The Synseal Group was one of the largest door manufacturers in the UK, but following the Grenfell Tower fire, turned to us to help manage their reputation and reposition them in an industry facing immediate and crucial change.
Managing the conversation
After the Grenfell Tower disaster, fire door manufacturers were facing more scrutiny. The Synseal Group had bought the company that initially installed the doors into Grenfell Tower, and as news emerged about who had manufactured the fire doors, we were brought in by the Synseal Group’s board to handle crisis communications for the organisation.
With a robust internal communications programme, we kept employees informed at every step of the way while mitigating panic amongst investors. We handled media requests from trade and local publications to manage the Synseal Group’s reputation, and also dealt with journalists from national titles who were looking for a scapegoat.
Throughout the year, we liaised directly with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), ensuring they were involved throughout the Synseal Group’s testing process, and helped them to bring together industry leaders to implement best practice across the fire door industry.
Setting a new industry standard
Ultimately, the Synseal Group knew that the industry itself had to change – and that they were going to lead the charge. Throughout our comms programme, we encouraged Synseal to stop production and with our help, the company embarked on the most extensive testing programme the industry had ever seen.
Following months of research and development, the Synseal Group was confident that they had a fire door that not only met the existing standards, but exceeded them. However, this range of doors needed a brand that would set them apart from both their competitors and their previous legacy.
We created the name Warden, based on the fact that a fire warden is often on the front line of defence in a building, and developed a new brand that reflected the premium nature of the product with rich colours and a strong, bold font. We then rolled the brand out across core collateral to help bring the proposition to life and instil confidence in customers.
Reset and recovery
When the Synseal Group purchased the company that had put the fire doors into Grenfell Tower, they elected to keep the name of the company – unaware that it would later come under scrutiny. It was decided that a reset was needed, and Synseal relaunched its door business as Calibre Doors.
We came up with a strong new brand that represented the high quality of the doors, including a colour palette that shied away from reds and more traditional colours in favour of vibrant blues.
As Calibre Doors’ typical customers included local councils, housing associations and organisations that needed doors produced to a certain specification, our team developed a new website as well to better aid the sales process, including bespoke iconography to highlight key safety and security features, and custom forms that encouraged more quality leads.