For 12 years, Wheaton Precious Metals was known as Silver Wheaton. A company with roots in the mining industry, they were the first to use the ‘streaming’ model to unlock value for their shareholders and their partner mine owners. In a dozen years, they had grown from a small operation with no full time employees to the leader in an international market that they had created.
In their early years, most of their revenue came from streaming silver (streaming involves earning revenue from the mine’s non-core mineral, for example silver revenues from a gold mine). By the time they approached Red Rocket Creative Strategies, gold streams contributed to about half their revenue, and gold and other precious metals were their growth markets. The company’s success had outgrown their name. The Silver Wheaton name hindered their ability to seek new clients and misrepresented their true value to investors.
After a competitive search, Silver Wheaton chose Red Rocket Creative Strategies. We were honoured to take on the responsibility of developing a new name and visual package, with all the supporting messaging, imagery and associated brand elements to convey the company’s true value to their core markets, including the investment community.
We applied our proven four-phase approach for the rebranding of Wheaton Precious Metals.
Phase 1: Auditing the Existing Brand
Phase 1 is centred on analysis: for Silver Wheaton, we researched their brand identity, messaging and marketing collateral. We explored their major competitors’ branding, the various target markets and the most successful communication strategies employed to reach those markets. We conducted a thorough brand audit, in which we assessed Silver Wheaton’s relationships and touch points with their important internal and external audiences. We surveyed investors, industry stakeholders, partners and brokers. We closed out Phase 1 with a Brand Idea Launchpad Session: a roundtable discussion with Silver Wheaton’s key staff in which we probed their industry expertise and opinions on their service offerings. We also discussed their existing brand idea and brand architecture in addition to their hopes and expectations for the new brand.
Phase 2: Developing a New Name
The process of developing a striking, effective, forward-looking brand name is a mix of creativity, research, and strategy. We worked through the development steps from brainstorming to refinement and validation. From a final set of options, they chose the name Wheaton Precious Metals—which retained the sense of the company’s history while firmly establishing them in the gold and precious metals markets. Once the new name had been agreed upon, we followed with a tagline and supporting copy to establish and reinforce the new brand’s positioning and personality to its key markets.
Phase 3: Designing a Visual Identity
Based on the analysis of Phase 1 and the name and messaging developed in Phase 2, we put pencil to paper and started the design process. The new logo tells a multi-layered story that represents and supports the Wheaton Precious Metals brand proposition. A stylized W in gold and silver speaks to the breadth of the company’s portfolio. The shape of the W—a modified infinity symbol—hints at the power of the streaming model, in which value flows back and forth, to the benefit of mines and investors.
Phase 4: Soft-Launching the New Name and Identity
Before launching the new brand identity to the public, we gave it a “test run” in a soft launch for the board and key internal stakeholders. This verified the success of the new name and visual identity and secured the buy-in of industry experts.
Launching the New Brand
With the success of the soft launch, we completed the development of the Wheaton Precious Metals identity system. The final system includes a suite of deliverables, including a Graphic Standards Manual, a complete stationery set, fact sheet, exhibit displays, PowerPoint template, website design and more. To support the worldwide launch, Red Rocket Creative Strategies provided guidance and support to Wheaton Precious Metals, including a series of trade advertisements and assistance in the first applications of the new graphic standards.
Reaction to the new Wheaton Precious Metals rebrand has been extremely positive, says Patrick Drouin, Senior Vice President of Investor Relations: “The longer the new name and brand gels with the group, the more excited everyone seems to be getting.” The company’s communications manager, Simona Antolak, who is responsible for maintaining the company’s new graphics and language standards, adds “[the] new identity … better reflects our unique business model and diversified asset portfolio”.