Great brands start from the inside out. When connectFirst Credit Union needed an employee launch event for their exciting rebrand – a brand anchored in connection, togetherness, and belonging – that meant valuing the experience of employees in small rural communities just as much as that of those working at head office. It meant taking the experience to them, and that’s exactly what we did.
Together with our collaborators, Brand Alive, we set out to create a purposeful and safe experience that could go on the road, and most importantly, that would have the energy needed to bring connectFirst’s new brand to life in a powerful, meaningful way. The launch events were aimed at getting employees excited about the new brand and achieving the client’s goal of activating employees as “Beacons of Light” in their communities. To achieve this, we built out a creative, flexible, and safe plan for drive-through and pop-up experiences across the province.
We started by renting 2 cargo vans and fully customizing both the interior and exterior to show off connectFirst’s new brand look and messaging. Inside, we equipped each space to welcome employees, one at a time, to an immersive brand activation. Stepping into the van, guests were greeted by lights and music. A screen stood at the ready, playing a video that brought each employee into the brand story. Upon exiting, everyone was given their branded gift box.
When it came time to launch the rebrand to the Calgary head office, we completely transformed their parking lot into an exciting and energetic series of drive-through brand activations. The experience would host approximately 600 vehicles within a span of several hours, with a mandate of zero idling time, making it essential to efficiently manage traffic flow via registration in time slots.
We used massive lighting and sound structures to create the driving route, and custom signage and directional guidance branded the environment and introduced the new look and voice of connectFirst. To maximize the experience, we first made sure everyone’s car windows were clean at a window-washing station, then employees rolled through everything from the custom 100-foot Beacon of Light tunnel to the Rock and Roll Tent, where they each received their branded gift box. A live DJ brought the energy, snacks brought the sustenance, and of course, a photo opp rounded out the whole experience.
Employees are a brand’s heros, and connectFirst Credit Union understood that. Reinventing what it means to be a credit union started with reinventing the employee brand launch, one branch at a time. The series of events safely introduced 150 employees to the new connectFirst, bringing them into the experience and ensuring that they felt they were first in line to understand and buy into the rebrand, and empowering them to represent the brand within their communities.