01 May Case Study: From Multiple Brands to a Single Powerful Web Presence – Consolidating for a Better Customer Experience
BX3 Supply & Rental started in 2006 as the first Taylor Rental franchise in South Montrose, PA. Through the years following, Bill Kelly II and his father, Bill Kelley Sr. worked hard to build the business, and in 2008 they opened their second store.
The business flourished from here, and the enterprising father and son pair moved quickly to exploit new business opportunities. They expanded into oilfield supply when this industry began to boom, necessitating a move to a larger location for their second store in 2013. Then in 2016, they expanded their rental offering into the event and party space, creating Endless Mountain Events.
Business was good, but their web and social media presences were suffering. The new businesses were all branded separately, with their own websites and social media accounts. Customers found this lack of consistency confusing and often didn’t understand which site they should visit for a given service. In addition, managing all of these separate websites and accounts became increasingly difficult. Bill II and Bill Sr. realized they needed to consolidate into a single brand, with a single website and social media presence to improve their customer’s experience and make their lives considerably easier. Unsure of the best way to tackle such a large undertaking, they turned to New Media Retailer.
Website and Social Media Requirements
According to Phillip McKeon, BX3’s Vice President, “We had no accountability in our marketing/advertising department. Then, we had no one in our marketing/advertising department. We needed a content manager, and a fresh look with our re-branding process.”
When BX3 approached New Media Retailer, their various business divisions straddled three different brands, BX3 Supply, Taylor Rental, and Endless Mountain Events. The company planned to rebrand all of these separate entities under their current name, BX3 Supply & Rental.
In order to present this newly fused brand identity and make it as easy as possible for their customers to do business with them, they needed a new website that successfully combined these different business operations. The goal was to create an aesthetic that made sense for all of them, while also keeping important distinctions to avoid any possible confusion.
The company’s social media accounts also needed to be combined without interruptions or lost followers. It was important, particularly with their social media presence, that customers didn’t interpret the shuttering of the separate accounts as an indication that the company was going out of business or closing a division. The consolidation had to be deft, with constant communication so that existing followers had ample opportunity to connect with the new, fused social media accounts.
The task was daunting. As Phillip put it, “We had to get a new website built, convert the product catalog, merge our separate social media accounts, and come up with some fresh content for both of those.”
The different business divisions, while related, had very different personalities, that made creating a consolidated website challenging. The website needed to feel cohesive while still honoring what customers appreciated about the original brands.
It was also important to effectively communicate the upcoming changes to BX3’s customers, both during the conversion and afterward. It needed to be clear that nothing was changing about the business, and that the new website and social media accounts would make it simpler for customers to do business with all three divisions.
New Media Retailer built a responsive website that effectively fused the three distinct identities of BX3’s former brands into one, unified brand, with a design aesthetic that successfully honored all three divisions. The website presented the combined company’s full catalog, the retail hardware business and both rental businesses into a seamless whole that was easy to navigate and customer-friendly.
New Media Retailer also assigned BX3 a dedicated Marketing Specialist tasked with making monthly updates to the site based on feedback from the client and their customers. This made certain the new, combined site evolved effectively as BX3’s customers acclimated to the newly fused company.
In order to keep customers informed, and to help with SEO, New Media Retailer published blog posts on the new website, communicated changes and helped with the transition process. This continued after the transition was complete.
To round out the service, New Media provided BX3 with monthly analytics and reports on the website’s performance.
The Unexpected Difficulty
Everything was proceeding to plan when, during the merging of the company’s various social media accounts, a Facebook complication threatened to derail the process.
The team discovered that one of the two pages BX3 maintained had been created and was owned by a former employee, which made it inaccessible. New Media Retailer searched diligently for backdoors into the account and utilized numerous tactics to merge the two accounts into one, but it quickly became clear that this strategy wasn’t viable. Instead, the employee-owned account would have to be shut down.
BX3 grew concerned that closing the account might cause them to lose followers if they weren’t properly informed of the situation. The potential for misunderstandings was high, and BX3 wanted to be certain this new snag wouldn’t cost them customers in the long run.
The Quick Pivot
Recognizing the importance of smart communication, New Media Retailer created a social strategy to manage content and the transfer of followers from the account they didn’t fully control to the account they did. Frequent posts were made to the rogue account letting customers know that it would soon be shut down and encouraged them to “like” the second account. The posts explained the need for the transition and assured customers that the changes would do nothing but improve their experience.
At the same time, a series of posts were created to welcome transfer customers to the new main page. These posts were designed to give them an idea of the sort of content they could expect going forward. They also explained what was going on to followers of the main account and let them know why the welcome messages were needed.
These frequent, targeted posts were successful. New Media managed to convince the vast majority of the closing account’s followers to make the jump to the new account. By the time the account was closed, there were very few people that had to be abandoned.
After this snag was dealt with, New Media Retailer successfully merged the rest of the social media accounts and kept lost followers to a minimum.
BX3 couldn’t have been more pleased. The new website does an excellent job of combining their three business operations into a cohesive whole. Customers now enjoy a one-stop portal for all of their retail hardware, equipment rental, and party/event rental needs.
The site makes it easier for customers to learn about all the services BX3 offers. Since they’re now served up under one banner, customers that were previously aware of only one service were introduced to entirely new business offerings of which they could take advantage.
This drove a large increase in new business to all three of BX3’s divisions. Customers had new rental and retail options available to them of which they were previously unaware. This turned customers into fans.
BX3 & New Media Retailer Successful Together
BX3 Supply & Rental wasn’t sure how they would accomplish their brand fusion, or if it was even possible given the challenges they faced. These fears are now gone. As New Media Retailer moved the company through their process, it became quite clear to BX3’s management team that they made the right choice.
“New Media Retailer was recommended to us as a vendor through our co-op,” Phillip said. “Typically, we have always had success with vendor recommendations from our co-op. They do all the hard work for us.”
It would appear their co-op was right again. With New Media Retailer’s help, BX3 is now growing as a successfully merged company. Their website is a gleaming example of the capabilities posed through smart design and strong copywriting.
Through the redesign, BX3 has reduced costs, reduced labor overhead, and created a system primed for growth. As Phillip puts it, “We had a full/part-time person in our online marketing/advertising department. Having NMR relieve some of the stress of content distribution on social media, and keeping our website updated literally saved us an entire employee.”
BX3 is glad they enlisted New Media Retailer’s help, and for their part, NMR is quite pleased with the results. The whole project was an exciting foray into the branding challenges faced by small to mid-sized companies. NMR can’t wait to apply these lessons to their next branding project.