Atlas Van Lines, as part of Atlas World Group, is a leading supplier of moving services to individuals and corporations. The industry is made of hundreds of suppliers, with five major traditional van line competitors. Atlas ranks second among the top five van lines. Atlas is known in the industry for having high quality services, and is favored by corporations for relocating employees. In January of 2011, new Atlas Van Lines President Jack Griffin realized a need to revitalize the brand. While Atlas is differentiated among van lines, the entire industry had taken a particular beating – as a direct result of the housing crisis that was reached its greatest depths in 2007 through 2009. The industry was showing signs of recovery as 2011 began. Atlas was particularly strong. It was time to tell corporate and individual audiences a positive message about Atlas, and about possible return of the entire household goods moving industry. While household moving is a large percentage of the Atlas business, Jack asked that any new branding take into account the diversity of the company that makes Atlas unique on a global basis.
Atlas marketing teams included a group of twenty from across Atlas corporate, Atlas subsidiaries, and Atlas agents. The inclusiveness of the team proved to be its greatest strength. Members of the marketing team met with DBD early in the process to discover the project. Everything was put on the table – including the definition of the objective – in a process known as DISRUPTION. The years since 2007 had changed the industry, it was time to look at everything. Every sacred cow was put up for scrutiny – from communications plans and tactics to business policies. Many cows became part of a proud history. The three-month process included two disruption meetings involving corporate and agent representatives. In a third meeting of all marketing team members, a direction was proposed and approved. A fourth meeting had marketing team members present a proposal to the company’s board of directors. Following board approval, the new Atlas direction was previewed in November to 600 members of the agent in attendance at the annual convention.
Most important during all of the preparation, it was understood that all customer relationships – whether corporate or residential – begin with human, emotional involvement. “Atlas. Go new places.®” became the new company statement to customers and internal headquarters staff, agents and partners around the world. Sometimes, going to a new place just meant doing something in a slightly different way. Sometimes it meant moving things to a whole new town. Sometimes it meant moving several things to many towns, all at once. But, regardless of how small or large the move, it could be a big leap from where a person or organization once was. Atlas and its customers were going new places, inside their organizations and around the world. The communications objective was to let the world know that Atlas was a diverse company with the resources to take them to whatever new place they needed to go – whether it was new systems for greater efficiency, new domestic relocation solutions, or worldwide logistics and facility management.
New branding solutions included: