Colliers International

Establishing a top global commercial real estate company as a leader in the United States.

The Challenge

In January 2010, Colliers International - a well known and respected global commercial real estate company - was acquired, rebranded and restructured by its parent company, First Service, with the mission of unifying its lose network of unrelated offices across the US and the world under one global brand name: the "new" Colliers International.

The Colliers International commercial real estate services division in the U.S. — consisting of its various brokerage offices nationwide — was no longer a network and, with equity at the local level, there was now a shared, corporate mission to operate and succeed as one company.

Rather than separate offices working within their own silos, each office had to fundamentally shift in two dramatic ways. First, the local offices had to align their individual marketing efforts with the corporate office for brand consistency. Second, and more significantly, their operating systems and service lines had to follow and intersect with the corporate office. Philosophically and in practice, the individual offices were now expected to openly share information with one another and work as a national “team,” rather than the “every office for them self model” that had existed for many years.

The company simultaneously needed a comprehensive corporate communications program that helped brand the “new” Colliers International, elevating its status in the U.S. to match that throughout the rest of the world — as an elite global real estate services firm.

The Solution

Marino developed a marketing, re-branding, and public relations program aimed to (1) help guide the national Colliers International corporate communications initiative in the U.S. under one banner, (2) educate the local, regional, and national media about this momentous change and its significance in the commercial real estate market, (3) help educate the existing and newly hired C-suite Colliers executives about this change and its nuances, and (4) help Colliers professionals within the various offices understand the change and its significance.

Externally, the concept included numerous pitches and desk side meetings with top-tier and trade media on the change, and press releases announcing the new brand and structure, new offices as they opened, and new executive hires.

Marino also positioned Colliers as thought leaders across various real estate sectors and regularly educated the media on and off the record until the name Colliers International became part of the standard conversation.

The campaign landed positive stories in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Bloomberg, New York Post, and numerous trades and dailies. Some were about the name and structural change, while others were thought leadership articles, trend stories, and analytic pieces based on Colliers International white papers Marino helped create.

More importantly, Marino raised the profile of and educated the market about the Colliers International change to the point where Colliers International was now spoken about in the same conversations as one of the elite global commercial real estate services firms operating in the U.S.