Old-line logisitics business gets an image update

  • Article by: DAVID PHELPS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 24, 2013 - 9:22 PM

The marketing agency Fame helped logistics firm King Solutions rebrand itself.

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Lynne Robertson is president and CEO of the marketing agency Fame. Chief creative officer Bruce Edwards said, “We pride ourselves on finding a unique brand voice.”

Photo: JOEL KOYAMA, Star Tribune

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King Solutions is a transportation logistics company — basically a hybrid trucking and warehousing operation that makes sure goods arrive at their destination on time.

But after 24 years in the business, King Solutions decided it was time to rebrand itself and freshen its image to make itself more attractive to potential customers.

“The transportation industry looks so very, very similar. We didn’t want to look like everyone else,” said Michael Patterson, CEO of the Dayton-based trucking company with 110 employees.

Enter Fame, the Minneapolis brand marketing agency.

With a pedigree largely in the retail sector — clients range from FAO Schwarz to Hot Mama to MyBurger — handling a new client in a business-to-business service setting was a challenge for the 45-person agency. But one it relished.

Over the last year or so, Fame changed the King Solutions corporate logo but kept its corporate and symbolic meaning intact. It upgraded sales materials and the company website with vibrant green, orange and blue highlights. And it gussied up the promotional copy for the company, adding a cheekiness not found in most sales materials — certainly not in the trucking industry.

“It was not formulaic. We wanted something so people would want to work with this company. We wanted something inherently more friendly and sometimes sassy,” said Lynne Robertson, Fame’s CEO.

Sassy, indeed. On the website page providing case studies of real customers, the King Solutions introduction says, “Enough about us. Let’s talk about our clients. (And, well, a little bit more about us.)”

It was a break from the routine for Patterson, and in some respects, a leap of faith.

“Sometimes you have to be careful what you wish for,” Patterson recalled in an interview last week. “We talked about our hopes and they gave us some options and it was ‘Whoa!’ We were so used to doing things the old way and at first it was quite a jolt, but we came to embrace it.”

King Solutions provides services to clients that range from transporting goods from Point A to Point B, warehousing finished products until they are needed by clients, fulfilling customer orders and managing display projects.

King Solutions also is a Christian-based company, so one of the challenges for Fame was to balance the faith underpinnings of the company with the secular world, which can be seen in the crown-shaped corporate logo. On top of the crown are three points that Patterson said refer to the Holy Trinity. But the three points with their crossing vertical lines can also be interpreted to represent teamwork, said Bruce Edwards, Fame’s chief creative officer.

“It’s his [Patterson’s] company, so it was important to reflect that,” Edwards said of the corporate Christian tenet of King Solutions. “We pride ourselves in finding a unique brand voice as part of the company’s personality.”

Indeed, one of the first things potential customers see on the King Solutions website is this, “We believe that one solution does not fit all. We don’t even believe that one solution fits most. So we’ll work until we find the one solution that fits your specific needs.”

Robertson said the new message for King Solutions followed intense research of the corporate brand that included interviews with employees and customers and research on competitors.

“That’s where the concepts came from. They have to be real and authentic,” Robertson said. “We have a Swat-team approach with planners, account people and a creative team that all work together.”

The relationship between King Solutions and Fame is less than a year old, so it is too early to tell if the new brand identity has translated into new sales. But both sides see encouraging signs.

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