A case study in rebranding: GlenGuard

The world of fire resistant (FR) fabrics is a complicated one because its providers have several audiences to reach. There are distributors and industrial laundries. There are the workers themselves.

And then there are safety managers, the ones who often make the decision about which fabric to offer to their workers.

The approach by many in the industry was to pinpoint what they believe workers wanted: Comfort, durability and protection. The problem was that every one of the fabric manufacturers used that messaging while ignoring the decision maker. The safety manager.

The old GlenGuard logo promoted product benefits
The old GlenGuard logo promoted product benefits

GlenGuard, a division of Glen Raven fabrics, was not satisfied and was in need of a rebranding. It had the lightest and most fire resistant fabric in the industry but its efforts to steal market share needed strengthening.

Rebranding for a new audience

Stealing Share and its research division, Resultant Research, conducted both qualitative and quantitative research with safety managers to uncover their emotional triggers. The single biggest hurdle facing them was getting their workers to wear the safety garments, therefore becoming compliant.

Taking those research results, Stealing Share and GlenGuard revamped the entire brand. GlenGuard is now focused on giving workers less reason to cheat on compliance. That gives definition to why GlenGuard’s fabrics are important.

Rebranding GlenGuard
The new GlenGuard logo after rebranding

The word “cheat” is also important because it’s the language of the safety manager. It is also easy to notice. The word tells the safety manager that GlenGuard is serious about compliance.

Therefore, the new logo demonstrates a coming together of two pieces that fit, with the theme of “Compliance” locked in with the logo. But that’s not all. An equity line often appears with the logo. It directs all of GlenGuard’s marketing, sales and operational efforts: “If they cheat when they wear it, it’s not compliant.”

3-20-glenguard-logo-and-tag-lineTherefore, the benefits of GlenGuard’s fabrics now have a new and important meaning to safety managers. The rebranding of GlenGuard was designed to steal market share. That’s what we do.

In addition to research and logo development, Stealing Share conducted brand training, developed marketing materials and created advertising.

American Fidelity. A case study in branding insurance.

The American Fidelity Case Study.

How we helped American Fidelity find the right brand promise.

American Fidelity is one of the leading providers of supplemental insurance and benefits, specializing in auto dealerships, education, municipalities and health care. Its core customers are employers who offer supplemental insurance to their employees in those segments.

American Fidelity
The old logo of American Fidelity had little brand meaning.

As a business, it operates in divisions based on those specialites. At issue was that American Fidelity had no overarching brand promise that brought the divisions together, increase preference with existing customers and attract new prospects.

Finding meaning for American Fidelity.

To achieve that, the project entailed qualitative and quantitative research with employers, employees and associations – both current customers and those who use a competitor. Also, an analysis of the competition and a brand audit was conducted to see where the current brand stood in the market and what it could claim.

Our competitive analysis found that competitors, which range from regional carriers to giants such as Aflac, focus solely on price, coverage and, in the case of Aflac, quick results.

American Fidelity
The new logo for American Fidelity redefines who its customers are: Those who always seek a different opinion.

The research demonstrated that administrators and employees believed all supplemental benefit providers were basically the same.

For the employer, who has complete control in selecting a supplemental benefits provider, the research clearly showed that they viewed their individual organization’s needs as unique. To find the right coverage for their particular needs, they seek something different.

Wanting something different was also part of their belief system, which is the emotional driver of human behavior.

Using an existing strength of the company – its niche focus – the new brand promise of American Fidelity stated that it represents a different opinion from the status quo because it is a specialist that knows there are no pat answers.

As the company says now, “When it comes to making health decisions, many seek a different opinion from a specialist. When choosing supplemental benefits, it’s important to seek a different opinion too.”

To reflect that brand, a new logo was developed that demonstrated American Fidelity being different and more important than the rest of the pack.

From advertising to collateral systems, signage to stationery systems, Stealing Share created a comprehensive brand structure for American Fidelity. Included was a brand standards guide that demonstrated cues for logo uses along with messaging and brand personality guidance. Stealing Share also conducted brand training for its thousands of employees.

The Force Awakens and its brand equity

From a brand perspective, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is just about perfect. It leverages its brand equity while connecting to a refreshed cast of characters to replace Han, Leia and Luke.

The Force Awakens
The Force Awakens is about the past and the future.

As for the quality of the movie, I’ll leave that up to others although I found it to be no The Empire Strikes Back. But it wasn’t The Phantom Menace either, thank God. Put its quality square in the middle of the series.

What fascinated me as a brand guy was how well The Force Awakens straddled the need to leverage the brand equity of the most cherished episodes of the series with the other need to open the series up to new characters and new audiences.

I’ll do my best to not spoil The Force Awakens here, but I can’t promise I won’t suggest a few things. I’ll need to point out a few examples to correlate how director JJ Abrams managed to bridge the two purposes.

The past and the future of The Force Awakens.

Yes, Han, Leia and Luke are in the movie, although Han Solo of the three dominates The Force Awakens. Luke and Leia were always the soul of the series, but Han was its true audience surrogate. (And, it must be said, Harrison Ford was its breakout star.)

Han plays a central role in The Force Awakens in what has been the main theme of the Star Wars series, which is about family connections and how the past plays out in the future. Leia and, possibly, Luke play a role in that as well. But by including Han in the mixture, Abrams found the leverage to vault the new series into one about Rey, Finn, Poe and Kylo Ren.

The new group isn’t completely a copy of the original centerpieces (which included Darth Vader) but the symmetry feels right. Rey, played by impressive newcomer Daisy Ridley, has taken the central role and her family lineage is still a mystery much like Luke’s was in the original movie.

In the world of brand, it’s not easy making the transition from one brand to another while maintaining the equity. Making it fresh and new for a new audience is tricky business.

The Force Awakens turns the trick nicely and the next chapter will should further evolve the themes and meanings for today’s audience.


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Integra LifeSciences. For surgeons, uncertainty must be limited in order for them to do their work with confidence. In a sea of blue, Stealing Share created a brand of order, simplicity and differentiation for a company who makes thousands of skus and in a myriad of disciplines.