Pump manufacturer and rental specialist Selwood has a name that is known around the globe. But like many companies with a long heritage – in Selwood’s case one dating back to 1946 – it had been through many acquisitions, iterations and evolutions over the decades.

The result was a thriving, diverse company whose reputation for customer service and quality was unrivalled, but whose visual identity was in need of clear strategic direction.

The company had business units individually dedicated to various aspects such as international pump sales, UK pump rental and plant hire. A strategic decision by the Selwood board to eliminate “divisions” within the business and bring the various aspects of its operations together under one banner led to a comprehensive rebrand project led by Polymedia.

 

Brand strategy

The project built upon work carried out over three years working with Selwood on its communications strategy, beginning with a messaging exercise and the creation of a new website that reflected its brand values and global status.

Confident that the groundwork was in place, our design teams worked alongside Selwood to encapsulate the essence of this hugely successful brand. At all times the project was tied closely to the board’s “one business” strategy and its core values.

Selwood had previously used very dark black in some applications, giving a heavy feel to its communications. In others a pale blue had been employed, sometimes paired with a ‘jigsaw man’ motif that was a throwback to the company’s history in which several businesses worked together under the parent company. An industrial ‘building site’ yellow was also a familiar sight to Selwood’s teams and customers.

Although there was affection for the jigsaw man, he referenced the company’s past more than the current ethos, and so was given a fond farewell with thanks for his long service! The focus was on the Selwood name both as a brand and as a quality mark.

The resulting visual identity was carefully pitched to reference Selwood’s rich heritage while looking to the cutting edge, global nature of the business today the business strategy for the future.

First, the logotype was subtly refined, squaring off the D at the end of the name to differentiate it from the O, particularly in larger applications such as vehicle livery and billboards. The colour palette continued to have blue and yellow at its core, but the blue was deepened refined to better convey quality and confidence. The yellow, too, was toned down from its bright origins to become a softer variant – still referencing construction and engineering but better complementing the rest of the palette.

 

 

Implementing the rebrand

Having agreed the logo, core palette and complementary palette, work began on the process of implementation.

Step one was a complete audit of all branded collateral, from vehicle liveries, buildings and workwear to internal documents, invoices, advertising, brochures and merchandise. The resulting catalogue gave us the chance to assess how each was used – is there a better way to do this?

Due to the scale of Selwood’s operations, it was decided that an overnight rebrand was simply not feasible. Instead, a date was set for all customer-facing collateral to bear the new identity, along with the website, social media, email signatures, business cards, any new advertising, letterheads and internal documents. A schedule has been set to prioritise the rest – some on a “replace as you go” basis to avoid waste.

The changes and the reasons for them were clearly communicated to Selwood’s teams via the annual staff conference and the (rebranded!) internal newsletter. A set of clear and strong guidelines was produced covering everything from the colour palette to the preferred font size and spacing on company letters – and, importantly, “brand guardians” were appointed within Selwood to actively monitor the use of the visual identity and flag up any concerns.

The result is a new brand identity that feels like positive evolution rather than a revolution, and one which supports the business strategy and paves the way for Selwood to develop and grow as one business over the coming decades.