How to Rebrand a 100-Year-Old Business

Geotechnical engineering may not be the sexiest industry, but it is arguably one of the most important. Building foundations for skyscrapers and bridges, sometimes in tricky locations such as near large bodies of water or in areas with seismic activity, is all in a day’s work for these engineers. It’s no surprise that this industry is home to some of the greatest minds out of institutions like MIT, CalTech and Stanford.

MRCE's new logo (right) and tagline speak to its work and heritage. 

MRCE's new logo (right) and tagline speak to its work and heritage. 

That’s why we jumped at the chance to work with Mueser Rutledge Consulting Engineers (MRCE), a leading geotechnical engineering firm in Manhattan. MRCE is known for its work on the foundation of the World Trade Center, which is credited with keeping lower Manhattan from flooding after 9/11 because of the “bathtub” they built that housed the buildings’ foundations.

Vertical business cards just make sense for MRCE, which builds skyscraper foundations. 

Vertical business cards just make sense for MRCE, which builds skyscraper foundations. 

The branding challenge for MRCE was how to update its image without losing the 100+ year heritage the firm has relied on to compete. As we do with all clients, we fully immersed ourselves in the company’s history, current strategic advantages and future business goals.

What we discovered is that the firm has achieved an incredible company culture where senior engineers with 25+ years experience work hand in hand with the best young minds out of the top engineering programs. We then set about bringing that ethos to life through clear brand positioning, brand messaging and a new look and feel. The results included a clean and modern logo with the tagline, “built on firm foundations.”

MRCE's new "Treasury of Knowledge" is an invaluable resource of information built throughout their 100-year history. A dedicated space for it will appear on the company's website that celebrates the many inventive solutions born within their walls that are now standard practice in the industry.

MRCE's new "Treasury of Knowledge" is an invaluable resource of information built throughout their 100-year history. A dedicated space for it will appear on the company's website that celebrates the many inventive solutions born within their walls that are now standard practice in the industry.

Through our discovery process, we unearthed MRCE’s unequaled treasure trove of 100+ year industry knowledge including street maps of underground Manhattan dating back to the early 1900s, core samples of what lies beneath skyscrapers, an in-house instrumentation lab and a library of case studies of innovations. We named this cache of wisdom their “Treasury of Knowledge” and are in the process of creating a new website experience where visitors can encounter these one-of-a-kind pieces of history.

We believe that no matter the industry, great branding can bring value to the bottom line. With MRCE’s new look and feel, the brand is poised to tell its story in a relevant way that pays homage to the past.

Bringing clear design to a complex industry makes the brand experience stronger as with these marketing materials for MRCE. 

Bringing clear design to a complex industry makes the brand experience stronger as with these marketing materials for MRCE.