Lavendon rebrands UK operation

By Maria Hadlow06 December 2011

The Lavendon Group has decided to bring its three UK rental businesses under a single brand, Nationwide Platforms.

Following 14 acquisitions that took place over the 1990s and early 2000s, Lavendon Access Services organised its rental business into three divisions: EPL Skylift, the vehicle mount division; Panther Platforms, the self propelled platform division with a local bias and Nationwide Platforms, the self propelled division with a national bias.

Over subsequent years the demarcation between the divisions has become blurred, such that Nationwide now has more local customers than Panther and Panther had some big national accounts. In addition most of the EPL operations exist in depots shared with the other divisions which allows more flexibility for both customers and the hire desk.

Mike Potts chief executive officer of Lavendon Access Services said that running the divisions separately was confusing to customers; it diluted the sales and marketing effort and increased internal costs. In addition different IT systems, different working methods and operational overlaps, such as two transport fleets, created inefficiencies that impinged both on the business and the customer.

"We are offering a single service - safe working at height," said Mr Potts, "so we needed to get to a single brand."

Market research showed that the Nationwide Platforms brand was not only the most widely known of the UK Lavendon brands but also the best known in the UK. 43% of the group surveyed named Nationwide as a brand with which they were familiar, 16% named Panther, 8% named EPL and just 4% Lavendon. These results made the selection of the new brand name easy particularly when paired with research that found the brand was associated with high quality.

The new Nationwide Platforms website has already gone live and over the next couple of months the rebranding will be rolled out across the company. This will include aesthetic rebranding of depots and equipment as well as implementing a single IT system and operating methods across the organisation. The "Go Live" date is 1 February

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