Matchtech Group:
maintaining the house of brands

This growth had been driven by creating, and acquiring, several brands- each of which was focused on a market niche."

Matchtech Group is the parent company of several leading recruitment brands.

The group operates internationally and has an annual turnover in excess of £500 million.

The Challenge

Since its formation in 1984, Matchtech Group has grown into a leading player in the recruitment market. This growth has been driven by creating, and acquiring, several brands- each of which was focused on a market niche. Adopting this ‘house of brands’ strategy brought a number of benefits, especially the opportunity for each brand to build a stronger identity and position itself as a specialist.

However, Matchtech Group’s management team also saw the potential downside. Maintaining several distinct brands multiplied marketing costs, reduced group cohesion and failed to leverage the power of the parent brand. As such, alternative brand architectures were being evaluated.

Whilst Matchtech Group’s management team could make a decision based on the careful evaluation of each option, they knew the best route would only become clear once they understood the target market’s point-of-view:

1. What does the target market want a recruitment brand to stand for?

2. What meaning do they attach to each brand in the Matchtech Group family?

3. How strong an attachment do they have with each brand?

4. What relationship, if any, can they see between the brands?

This was Savanta’s brief – to uncover brand perceptions and, based on this, make recommendations about the optimum brand architecture.

Our approach

Market:
analysed

Brand architecture:
optimised

Decision:
made

To identify the optimum brand architecture, it’s essential to understand the views of all key stakeholder groups. With this in mind, we designed a research programme which canvassed the views of three audiences:

• A series of in-depth, hour long interviews were held with Matchtech Group’s clients
• A structured online survey was conducted with more than 1,200 candidates
• Interviews with Matchtech Group’s management team

To ensure we got to the core of the issue, we employed several methodologies- such as projection techniques- designed to elicit people’s true thoughts and feelings.
The research revealed three critical findings.

1. ‘Industry knowledge’ is just as important as ‘recruitment knowledge’. Clients and candidates want to work with a specialist.

2. A shared culture is key. The way individuals behaved reflected the culture and values of the wider brand.

3. The group has assets that should be utilised. It was seen to bring strength, resources, and most importantly, shared best practice between brands.

These findings led us to suggest that Matchtech Group retain their ‘house of brands’ approach, but augment this by increasing the visibility and role of the group brand.

The outcome

Matchtech Group remains a ‘house of brands’ and continues to thrive. Their brand architecture has also been invaluable in Matchtech Group’s acquisition of Networkers International, a specialist ICT and engineering recruiter. From day one Networkers International was able to fit neatly into the wider family whilst maintaining existing brand equity and goodwill.

“Savanta is an excellent partner. They have a very strong understanding of branding in B2B environments and their approach uncovers deep insights. What's more, they’re able to translate these into strategically and commercially sound business advice”



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