At the beginning of 2015, Aon Hewitt, the global talent, retirement and health solutions business of Aon plc, announced the selloff of its Asia-Pacific payroll business to Everstone Group, a premier India and South East Asia-focused private equity and real estate investment firm. Aon Hewitt continued to provide broad HR business process outsourcing services in the region. This transition involved rebranding a well-established business with significant presence and market equity. The objective was ‘energise’ the new company amid of the best market conditions in its history. We aspired to create a sense of excitement and vigour about the company’s future:

  • Create a new look, strengthen messaging
  • Standardise the new brand and develop brand ambassador employees
  • Enhance recruitment initiatives through a branding campaign
  • Demonstrating to customers and other stakeholders that the company is a significant player in the industry
  • Advise Everstone/Aon Hewitt on strategic communication and rebranding
  • Write RFP for branding agency, evaluate top branding/design firms, shortlist three for the pitch
  • Drive pitches, close evaluation and terms of engagement for branding firm
  • Work with branding firm on rebranding, all internal and external communication, launch new brand
  • Separately work with the Everstone leadership and communication teams to manage and execute all PR and communication around the rebranding

Strategy and execution

  • Step 1: Brand strategy (research, building, positioning, messaging)
  • Step 2: Identity assessment and competitive landscape mapping
  • Step 3: Strategy development, branding framework, platform to guide brand relationships
  • Step 4: Corporate identity, including creation of identity standards, stationery package, website and intranet design coordination keeping current structures
  • Step 5: Visual identity – corporate guidelines on visual elements applicable to all media, touchpoints (digital and offline), infographics, thought leadership
  • Step 6: Internal and external launch plan, including conversion management, mix of print advertising, collateral, direct mail/email, video, employee newsletter, promotional items, brand promotion/employee training
  • Step 7: Recommendations for implementation plan
  • In addition, Pitchfork Partners, worked with the leadership and communications team at Everstone Group to manage the following:
  • Step 1: Deep-dive perception audit among all stakeholders: media, employees, business partners
  • Step 2: Sustained one-on-engagement with leadership team to understand vision of company
  • Step 3: Prepared messaging house, the Bible for all spokespersons
  • Step 4: Put in place crisis communications system and messages
  • Step 5: Managed communication with media, ensured positive coverage


  • New brand launched internally and externally to all stakeholders between March and April 2015
  • (Excelity Group is now the new brand)
  • All brand and PR-related communication went smoothly, rollout was flawless
  • Transition was seamless, didn’t impact any stakeholders adversely
  • All media reported deal and subsequent rebranding positively
  • We were subsequently asked to work on the next phase of the ongoing communications programme