Unifying a Multi-Brand Organization with the Harris Companies Website Redesign

A multi-brand company that maintains 17 individual construction, service, and building system control organizations turned to Olive & Company to refresh their web presence with a modern site that would bring their individual brands under one, centralized umbrella.

Harris Construction Homepage

For more than 65 years, Harris Companies has been designing, building, installing, controlling, and maintaining building systems as an employee-owned company. Their work spans a number of industries with a portfolio that includes everything from stadiums to concert halls to historical landmarks to expansive industrial facilities. Charles Harris started the company as a small plumbing business in St. Paul, Minn. It has since grown to one of the largest and most respected mechanical subcontracting companies in the United States. Throughout this growth, they have maintained a focus on creative thinking, the drive to achieve success as a team, and resolve to get the job done, and get it done right.

Challenge: Assuming a Position of Leadership

While growing their business for more than half a century, Harris Companies had also worked hard to carve out a position of leadership in their industry. Their innovative vision and complex, value-driven solutions had become recognized throughout the United States. Proud of the reputation they had built, the Harris Companies team was concerned that their web presence didn’t fully reflect who they were as industry leaders.

Whoever they worked with to revitalize this web presence would have to be able to tackle the challenge of accommodating their 17 independently branded organizations. The new website structure would need to highlight each brand as a unique business entity without detracting from the relationship they have with their parent, Harris Companies.

To help maintain the elevated presence and renewed brand organization they hoped to establish with this redesign, the marketing team also sought to increase their web management role. They wanted to bring the main site and each of the sub-branded sites under their jurisdiction, so they could add and update content for every brand as needed.

Solution: An Extended Revitalization

From the outset of the project, Olive & Company worked closely with the Harris Companies internal marketing team, understanding their long-term goals for the parent brand and sub-brands and learning how the current site was preventing them from supporting these goals. Once we understood the problem areas, our team worked through a strategy for designing a set of sites that would arm the internal team with everything they would need to achieve their marketing objectives.

We also explored the existing overarching Harris Companies brand, finding ways it could be refreshed and extended across the parent site and sub-brand sites. Through this exploration, the team determined the best approach would involve bringing all the Harris Companies sites together under one unified brand that could be managed within a single content management system. Keeping the needs of the marketing team in mind, the content management system itself was customized with careful consideration to user experience.

Results: Centralized Management of Unified Brands

The revitalized and unified brand extended across every sub-brand site through the creation of master themes within WordPress. This approach allowed Harris Companies to finally establish a cohesive online presence that consistently represented their respected standing in the marketplace.

An enthusiastic marketing team was extremely pleased with the results. They were now able to access and maintain the Harris Companies site and all 17 sub-sites through a single login. Many were surprised by how simple it was to for anyone on the team to load content into the new, customized WordPress admin interface. Months later, the expanded control over the main site and subsites has allowed them to maintain the integrity of their brand from update to update.