As part of the branding initiative, agency team members interviewed employees, stakeholders, clients and others to help develop a solution that would meet external and internal needs. It was determined "Elevate" spoke to the innovation and quality of products Holcim offers to the market. While the core of the company remains the same, Holcim's building envelope division will be committed to developing the highest quality products and processes globally, raising the standards of building solutions by ensuring they are both innovative and sustainable, while also addressing local needs.
"What's most important about our brand is that the products and people have not changed," Gentoso said. "We wanted our own team to be comfortable with the brand before we marketed it (to clients) and that is exactly what happened. There were some strong emotions with the (old Firestone) brand, but we were able to communicate what we wanted to with the Elevate brand."
Spreading the word about the Elevate brand commenced as soon as the announcement was made in early June 2022. Clients and other stakeholders are being notified through traditional public relations, social media, direct contacts, digital marketing, paid advertisements and more. The goal was to create "hype" before, during and after the announcement, Gentoso said. These efforts include meeting with some of the division's largest customers.
"We've been very creative and thorough in our approach," Gentoso said.
Holcim will conduct more than $8 billion of business in the North American building materials market this year, Gentoso said. Its target audience is largely roofing contractors, but it also works directly with building owners, company operations executives and buyers of commercial roofs.
Holcim's Building Envelope division anticipates ongoing growth, including one new plant per year in North America. It currently operates 13 plants in the U.S., with a new one opening later this year in Salt Lake City. Another two plants are located in Europe. The company anticipates ongoing growth in green roofs and other sustainable products because of governmental mandates in Europe and a growing number of similar mandates, first in Canada and eventually in the U.S., Gentoso said.
The brand change also will be accompanied by a modernization of Holcim's Building Envelope division, which includes more investments in digitization, automation, a larger sales and marketing group, and the more efficient use of marketing data used to make informed decisions, Gentoso said. "We also want to hire a more diverse work force," she said. "About 24 percent of our work force is female and we can do better there and in other areas."