Marvin’s Emily Finley and Brett Boyum discuss social media’s role in merging their sub-brands

Marvin is in the midst of merging their two consumer-facing brands — Marvin Windows and Doors and Integrity Windows and Doors — into one overarching master brand, Marvin.

Senior Manager of Corporate Communications Emily Finley and Vice President of Brand & User Experience Brett Boyum have been integral to the process — both for its high level strategy and in rolling it out across Marvin’s social channels.

The idea for the sub-brand merger came about two years ago, when the company did a value proposition redefinition.

During that time, the new CEO, Paul Marvin, was developing his vision for the business strategy and growth as an enterprise.

“We took that opportunity to look at what we were doing and our brand strategy didn’t appropriately reflect Paul’s vision for the next 10 years at Marvin,” Brett said.

He said they discovered that with different brands, consumers found their portfolio difficult to navigate. To solve that, the team wanted to take their sub-brands under the Marvin master brand, with a common purpose and set of values.

“Each product line can carry itself in its own lane and still have a distinct value proposition, but all of them fit into the master brand value proposition,” he said.

According to Brett, they hoped the singular brand would better reflect the purpose and vision of the business.

We allowed them to actually design and describe to us what our portfolio should look like. Brett Boyum
They also hoped the shift would contribute to their aggressive growth goals and make the user and customer experience within their portfolio easier.

“There’s also the marketing power opportunity,” Brett said. “Instead of dividing up your resources and trying to grow multiple brands, you can put all your resources into building one power brand. Which will be more efficient at the product line level and let the product marketing sell the features and benefits of the products instead of carrying the load of selling the brand itself.”

To kickstart the brand merger, they first had to rally internal leadership to buy into the new strategy.

Once they had the buy-in, they went into the marketplace to learn new ideas through interviews with dealers, architects, builders, remodelers, and homeowners.

“It was design oriented,” Brett said. “We allowed them to actually design and describe to us what our portfolio should look like.” Then, they built prototypes off that, brought them back out to the market, tested them, and landed on what they felt was a confident architecture strategy.

They repeated that same process to name their product lines. “It all came from the market up to us and not from us to the market,” he said. “It’s based on user experience and user insights.”

Because a shift like this can take years, the team prioritized which changes would have the most impact — and Marvin’s social presence was at the top of that list.

We started thinking about how we could talk about more holistic Marvin content as opposed to singular brand content. Emily Finley
“We identified everything, from business cards down to invoices and stationery, and up to things as big as trucks, and put a priority categorization on it,” Brett said. “Social and our advertising campaigns are way ahead right now.”

Emily said it was important to signal the change to their social audiences so they’d start to understand before the new Marvin branding began showing up offline — in displays and showrooms.

To cement the move to one brand, Marvin needed to consolidate into one social channel.

First, the team started to spend less money on paid content for the channels that would eventually become defunct. “When we think about our organic presence versus our paid presence, it didn’t make sense to keep people engaged with this channel,” Emily said.

Some channels allowed them to merge audiences, but others did not. To build up their followings on those specific pages, the team began sharing posts that mentioned the new brand channel on the original channel.

Traditionally, they had kept each brand channel separate and each had its own voice. “We started thinking about how we could talk about more holistic Marvin content as opposed to singular brand content,” Emily said.

Since the channels have merged, Emily said their Instagram strategy has changed.

When we think about our organic presence versus our paid presence, it didn’t make sense to keep people engaged with this channel. Emily Finley
According to Emily, one of the biggest challenges has been how many audiences they reach and having to tailor content to suit them.

“In any given social channel, we might be talking to an architect, builder, home remodeler, window installer, or homeowner who purchased our windows, or one who purchased a home that already had our windows,” she said.

She said their main strategy involves thinking through how to provide relevant, thumb-stopping content to a mixed audience who might be looking for different takeaways.

The team also focused on sharing visually engaging content that is centered around the environment their windows provide, rather than the functionality of them.

“Windows are a conduit to natural light and fresh air and create a feeling of well-being in your home,” Emily said. “A lot more of our content now features humans living in Marvin spaces as opposed to just a focus on windows and doors.”

They’ve begun to include more authentic user-generated and influencer content into their Instagram Stories as well, which has helped bridge the gap between their audiences.

“It resonates across the professional and consumer audience,” she said. “It’s complementary of everything we’re working toward from a brand reputation management standpoint, and it’s helping to position us as a thought leader on a variety of topics that are important to our business.”

The response to the shift has been overwhelmingly positive, both internally and externally.

We took that opportunity to look at what we were doing and our brand strategy didn’t appropriately reflect Paul’s vision for the next 10 years at Marvin. Brett Boyum
Brett said the new Marvin brand has been embraced internally across the company — including by employees of the former Integrity Windows and Doors brand.

The reaction from Marvin’s dealers across the market has been positive as well because the products are easier to sell under one brand name.

According to Emily, this reaction has extended to their social channels as well.

“We wanted to have a singular channel strategy across all of our social channels, but we didn’t want to lose the engagement we have with our audiences,” she said. “People caught on quickly. The same day, people were using our new handle at an increased rate because it’s a single channel.”

For both Emily and Brett, the key takeaway from this process has been to never underestimate the amount of work required for a brand overhaul.

Brett emphasized the importance of having the brand and brand structure represent the business purpose and vision. They didn’t set out to completely change the Marvin brand — they simply evolved it to fit a new business vision.

“Whether it carries through into our identity or how we handle ourselves on our social channels, that reflection of the business vision is powerful, and it has to be authentic and genuine,” he said.

From the social side, Emily said doing the work leading up to the shift was integral to getting their audiences on board. “They’ll come along with you if you do the work up front,” she said.

When it comes to other companies attempting a similar brand merger, Brett and Emily suggested starting with the user.

“Be authentic to who you are,” Brett said. “Always start from the user’s vantage point of your brand and work your way back to the actual execution.”

Emily also said from a social perspective, it’s critical to put yourself in the shoes of the user. “If you do that, you can go forward with confidence knowing your audience can follow along,” she said.

“If you’re actively utilizing a strong engagement strategy across your social presences, you’ll find that your audiences are excited for you and want to come along on the journey with you.”

Emily Finley and Brett Boyum have been members of SocialMedia.org since 2019. You can connect with Emily and Brett on LinkedIn.