Osborne has unveiled a dramatic rebrand to target new clients after chief executive David Fison admitted the company wanted to make changes having “lost sight of its soul” during the downturn.
Mr Fison told Construction News the new magenta logo, which has replaced the old blue and white, had been chosen after the business reviewed its strengths when approaching work with new clients.
He said: “We have had trials and tribulations of downsizing, having to let people go, people having to take on different roles like in other companies, but in that process we had to turn around and ask: what is Osborne?
“The company had for the last 10 years prior to recession been growing very nicely, but so had everyone else – it was a very good market.
“During that period I suspect work was coming in, we were doing okay and to some extent it’s very easy to lose sight of what the soul of a company is. I think we did lose sight of it.”
The contractor is expected to post increased turnover and profits in its full-year results later this month, after a difficult couple of years in which redundancies were made and profits fell.
It has started to roll out the new logo on its vans, of which it has around 200 primarily in London, as well as on its sites.
Mr Fison said Osborne’s strength lay in “being extraordinarily personal for a construction company” with its clients.
“We go in with the attitude that if we treat them fairly they’ll treat us fairly,” he added. “We have no problem going to our customers and saying, ‘We’ve got a problem, couldn’t we do it a different way’, and nine times out of 10 they say yes.”
In its 2013 financial results for the six months to 30 September 2013 Osborne’s 12-month forward order book stood at £209m, up from £159m posted in the six months to September 2012, when it also reported pre-tax losses of £2.2m.
In the latest results it had recorded profits of £1.7m, while revenue was up 22.5 per cent from £121.4m to £148.7m.
The company is now targeting new clients which value a non-confrontational approach to contracting.
Mr Fison said: “There are some developers out there who have no interest in what we have to offer.
“They are great big companies that say, ‘We’re capable of managing the ugliest contractor in the UK’, and don’t want us, but equally there are developers who are desperate to work with someone who will be friendly, flexible, co-operative – the things we’re good at.
“So we have gone back to our people and reminded them what we’re good at. Our existing customers all know us.
“So we said, ‘How do we actually tell people what we do?’. And that’s how the rebrand exercise came about.”
Mr Fison said the selective approach to clients is already paying off, with tender success rates on the rise.
“If someone says, ‘I want the lowest price, I want your very best offer on the table upfront, don’t give me any soft stuff’, they’re probably not for us.
“We could probably build them a job, but it wouldn’t be a very happy relationship. We’d prefer to look elsewhere and would advise our customer to look elsewhere.
“Over the last two or three years, our success rate on tenders has gone up, our performance on jobs has started to improve and generally we have got happier customers.”