Premier Tech is a Quebec multinational corporation that operates in the fields of horticulture, agriculture, industrial equipment, and environmental technology. Founded in 1923 and based in Rivière-du-Loup, it has experienced phenomenal growth over the past 30 years and is now present in 27 countries with a team of 4,700 employees.

The company’s primarily organic growth has been supported by sustained investments in innovation as well as a series of targeted acquisitions against a background of changing market conditions. These developments prompted the company to seek to clarify its purpose and its brand framework.

Premier tech: strategy and brand identity

The challenge: Communicate the company’s purpose and help it build on success
Premier Tech first enlisted BrandBourg’s assistance in 2018 to help revitalize its corporate brand by reviewing its strategic platform and redesigning its visual identity.

One of our initial findings was that the Premier Tech brand was in need of greater cohesion: over the years, the numerous brands acquired by Premier Tech had created a landscape that was difficult to navigate and expensive to maintain.

Our approach: Working together for a better outcome
The agency and the client worked in tandem to express the overall brand promise, based on strong values and a unique corporate culture. At the same time, BrandBourg and Premier Tech held a co-creation session, or “design sprint,” with the aim of reviewing the company’s visual identity to bring it in line with the brand strategy.

For three days, BrandBourg’s experts worked intensively alongside a group of 25 Premier Tech design, marketing, and communication team members to generate creative ideas for the company’s new logo. This proved a particularly enriching and inspiring exercise for everyone concerned.

The new Premier Tech logo is solid, stable, timeless and authentic. It is the visual expression of the brand’s history — a combination of Passion and Technology that has been making a real difference in the lives of people, businesses and communities for more than 98 years.

The result: Simplicity, modernity and cohesion
The process led to a stronger, more cohesive image, both internally and externally, as well as an inspiring narrative that appeals to all stakeholders.

“We didn’t want to simply have a report and a logo delivered to us; we wanted to understand the approach. The BrandBourg team guided us throughout the process and ensured that the entire team took ownership of the project.”

– Nadine Leclerc, Vice-President Marketing and Brands, Premier Tech

Premier tech automated systems

BrandBourg’s contribution then extended to the business groups, especially PT Automated Systems, which had helped to propel the company forward in the 1990s. This group specializes in optimizing manufacturing operations by developing innovative, high-value-added systems that unlock the full potential of automation and robotics.

The challenge: Clarify the role and contribution of brands
Premier Tech’s Automated Systems Group, a world leader in the manufacture of packaging and bulk processing equipment, enlisted BrandBourg’s assistance to review its brand architecture in order to clarify the roles and relationships of its many brands and products. In the wake of its acquisition of several companies, the challenge was to strengthen Premier Tech’s brand presence among customers while continuing to benefit from the strong equity vested in the brands it had acquired.

Our approach:
We recommended a descriptive approach to naming business units in order to strengthen Premier Tech’s brand presence. The business unit formerly known as Premier Tech Chronos — a name inherited from a European business acquisition with significant equity in Europe and Asia — was renamed “Premier Tech Systèmes Automatisés / Premier Tech Systems and Automation.”

This is consistent with the clear descriptors chosen for the company’s other business units, and the approach serves to build brand recognition and equity for Premier Tech.

  • But how could Premier Tech continue to leverage the well-established Chronos brand, which enjoys an excellent reputation? Here, a decision was made to maintain the Chronos brand as a product brand, rather than as the name of a business unit. So Chronos now represents Premier Tech Automated Systems’ premium line of baggers and palletizers for the nutrition and agriculture markets as well as organic and industrial products. This solution maintains and leverages the equity in the Chronos brand, while clarifying Premier Tech’s role.

The result: clear and accurate branding
This branding exercise made it possible to clarify the organization of the Group’s brand portfolio and to simplify the product offering as well as related communications. It also leaves room for the company to develop new product lines while continuing to maintain a coherent brand framework.

Premier tech water and environment

The challenge: Prune the brand portfolio while preserving key assets
In 2018-2019, Premier Tech and BrandBourg teamed up again, this time on a project for the Water and Environment Group, which specializes in systems, products and services for wastewater, storm water, runoff, and liquid and solid waste storage. PT Water and Environment had made a large number of acquisitions worldwide in recent years, with the result that it came to own and manage more than 25 brands in its three fields of operation: residential, commercial and municipal-industrial. It was time to rationalize the portfolio.

Our approach: Back to basics
To do this, we had to go back to basics and carry out an in-depth analysis in order to get a clear picture of the different target audiences, the competition, as well as the response chains in the business group’s various fields of expertise. This process allowed us to identify the key elements that set the company apart from the rest of the industry and to link them to the Premier Tech brand ecosystem.

In the second phase of the project, virtual collaborative workshops were organized with team members around the world. These helped to highlight the different brand dynamics and identify which brands had the most equity and resonated strongly with the various target audiences. This pragmatic and consensus-driven process allowed the brand rationalization to proceed smoothly, and the number of brands was reduced from 25 to 5!

The result: Fewer brands, greater relevance
Putting customer needs at the heart of the brand rationalization process provided a perspective that made it much easier to make decisions about how to prune the portfolio. This resulted in a portfolio that is more consistent and relevant for target audiences in addition to being easier to manage. Moreover, it reduces the investment that would be required to support a greater number of brands.

As for the brands that made the cut, they match the functional and emotional needs of the customer target groups. Further, they have a clear and differentiated brand positioning, and their brand stories revolve around relevant benefits.

The end result is effective communication and streamlined marketing, efforts that allow for better use of investment dollars.

Brandbourg and premier tech: a collaborative relationship

Dynamic team work
Like Premier Tech, BrandBourg believes in taking an open and collaborative approach. From day one, the agency and the client worked closely together to bring Premier Tech’s projects to fruition. This is a very constructive approach that elicits the best both parties have to offer. The client brings their vision to the table and provides all the expertise regarding their products and services, while the agency brings an external viewpoint to bear on the issues and brings to light new perspectives and solutions. Combining the strengths of both parties allows us to tackle and solve problems quickly and intelligently within the framework of the company’s business reality. This process also gives us an opportunity to build an understanding of strategy and branding among internal teams.

A creative and collaborative sprint

A design sprint is a creative process that enlists the tools of design thinking to find promising solutions in a very short timeframe. Participants are brought together from different spheres of the organization to work on a project as a dedicated team for a fixed period of time.

This highly effective method accelerates problem-solving and fuels an organization’s creativity, whether it is a start-up or a multinational. It leads to solutions that are perfectly suited to the organization’s needs, since they are based on the ideas and experience of the people who work there.

Moreover, the design sprint has a rallying effect, since it facilitates the transfer of knowledge and encourages people throughout the organization to internalize the message.

The design sprint is one of the innovative techniques that make up BrandBourg’s business model, which is based on working collaboratively to build and manage brands.

Aiming higher and further

“We were seeking support, not with a view to reinventing ourselves, but to take our process of self-examination as far as it could go, ensure consistency in our existing identity, and equip ourselves to maximize the impact of our brand. That’s what we liked about BrandBourg’s approach: taking what already exists as a starting point and working together to move forward.”

– Jean Bélanger, President and CEO, Premier Tech

“It isn’t easy for an organization to revisit its visual identity. It was really reassuring and stimulating for our design team to have BrandBourg on board for this journey. They are experienced professionals who want, above all, to share their knowledge. Our team has clearly emerged from this participatory experience enriched, motivated and better equipped. And we are ready to take on the challenge of implementation.”

– Isabelle Murray, Designer and Brand Project Manager, Premier Tech

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