Re-inventing a national brand from the top down

Discount Car & Truck Rentals was a big-business brand with millions of dollars in yearly sales but a rocky reputation with its customers, especially on social, where the company struggled to find a voice that made its 25,000 followers feel listened to, but also respected its own values around service and tradition.

As creative director and strategist for the company’s AOR, it was my job to not just help the brand find its footing in the modern marketing mix, but to inspire the family-owned business’s executive leadership to see themselves differently.

Anxiety over technology and digital marketing was rampant.

Discount had a great story; a family-owned business for nearly 40 years, started with guts and half a dozen cars by the company’s patriarch in an empty parking lot in a steel-mill town, and the only Canadian-owned national car rental company in the country with over 300 locations coast-to-coast.

Anxiety over technology and digital marketing was rampant. The company felt like it was being left behind as social media use skyrocketed, but efforts to “get involved” in customer’s Facebook experiences through occasion-based posting fell flat, or worse, enraged customers who just wanted their customer service issues addressed.

I developed a new marketing and brand strategy that leveraged Discount’s patriotism and family values, while simultaneously working with the executive to address culture and customer service issues within the company.

Working with a number of partner agencies and a small but dedicated team, I designed a series of interconnected campaigns across multiple channels, including social, direct, content, out of home, experiential, sponsorship, and TV. The huge success of my team’s work led to a 900% increase in positive public feedback to the company’s social platforms, and contributed to a year-over-year fourth-quarter profits increase of 23% in 2016.