Streamlining a complex energy rebranding

Streamlining a complex energy rebranding


Patrick Heath

BrandActive has unique expertise in the financial analysis, strategy, cost optimization, and logistics of global rebrand implementation programs. That’s why preeminent businesses often come to BrandActive for help during times of brand change.

A recent case in point is Enbridge

Our team of rebrand implementation consultants had the privilege of working with Enbridge when they acquired Spectra Energy to become North America’s largest pipeline and infrastructure company. Understanding the urgent need for a speedy brand transition, we developed a strategic plan and provided roll-out assistance. With our help, Enbridge saved huge sums and brought efficiency and control to key branded touchpoints. In short—on time and under budget.

1. Waging a war on complexity

For energy companies like Enbridge, rebranding is especially complex. They have far-flung operations and with lots of physical branded assets, including pipelines, plants, and transportation. Promptly rebranding signage and fleet is especially critical to a high-quality, consistent brand experience. These branded assets are highly visible—and complex to manage through a brand transition.

The brand assets Spectra Energy brought to the combined company needed to carry Enbridge’s branding. These included 869 vehicles dispersed throughout the United States and Canada.  The signage challenge was just as massive: Spectra had more than 1,000 corporate and field locations. We needed to pinpoint which types of signs were located where before we could even get started. To help Enbridge deliver on its aggressive timeline, we dispatched our analytics team along with strategic rebranding consultants.

2. A swift fleet transition — at 67% under budget

Here’s the headline: We delivered this portion of the rebranding implementation at 67% under the budget estimate. But what’s really interesting is how.

Enbridge had told us to expect inconsistent branding of current vehicles. So, we created specifications to ensure the same material quality and placement of the brand across all vehicles. We led a competitive bid process for decal installation to save Enbridge money and limit the impact to the business. We worked together with selected installers to design and implement a streamlined process that required just 1.5 hours per vehicle. The installers did the hands-on work to remove and change the branded decals. The entire installation was completed in just eight weeks.

3. A thoughtful plan for signage

We started by assessing the current state at each facility. Our scope included right-of-way (ROW) signage as well as building and operational signage. BrandActive consultants equipped outside professional surveyors (and “volunteer” Enbridge employees at 37 smaller sites) with technology to efficiently gather detailed signage information, including size, exact location, and more. Along the way, we discovered that some signage from seven former operating companies had been left in place. We developed transition approaches for each type.

For ROW signs, we created a standardized ROW sign catalog. Every site now orders from the same catalog. This eliminated leftover legacy branding from seven previous operating companies across three geographies. At long last, Enbridge has a consistent companywide brand that complies with ANSI regulations for ROW signage.

Then, we turned our attention to managing ROW sign costs. We reduced per unit pricing from existing vendors through a competitive process. Then, we placed bulk orders. Those two tactics alone yielded 15% savings. We also proposed neutralizing 17,000 signs by applying decals instead of replacing them. This recommendation further reduced Enbridge’s rebrand costs and will bake in operational savings going forward.

We simplified facility signage (monument, pylon, channel letter, and other types) by creating a unified family of signs. Then we led a competitive bid process that saved Enbridge 23% in sign costs. Moving swiftly, we removed and installed 250 high-priority signs at 120 locations in less than four months.

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We’re proud of the work we did with Enbridge and believe it’s a best-in-class example of our rebrand implementation services. Looking back to see what made it possible to complete this brand change quickly and cost-effectively, we identified three factors. First is BrandActive’s proven four-step methodology. Second is the expertise and dedication of our consultants. Last but not least is the bespoke technology that streamlines estimating, site surveys, reporting, and tracking.