Exciting new brand ties Helm together and strengthens customer service

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CCN Special Feature
The familiar black and red logo is gone, but the commitment to customer service and quality work has never been stronger at Helm.
The company, headquartered in Freeport, recently changed its branding to consolidate several smaller entities and operations under the name Helm. Previously, the company operated under several names including Mechanical, Civil, Industrial.
It’s an exciting new brand that ties all offerings together while it showcases and strengthens the company’s proud accomplishments and expertise. It also makes it easier for customers to find Helm online.
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“We decided to rebrand in 2020 to consolidate our brands under one name,” said CEO Brian Helm, explaining how the name Helm was used as the parent company to all of the brands, but it wasn’t used in marketing materials.
Prior to 2020, the Helm Group companies included Civil Constructors, Mechanical Inc., Conmat, Industrial Solutions and Heavy Equipment Services. The rebrand to make everything Helm is the result of leveraging the size and expertise across all of construction and management operations.
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Known to the public simply as Helm, the branding includes subsidiary companies to be used for individual customer contracts. Helm Civil, Helm Service, Helm Mechanical, Helm Engineering, and Helm Construction Services are all companies within Helm.
The company name is now much more Google-friendly, and the rebranding makes it clear that this Helm is a $350 million company rather than a combination of smaller companies.
“Our new brand is also better for recruiting,” Helm said. “We hire dozens of new graduates each year and it is much easier to recruit with our new brand.”
“Customers that previously knew us as maybe only an HVAC service contractor, now know we also do marine, heavy civil, electrical, controls, and many other scopes.”
That makes the business much more nimble and efficient because everyone is selling work with the same name and value proposition.
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“It sounds strange, but any silos we may have had disappeared because of the common name,” Helm said. “A new logo and fresh marketing materials also helped foster a new sense of pride in where we are going while still maintaining reverence to our past.”
The community has warmly embraced the new brand. In fact, standardizing the name has increased awareness of Helm’s work in the community.
“We definitely get more credit for all the support we give to our communities by standardizing the name on the donation check and our 600 vehicles that are traveling billboards now tell a consistent message,” Helm said.
While the look has changed, the approach and commitment to exceeding customer service expectations hasn’t wavered since Chuck Johnston started Freeport Blacktop in 1946, launching the Helm legacy.
“We meet with the customer to understand the project and talk through each step in our process,” Helm said. “On plan and spec projects where there isn’t an opportunity to meet, we study the plans and specifications so that we are pricing exactly what is needed,” Helm said. Once we understand what what the customer wants, we look for opportunities to optimize the design and reduce the cost. Our in-house engineering staff draws on past experience to add value to the project plan.”
Much of the planning is done pre-award so experts are ready to mobilize as soon as approval is given. Refining the plan doesn’t stop at the award stage, however, and continues throughout the project.
Helm has a long, proud history – surviving difficult post-World War II days to hang on and slowly build up a company that we see today.
2020 has been great year, even as most businesses work through a global pandemic, and Helm says 2021 is also full of promise.
“We’re very optimistic about 2021, especially our place in the market. We have a wide diversity of scopes of work, which is what led to our legacy diversity of brands,” he said.
“Now, with common branding, we are no less diverse. We see some of our markets at a 20 year low in terms of upcoming work, but an even higher number of markets are seeing a high water mark. We’re excited and anxious to see what 2021 brings and it will be an important year for us to accelerate our growth trajectory.”
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