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Agency Helps Veteran Builder Reinvent Its Image

June 18, 2018

Orange County Business Journal

June 18, 2018

130-Year Old Swinerton Plays Up Staff Ownership 

San Francisco-based construction firm Swinerton Inc. wanted to mark its 130th anniversary with a new identity.

Two years ago it tapped Costa Mesa-based advertising agency Idea Hall, and last month, the builder behind projects like Great Park Ice and Sports Complex, John Wayne Airport terminal improvements, Radisson Hotel at Disneyland and the Long Beach Airport, unveiled its fresh look.

Idea Hall revamped Swinerton’s logo of the “pointing” builder and architect, produced a brand video, and created a website dedicated to explaining the company’s brand evolution.

Idea Hall Founder and Chief Executive Rebecca Hall said Swinerton needed to make sure the new look represents its 3,500 employees and wide-ranging clients, from Bank of New York Mellon to LinkedIn.

“Swinerton is a $5 billion company, [and the branding] is much more robust because there’s more on the line at scale,” Hall said. “This needs to last until they evolve the brand again. We spent the time and research to really find out what they were best at, better than their competition, and that’s a hard question.”

The agency spent the first year researching Swinerton’s business, including one-on-one interviews with executives, employee surveys, and reaching out to clients. It also analyzed the company’s positioning. Last year, it focused on brand design, from creating a new logo and style guide, to the brand video.

“What we learned is the cost of entry in this business [is high],” Hall said. “You don’t even get asked to compete if you haven’t done it many times before.”

Idea Hall found the key positioning for Swinerton was its employee-owned legacy and the trust she said clients feel when working with the builder.

“Because of its pride of ownership, employees give clients peace of mind, and everything was built around that concept,” Hall said.

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