In the spring of 2015, we had the distinct pleasure of meeting Mickey Anderson, Angie Quinn, and Scott Zagurski. Mickey and Angie own a collection of car dealerships, and Scott had recently signed on as their new Director of Marketing. They reached out to Oxide because it was time for a branding overhaul.
Operating under the Baxter and Performance names, plus a collection of luxury car brands, they own more than 20 dealerships in addition to multiple auto service centers and body shops. (All told, they’re one of the top 15 largest employers in Nebraska.) The time had come to combine the equity of their disparate entities, and unify them all under a single name: Baxter.
More than just a logo change, Baxter needed a complete rebrand – a distillation of the values, principles, and elements that comprise their core foundation, and serve as a guidepost for all communications (internal and external). Oxide jumped at the chance to work with the wonderful people at Baxter, and help them launch a new, refined, and united brand.
Our process included one-on-one interviews with a wide range of key stakeholders, as well as reviewing the viewpoints of the broader family of employees. We researched what all of the other regional car dealerships were doing with their visuals and their messages, to make sure we could highlight what is truly unique about Baxter. And we led the core Baxter team through our Oxide Slides process, to unlock key insights into what really drives them.
Oxide distilled our findings into key written pieces of the brand, from small to large: a tagline, an elevator speech, and brand story. Baxter’s brand centers around their unique combination of old-world honesty and neighborliness with forward-thinking innovation. They’re looking to keep the best parts of the car buying experience from the mid-twentieth century, but update the process to make it streamlined and effortless.
From this written foundation, we developed a visual identity designed to convey the key aspects of the brand. The new logotype has a warm, human nature to it, but is also modern and progressive. It is bold but approachable, just like Baxter. Oxide created all of the aspects of the new visual identity to bring a sophistication to the Baxter brand, elevating them above the fray of stereotypical obnoxious car dealerships.
Building from the logo, Oxide designed a system for identifying each unique dealership, and a lockup for connecting the luxury dealerships to the Baxter brand. We also designed business papers, building signage, print advertising, and various other marketing materials. We combined all of the elements into a comprehensive Brand Book, which will be distributed to all employees, partners, and vendors, to help give everyone a clear set of guidelines for implementing the brand.
Baxter began a phased rollout of the brand on Memorial Day 2015, and announced their formal launch on Labor Day 2015 (with an event at the newly named Baxter Arena, home of the University of Nebraska Omaha Mavericks). We’re beyond excited to see the new Baxter brand rolling out across Lincoln and Omaha, and we look forward to seeing their continued success.