With more than 30 years operating as a "customer experience consultancy," TARP Worldwide was a pioneer in the field of customer satisfaction research.
But rapid changes of ownership of the company and ill-advised rebrandings had dimmed its profile over the past 10 years. When TARP was acquired by the private equity firm Alfred Street Partners last year, it decided to aggressively relaunch its brand and tout its new management team to customers and the media.
TARP tapped Strategic Communications Group. "They said what we need to do is re-introduce TARP to the marketplace and refresh the view of TARP as not just under new management, but a completely relevant proposition in the marketplace today," says TARP CEO Dennis Gonier." That meant not only touting former AOL executive Gonier as a thought leader, but also positioning TARP as a solid force that had emerged from the dot-com collapse unscathed.
"The first step was to get [Gonier] out there as a spokesman," says Shany Seawright, a director at Strategic. The agency arranged a media tour for the new CEO and outreach to business, trade, and local press. At the same time, TARP redesigned its Web site to make it more energetic and to tout its new "Practices" division. "Completely new look and feel, a completely new way of positioning the business, and a completely new division within the business" is how TARP SVP Crystal Collier sums it up.
The campaign landed TARP coverage in outlets like Bloomberg, Forbes, and The Washington Post, and upped interest of financial analysts in the company. Gonier says he was "inundated" with attention from new customers, and old customers decided to maintain their accounts with the company.
TARP and Strategic continue to work together and will launch another phase of the effort in the future.
PR team: TARP Worldwide (Arlington, VA) and Strategic Communications Group (Silver Spring, MD)
Campaign: Relaunch of TARP following sale
Duration: January to April 2006