to take a close and objective look at defining what ‘a better experience’ was to those internally and externally, and to position a new brand and identity around this as the defining moment for the company moving forward.
Our engagement was based on mapping out the company’s offering, services, internal and external culture and external brand perceptions as they related to their brand promise. With over 200 employees across three offices to solicit opinions from, 22+ partners to please and external audiences as well, the insights and issues were complex.
By far the greatest insight was that to support growth, we had to move away from communicating based on the differences of each of the company’s geographic locations. We also had to devise a way to configure the internal mechanisms by which staff and leadership function together at a consistently high level. To do this, we realigned the purpose and messaging of the firm with values, not capabilities or location. Further, we identified key organizational changes that needed to be made internally in order for the firm to be able to follow through on their external promise—in part, this meant delivering a more quantifiable way to guide optimal performance and then measuring it.
There are tangible benefits a firm can bring to the AEC sector when all these functions are under one roof. Yet, not all projects require a complete integration of these services. Defining ‘a better way’ was not solely about what the firm delivers so much as how and why. Codifying this for all 200+ staff and building a new way forward for the company meant the creation of an identity that symbolized a major shift in thinking, structure and delivery. The new identity had to retain a professional demeanor and still infuse an engaging and vibrant entry point—first for staff, then clients.
Too often employees are left out of the process, and then expected to just pick up and run with a brand. The problem with that, is that it ignores the fact that employees are, for the large part, responsible for creating and upholding the brand. Thus, in the lead up to launching the new identity, responsive website and myriad of materials, we launched a 16 page employee handbook together with the marketing and human resources department. This handbook was designed to explain and share with staff the rationale behind the new brand, but also set forth behavioural benchmarks based on core values. These benchmarks gave employees a clear path to achieving success for the firm through simple day-to-day actions. In the words of Omicron, “Put simply, we’ve built a better way to succeed.”.
“One of the most important things in our relationship with the IB folks was the ability to begin with strategy needed to build out our entire brand portfolio. That was actually the least amount of investment for us, but had the greatest return. We’re very excited about our new brand and how quickly it’s gained traction in the marketplace and adopted by our folks and them being proud and standing behind it.” — Bill Tucker, CEO, Omicron
Launch Website: omicronaec.com
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