AeroVironment Case Study

What does a company do when its trailblazing and diverse innovations for nearly half a century have redefined how the world drives and flies? When its many technological “firsts” include the first practical electric car, flying the Nano Hummingbird drone, record-setting, solar-powered aircraft flights in near space, and reshaping the battlefield with portable, hand-held, tactical drones and loitering munitions?

It takes on another world.

 
 
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CHALLENGE

Aerovironment (AV) began as a company that produced Unmanned Aircraft Systems (drones) for the military in Afghanistan and Iraq. It was transitioning its business to expand into the domestic agricultural and oil pipeline industries.  And even had a sideline business of producing electric vehicle charging stations.

Their positioning at the time was:

Aerovironment is a technology solutions provider that designs, develops, produces, supports and operates an advanced portfolio of electric transportation solutions and electric-powered Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS).

SOLUTION

After extensive research we ascertained that what made their UAWs so invaluable in combat was directly relatable to their new business sectors. What AV products do is to provide instantaneous actionable intelligence. They removed uncertainty from what lay ahead in the field, whether that was a battlefield or a cornfield and even removed uncertainty of whether you could complete a trip in your electric car. They provided a simple to use solution in an ever-complex world. 

We gave them a new positioning:

Aerovironment is a courageous technology company that provides customers with a higher order of intelligence, so they can proceed with certainty.

We gave them a bold new tagline:

Proceed with certainty

The line was an internal rallying cry for its employees, a confident statement to its investors and a comforting thought to its customers.

We created ads and messaging.  

It was used in their videos, on their website, their intranet, their newsletters and even the flags flying outside their building.

IMPACT

We consider Proceed with Certainty to be the promise AeroVironment makes to our three primary stakeholders; our employees, customers and stockholders. Our promise has, for the first time, given us a strong, focused and differentiated communications platform upon which to shape our messaging, and has helped us integrate all communications around a central theme. Both subtly and explicitly, Proceed with Certainty has enlivened our brand identity and its introduction corresponds with a period of higher revenue growth and significant stockholder value creation.
— Steven Gitlin, Vice President Corporate Strategy

Without any ambiguity or uncertainty, Aerovironment’s new identity received immediate positive feedback from stockholders and customers.  It became the organization’s promise to all of its constituents and helped lead to unprecedented growth for the company. AeroVironment now counts 45 allied nations as customers, with 46% of total company revenue coming from the international markets.

Aerovironment Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Switchblade Tactical Missile Systems ---used, approved and relied upon by the U.S. Army and Air Force, by NATO, NASA, the German Navy, The Royal Canadian Navy, as well as The Portuguese, Netherlands’ and Australian Defense Forces.

We’re proud that the work we did is giving wings to this innovative company.  Now, we can proceed to helping other companies soar.

 

SERVICES WE PROVIDED

Brand Positioning
Brand Narrative
Brand Voice
Refreshed Logo
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