We are honored to announce that DeSantis Breindel’s work with HALO and LPL Financial were recognized at the seventh annual Transform Awards North America. The Transform Awards recognize those companies and agencies that best exemplify the transformational power of rebranding and brand design. Each entry was examined by a panel of expert judges, who determined those that excelled in best practice in corporate, product and global brand design and strategy. HALO and DeSantis Breindel were awarded Gold in the category of “Best corporate rebrand following a merger or acquisition,” and LPL Financial and DeSantis Breindel were Highly Commended in the category of “Best brand development project to reflect changed mission, values or positioning.”
The awards ceremony, hosted by Andrew Thomas, was held last night at a gala dinner held in New York City. “The challenges of the past year have been immense, as companies of all sizes have worked to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. That’s why this year’s Transform Awards winners are incredibly deserving of their recognition,” says Andrew Thomas, publisher of Transform magazine and founder of the Transform Awards. “They have championed communications, design and strategic brand development in the most difficult of landscapes and they have achieved great things.”
HALO had grown rapidly in recent years, having made six major acquisitions. Many of the acquired companies had strong brands, deep relationships with customers, and an employee base loyal to their own established brand. To capitalize on the potential of developing a truly national branded merchandise platform, HALO needed to create a powerful master brand that conveyed the combined strength of these acquired companies. In particular, the brand had to be compelling enough to convince the employees of the subsidiaries to forego their allegiance to their longtime brand in favor of the corporate brand.
DeSantis breindel developed a new brand strategy and visual identity that went directly to what HALO enables, rather than what it provides. “The Power to Break Through” – the new tagline – encapsulates a brand laser-focused on what HALO’s clients want to do above all: “break through” the clutter and noise to engage their customers and prospects. The new HALO logomark consists of two geometric shapes that, together, form the letter H in negative space. The logomark is a visual representation of a key component of the brand: the commitment to partnership between HALO and its clients.
The reaction to the new HALO brand was overwhelmingly positive. Particularly noteworthy was the fact that the leadership of the acquired companies eagerly adopted the new brand, subsetting their long-standing corporate identities. Employees from what were formerly separate companies are now pitching major national accounts as one unified team.
LPL Financial, a financial services company dedicated to supporting financial advisors across the US, had successfully established itself as the nation’s largest independent broker-dealer. But through organic business development as well as acquisitions, the company had evolved to become much more than that. To meet its full potential, LPL had to develop its brand to better reflect its unique value and range of solutions. The company needed a powerful brand that could make a compelling emotional connection with independently-minded advisors – and stand out in an incredibly competitive marketplace.
DeSantis Breindel conducted a thorough research process which revealed that, despite a number of well-known brands in this space, LPL’s evolved offering suite was unmatched by competitors. From these insights, we worked with LPL to define a new brand centered around a core idea – “Feel Free.” This emotive rallying cry was designed to act as a call to action for advisors to become part of LPL’s revolutionary vision for the industry – one where support and independence go hand in hand – and was supported by a robust narrative and architecture framework to educate advisors on the company’s rich offering and value proposition.
The new brand has had overwhelmingly positive feedback from LPL leadership, employees, and advisors. Launched in 2021 alongside a website re-skin and a branded video, the new identity has rallied stakeholders who are excited by its potential.
The Transform Awards evaluate exemplary work in brand development and acknowledge the growing significance of brand in strategic corporate communications. DeSantis Breindel’s excellence in rebranding and brand development was recognized in a room brimming with industry specialists.