Launching a new brand post-acquisition
Brand & Experience
Culture, Capability and Engagement, Verbal Branding
Transportation is in the midst of rapid innovation – driverless cars, disruptive technologies, mobile solutions – and American Traffic Solutions (ATS) was right in the middle of it, providing commercial fleets with tolling solutions and providing municipalities with smart traffic enforcement technologies. ATS as an organization was changing rapidly too – adding new capabilities and team members via strategic acquisitions.
With a confluence of the global mobility marketplace and the growth of ATS capabilities, all roads led to the need for a new brand and corporate story. A brand that signaled the type of company that ATS was becoming. A brand that motivated and united employees to move the world through smart mobility.
Prophet was brought in to help ATS and its leadership to shape its corporate story and build a new brand. We began by looking where all great brands start: the heart. Through a combination of employee and customer interviews, we sought to find out what made ATS, as well as the recently acquired brands of Highway Tolling Administration (HTA) and Euro Parking Collection (EPC), the titans of their industry. We also looked outside-in to understand where the transportation solutions category was going.
Our research uncovered that traffic solutions no longer represents what ATS truly does. So, we crafted a brand purpose to reframe the category where ATS plays – smart mobility. The result was a bold new direction for the company – one that served as a guiding light for where it was headed, and motivated employees to be a part of something bigger. Grounded by a new purpose, we turned our attention to customers – crafting a simple, yet powerful brand promise that articulated the value delivered by ATS everyday: solutions that keep the world moving safely and easily.
But what would this new brand be without a new name? While American Traffic Solutions was well-known as an industry leader, a new name was needed to signal this strategic move. Enter Verra Mobility – a name that connotes truth (ver) and scale to impact the entire world (terra), while rooting the company in the fast-growing and high-valued smart mobility landscape.
The final piece of the puzzle was to solidify the brand internally. Our research revealed that one of ATS’ strongest competitive advantages was its people – people who always went the extra mile to serve customers. And with the acquisition of HTA and EPC, there was an opportunity to unite everyone under the new Verra Mobility brand. Through extensive research aimed at understanding needs and motivations of both current and prospective employees, Prophet created a new Employee Value Proposition to build pride with Verra Mobility’s current talent, while simultaneously attracting the talent that would be needed to support the company’s new direction as a leader in smart mobility.
The new Verra Mobility had a measured impact on stakeholders across the board.
For employees the brand was introduced in June 2018 via a high-energy firmwide meeting. The energy around the new brand was infectious, and Verra Mobility leaders have praised how the brand successfully brought all employees, both legacy and acquired, under a single purpose and compelling employer brand.
For customers, the new brand has expanded the scope of what the company can offer, creating opportunities for new partnerships and solutions to continue advancing the world of smart mobility.
For investors, the refreshed brand purpose has reshaped the company’s frame of reference to the highly valuable smart mobility sector. The brand was successfully taken public in Q3 2018 (NASDAQ: VRRM), with Verra Mobility leadership ringing the closing bell at the NASDAQ on October 18, 2018. (It would be great if we could insert the market cap of the company here as well.)
On April 1, 2019 – Verra Mobility’s stock reached an all-time high of $12 per share, achieving a market cap of $2.04B