Sampson strengthens First Choice

One of last year’s most public identity changes was the metamorphosis of holiday company Owners Abroad into First Choice.

Following a troubled 1992/93 season, during which the company had been subject to a hostile takeover bid, lost market share and its share price fell, Owners Abroad commissioned research into its market position, with disappointing results. The corporate name, which did not reflect the nature of the business, was shown to have little consumer recognition and the many product brands were competing with each other – externally for consumer spend and internally for promotional spend.

Group chief executive Francis Baron, who had been charged with reviving the company to meet the challenges of a growing holiday sector, decided on a radical restructure. He appointed Sampson Tyrrell as part of an agency team, including sister WPP companies Ogilvy & Mather, Hill & Knowlton and Promotional Campaigns, to help him relaunch the company under a new corporate name with a drastically reduced portfolio of three key brands.

Within five months Sampson Tyrrell had created a new corporate name and identity – First Choice Holidays – and three product brands: First Choice, Sovereign and Freespirit. This work was carried through everything from brochures to advertising, public relations and promotional literature.

“Our contribution was far more than simply creating new names and logos,” explains Sampson Tyrrell consultant Clare Fuller. “We gave the company a new banner under which to group. This helped to give employees a new sense of purpose and optimism. Among other material, we produced a video and internal newsletters to involve and motivate them, and to ensure that they supported the changes. The visual change was a springboard for cultural change.”

Three months after launch, the new name was recognised by more consumers than the old (in spite of its long history) and sales were up by 35 per cent. First Choice is tracking its corporate image through consultancy Millward Brown.

Comments

    Leave a comment

    Close

    Discover even more as a subscriber

    This article is available for subscribers only.

    Sign up now for your access-all-areas pass.

    If you're an existing paid print subscriber find out how to get access here.

    Subscribers enjoy unlimited access to unrivalled coverage of the biggest issues in marketing, alongside practical advice from the digital experts at Econsultancy.

    With a subscription to Marketing Week Premium you will get full access to:

    > World-renowned columnists

    > Analysis & case studies

    > Exclusive leading-edge insight

    > Carefully curated reports & briefings from Econsultancy

    > Plus, much more including a £300 discount for the Festival of Marketing

    Subscribe now

    Got a question?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

    If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here

    Subscribers enjoy unlimited access to unrivalled coverage of the biggest issues in marketing, alongside practical advice from the digital experts at Econsultancy.

    With a subscription to Marketing Week Premium you will get full access to:

    > World-renowned columnists

    > Analysis & case studies

    > Exclusive leading-edge insight

    > Carefully curated reports & briefings from Econsultancy

    > Plus, much more including a £300 discount for the Festival of Marketing

    Subscribe now