Despite their established presence as one of Australia’s leading engineering
contractors, John Holland had never defined the heart of their brand. With the infrastructure market more hotly contested than ever, a battle for recruiting talent, and existing staff isolated in project silos across the country, the time had come to decide their true north.
We set out to build a brand for the future of the business, one that would not only help John Holland win new projects, but unify their company culture for good.
“Frost* Place was the only branding business who understood the impact of the rebrand was just as important internally as it would be externally and identified the internal cultural engagement and change as vital to the success of the project.”
From Parliament House in Canberra to the new WestConnex in Sydney, John Holland has shaped the face of Australia. But behind those projects were the important people who built them.
For six months, we consulted with over 1,000 employees from around the country to find out what got them out of bed and excited to work for John Holland. Not only did this enable us to get under the skin of the company, it also created huge levels of engagement. This was more than a top-down brand, it was at the coalface.
While all its competitors were talking about their what, we realised John Holland had the opportunity to talk about their why. The company had a very deep sense of purpose – they were there to improve people’s lives, not just to construct projects.
Using this new insight into positioning, the brand idea “Transforming Lives” gave the company more than just a powerful platform for communicating, it crystallised its reason for being.
“We’re responsible for some of the biggest projects in the country and are currently expanding into new markets, such as property development. Frost* Place really got to understand our business and collaborated fully with us to create a simple vision with powerful implications that are creating a real point of difference for us as a business and a culture.”
With their newfound focus on delivering transformational outcomes for peoples’ lives, the brand design puts a person at the heart of their identity – literally. The solution is designed for impact – embracing the company’s iconic red colour and making it more powerful in application.
The human element comes to life across everything from cufflinks to vehicles. Photographs of projects are coupled with images of their beneficiaries, linked together with the human icon from the logo.
The brand language has also changed to better reflect how John Holland transforms lives. Where previously they talked about their what – ‘building kilometres of roads’, the language is now built around their why – better roads create the benefit of a shorter commute.
“Putting a person at the very heart of our brand mark shows our focus on people-centred solutions. Frost*Place worked with us to create a shift that injects more meaning into our identity, while still making us easy to recognise.”
The rebrand has impacted John Holland customers and its people with tangible results. The brand’s overall market image has gone up by 11 points to 85% positive since the relaunch. Internal engagement has also improved, and the net promoter score has shot up from +1 to +17 points – one of the best in the industry.
Just as importantly, the rebrand has enabled the company to unify staff and streamline its marketing and narrative, transforming lives across Australia.
“Our new brand allows us to simply and clearly state our purpose, our values and what makes us different – making it easier for all of us to know what we stand for and why it matters. It will make us more competitive and more focused. It emphasises the fact we’re good at the hard stuff. It also reinforces our brand idea, by putting people first and making them the focus of what makes us exceptional.”
Distinction – 2018 AGDA Awards
Category: Identity/Branding (Large Business)
Merit – 2018 AGDA Awards
Identity/Logos & Trademarks