HALO is the global leader in branded merchandise, uniform programs, and recognition and incentive solutions. With more than 2,000 employees in 16 offices, HALO offers the industry’s most comprehensive range of products and solutions. HALO clients include many of the Fortune 1000, among them Verizon, Target and Microsoft and thousands of smaller organizations seeking to make a big impact with their brands.
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.
Extensive quantitative and qualitative research, including brand workshops with key leaders of the acquired companies, revealed that buyers were hungry for more than branded products; they were looking for a partner to help them enable their brands to stand out in a media-saturated environment.
Research indicated that the real power in branded merchandise isn’t the product itself. It’s the experience that receiving something of value triggers in a customer or prospect. What’s more, transforming products into true experiences requires more than a catalog backed by a team of order takers—it requires creativity, a strategic mindset, and flawless, technology-powered execution.
These insights led to a new brand idea 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 brand platform was supported by a targeted messaging for each of the company’s business segments: branded merchandise, recognition programs, and uniforms. Importantly, the messaging emphasized the unique benefits to HALO’s clients of having all three of these businesses aligned under one corporate parent. Messaging for specific audiences communicated the brand through the lens of what key decision makers were seeking: HR buyers who want to engage employees, marketing managers seeking competitive differentiation, procurement professionals looking to meet compliance standards at a competitive cost.
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 unexpected color palette is a direct offshoot of the brand research, including in-depth interviews with HALO clients, and is personified by one marketing director who said that working with HALO was the best part of their day. The visual brand conveys this sense of joy and fun while also showcasing the strategic thought behind every HALO solution. Rather than show products in isolation, the brand portrays them being used and enjoyed by consumers.