How A Century-Old Company Refreshes Its Brand
When Barron Gift Collier first made his foray into the business world in the early 1900s, he understood the power of advertising with his creation of streetcar ads blanketing every streetcar from Memphis to New York and eventually all over the Midwest and South. Branding, as it was seen back then, came in the form of brightly colored lettering, hand-painted caricatures, promises of product benefits, and catchy slogans. How does a century-old company founded on the success of marketing and advertising, stay relevant in a modern world? In 2021, Barron Collier Companies set out to accomplish just that.
How It Began
“We really started from scratch,” comments Blake Gable, CEO of Barron Collier Companies and fourth-generation Collier family member. “We took it back to our roots, to the visionary himself, Barron Gift Collier. He embodies the entrepreneurial spirit that carries through our organization today and we wanted to highlight that.” What began over one year earlier, was a collaborative effort among Barron Collier Companies, Milesbrand Agency, and The CMO To GO marketing consultant, to harness the dynamic energy and vision from its founder and carry it forward. The new tagline, “A Legacy of Vision,” is the perfect blend of history and the promise of the future.
“It was important to share Barron Gift Collier’s accomplishments in the new branding,” adds Andrea McLendon, owner of The CMO To Go, and brand manager for the project. “Those achievements served as a launchpad for the refreshed brand, showing how one man’s spirit can carry on through generations.” A newly styled logo features five vertical pillars that evoke several interpretations including the linear embodiment of a generational timeline, representation of real estate development, and a symbol for the team members that make up Barron Collier Companies as a whole. As the company expands geographically, visitors can view new real estate holdings and projects on the website. Social media feeds are updated in real-time and a company culture blog focuses on employee stories, charitable giving, and behind-the-scenes fun in the organization.
Team members within the company are excited about the evolution of the company brand. Sara Marquez, an administration assistant, remarks, “The new brand looks fresh and having been with the company for 15 years, it’s nice to show we are growing and changing with the times.” Amanda Maurizi, the controller, agrees, “The fresh new branding and website represent to me the company embracing the future as well as honoring its past. To be open-minded for all the possibilities ahead of us but to never forget where we came from and stay true to our values.” Even newly hired employees recognize the importance of such a change with Pam Peralta, project engineer, adding, “I’ve been with Barron Collier Companies for a little over two years and within this time period, I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing an enormous amount of change and growth within the company. The rebranding of the company, for me, represents the resiliency, adaptability, and growth mindset that those that work with and for Barron Collier Companies choose to embody. I see the new, more modernized branding as a symbol of the Companies’ embracement of new trends, technologies, and ways of doing business.”
A newly designed company intranet, the HUB, was developed in tandem with the refreshed branding. “The HUB is a simple tool put in place to get information to our employees quickly. Whether it’s locating contact information for a co-worker or learning what philanthropy or health and wellness events are coming up, our employees rely on the HUB. With this refresh, our intranet is more user-friendly, simple and efficient. It is a great resource for employees to learn all things BCC and in our local community,” states Michelle Mambuca, marketing coordinator. The implementation of modern communication tools such as the HUB is another example of how Barron Collier Companies envisions future workflow for its employees.
As a diversified company with a multitude of asset classes under its ownership, Barron Collier Companies has proven longevity and stability over the past century. A brand that evokes the strength, passion, and vision of its leaders is important when entering the next hundred years.“Oftentimes it can be challenging to describe to someone all the various aspects that make up Barron Collier Companies,” adds Gable. “We are highly diversified, and our history is rich. I believe by elevating the branding and engaging the public, we can truly tell the entire story that is Barron Collier Companies, then, now, and moving forward.”