BACKGROUND / CHALLENGE:
PDI (Professional Data Solutions, Inc.) is a 40-year-old company started by an accountant who worked at a gas station and developed software to help run his store. When the gas station went out of business, he started selling the software to other c-store retailers. Over time, PDI’s reputation grew in the United States as the premier provider of a purpose-built ERP solution for gas stations, known for their in-depth industry knowledge, proven expertise, and outstanding service.
In 2016, a private equity firm acquired PDI and added a sales and marketing function, a seasoned leadership team, and an M&A growth strategy. This M&A strategy is anchored in knowing that a c-store is the endpoint in the petroleum supply chain, which includes wholesale and logistics. This strategy acknowledges that convenience retailers are now competing with more vertical segments, including quick-service restaurants, and larger retailers and focusing more on improving customer experience and engagement. Fast forward four years to 2021, and PDI has three private equity partners and has completed 20 acquisitions, including marketing loyalty, payments, data analytics, cybersecurity, and consumer engagement. The company has grown from 100 to 1350 employees with offices in 11 countries and customers in over 50 countries.
As a result, WANT Branding was asked to create a new positioning, identity, and brand architecture to leverage the heritage PDI and to revitalize the brand to be a modern provider of leading-edge solutions that will scale to accommodate future acquisitions, new verticals, and an emerging consumer focus.
WANT jumped right in by attending a petroleum marketing convention to assess the competition and talk with numerous PDI sales professionals. What followed next was an exhaustive Discovery Phase that included over 30 individual stakeholder interviews with executive leadership, product specialists, customers, analysts, and employees. A thorough competitive review and analysis looked at 10 players in ERP software, wholesale and retail petroleum distribution, supply-chain, and logistics. The key insight that was identified is that digital transformation is the key issue for customers and that only PDI has the scale and depth of services to “Transform Together.”
Once that positioning was approved, WANT recommended adding “Technologies” to the company name PDI, to reflect the core competency in solutions for the full range of clients from individual gas stations to regional brands like Circle K all the way to the big oil majors like Chevron and Exxon. A brand architecture alignment was recommended to streamline the go-to-market strategy for products and solutions.
A vibrant new visual identity was introduced featuring with a dynamic up-arrow symbol along with a comprehensive style guide for implementation.