A really good brand not only grabs you visually, it also informs your customer base – current and potential – as to what your company stands for and your purpose. So when a company updates its brand, it’s a big deal.
That is why Champion Home Builders in Troy is celebrating the launch of its new brand. Not only was it an effort that the entire company participated in, but the end result was a knockout because it resonates so strongly with its employees, vendors and customers, said Champion’s Vice President of Marketing Kevin Flaherty.
The brand now centers on the phrase “Manufactured Beautifully,” a concept that Flaherty and Champion CEO Jack Lawless says fits the company’s renaissance ideally.
“With the recent progress and excitement at Champion, I felt it was time to celebrate this great company and to lay the foundation for future growth by crystalizing our value proposition, rationalizing our brand strategy, and strengthening our individual brands,” Lawless said.
Some background: Champion was founded more than 60 years ago and today is one of the largest factory home builders in North America. Headquartered in Michigan, the company has 30 manufacturing facilities throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, and more than 4,200 employees.
Its current offerings include manufactured homes, modular homes, townhouses, duplexes as well as wood and steel-framed modular buildings for commercial use. Champion has 10 brands: Silvercrest, Titan Homes, Redman Homes, Homes of Merit, Atlantic Homes, Athens Park Homes, Dutch Housing, New Era, Carolina Building Solutions and Highland Manufacturing.
The creative concept and new visual identity was designed by The Frameworks, an international brand-focused marketing and communications agency noted for its strategic thinking and creative excellence.
The creative process included a review of all visual and written materials, resulting in the introduction of a modern, clean and confident color palette, together with a new, more human style of photography. Details, angles, color and texture will combine to bring warmth, humanity and fresh perspectives to a multitude of Champion spaces, whether it is a commercial space or luxury family home.
This stamp of Champion’s commitment to quality will extend across each of its sub-brands to align them under one overarching umbrella brand, effectively building brand unity and consistency. Accordingly, 10 brand identities have been refreshed for a rationalized and consolidated portfolio of Champion brands.
“We stepped back and tried to identify what unites all of our activities. What were our aspirations?” Flaherty said. “We used to hide from the term “manufactured,” but what we do is precision work. We have a very well trained workforce. We put out highly complex projects. And we strive to do it beautifully. … It tells everybody in our company that we have a mission and our mission is to build the most attractive and precise buildings.”
So how did they do it? Here is Flaherty’s quick review of the rebranding process.
1. Find outside help. Hiring a company brought everyone together with a neutral party, and it worked for Champion.
2. Define who you are. Take the time to really discuss where the company stands in terms of its current activities and priorities.
3. Unite divisions. Meet with executives, vendors and employees. “We found what unifies us. It wasn’t creative in a closed room coming up with a cool idea. There were interviews throughout the organization,” Flaherty said.
4. Put it everywhere. Champion created new photos and support materials. It refreshed all of its brands and installed new signage across the organization from its plants to corporate office.
5. Celebrate it. Flaherty said the whole company is taking part in the new brand positioning, and that helps the staff take ownership of what they do, making Champion stronger in the process.
“We’re telling everyone in the organization that we have a lot of head of us. There’s a real core, charting the future growth,” Flaherty said.
Want to read more? Here’s a link to our Corp! magazine story about Champion and its rebirth.