Turning a merger into a single cohesive brand launch

The Challenge
ONE Automotive Group was born out of the merger of two existing groups representing five dealerships in Wisconsin’s Chippewa Valley. Chippewa Valley Mazda (an existing Linnihan Foy client) and Ken Vance Automotive, both established players with decades of history in the Eau Claire region, joined forces to provide customers with a new service option. ONE Automotive hoped to capitalize on its members’ positive reputations to launch an established and recognized new brand.

Linnihan Foy was tasked with merging the two different entities into a single cohesive brand, creating a new identity that allowed the accumulated value of the founding companies to be leveraged, realizing a vision of ONE Automotive as a small community shop rather than a “big automotive group,” and operationalizing and internalizing the new brand attributes across all dealerships and employees.

The Actions
ONE Automotive Group’s development grew out of Linnihan Foy’s partnership with Chippewa Valley Mazda. Previously, we had helped launch Chippewa Valley Mazda as an independent dealership when it separated from a large regional automotive group. Many of the pillars we established for Chippewa Valley Mazda were foundational in building ONE Automotive Group’s identity. We identified core attributes of Chippewa Valley Mazda and Ken Vance Automotive; these included truth, sincerity, a strong community focus, and a one-price, client-centered approach that avoided putting pressure on customers.

Linnihan Foy created the ONE Automotive brand and developed a strategic business approach for the group. We evolved a brand promise narrative, established a visual identity, and oversaw the group’s launch. Notably, the memorable ONEderful campaign was incorporated across all dealerships, building awareness and goodwill among customers and stakeholders.

The Results
Linnihan Foy’s partnership with ONE Automotive Group resulted in a successful brand launch and a cohesive brand presence across all communications channels, including digital, in-store, and traditional and earned media. We created a shared platform through which the five dealerships could market a consistent, strong message. We were able to capitalize on legacy elements of the original brands, incorporating them into the new business approach and resulting in the Collision Center’s best-ever sales performance.

Linnihan Foy continues to serve as ONE Automotive Group’s external marketing department, guiding strategy and execution across all communications elements, including digital, traditional stimulus, and process consulting.