At well over 100 years old, Wrigley brands—well known by kids and grown-ups alike—emerged from the first decade of the 21st century faced with tremendous change: acquisition of the company by Mars Inc., global economic uncertainty, and distribution expansion to more than 180 countries. By the end of 2009, the company anticipated that these changes would affect the company at its core and realized it was ready to reinvigorate the business, shifting the focus back to growth.
Wrigley’s response to this broad set of challenges was a realignment of its vision, strategy, principles and values, with an emphasis on showing its own people how and where they fit in, increasing accountability and freedom in decision-making, and using strong business performance to make a positive global impact. The company worked rigorously to integrate the Wrigley and Mars cultures, launched a brand “refresh,” and prepared to move its headquarters out of the iconic Wrigley building.
In responding to such major changes, Wrigley realized that despite the fact that it was an innovative marketer with a legacy brand, it hadn’t effectively managed its brand or heritage. Case in point: The company archive was a mass of documents and artifacts that were neither organized nor accessible and would therefore be of limited value in helping the company tell its compelling story as it moved into the next decade.
Wrigley’s move from the historic Wrigley Building in downtown Chicago to its new headquarters at the Global Innovation Center in 2012 created a sense of urgency: Where and how would the company store its historic materials? This move, coupled with the understanding that a professional archive would be invaluable amid efforts to leverage the company’s long history and well-known brand, inspired Wrigley to engage The History Factory to archive and digitize its collection using the LuminARC™ database.
Using Wrigley’s historic documents and images, as well as other research and interviews conducted to uncover unique insights about the company, The History Factory developed a 66-page Story Palette™ telling in rich detail the history of the company from its founding to the present. The Story Palette serves as a globally branded tool that can easily be used by communicators at any level, at any location. Organized by themes, the Story Palette tells the full story of the company while serving as an intuitive, easily accessible and searchable tool for Wrigley’s communicators. With the Story Palette, The History Factory curated and wrote the content for Wrigley’s online heritage timeline and the “The Story of Wrigley” web pages.
Armed with these tools, Wrigley used its history to re-engage its people and create consistent messaging through artful, fully branded displays that were offered to its facilities worldwide. The History Factory wrote and designed these illustrated interpretive panels using content and key themes from the Story Palette, as well as historic imagery from the archives. Artifact cases containing gum artifacts from the archives complement the displays.
Wrigley’s wealth of historic images gained further use through a “Heritage as Art” program that was curated by The History Factory. The Heritage as Art program consists of a series of high-resolution historical images that are available for Wrigley’s global offices to print, frame and hang throughout their facilities.
The History Factory’s development of a more secure, better-preserved and more accessible archive gave Wrigley access to a range of resources from its own heritage while eliminating the burden of the internal staff necessary to maintain an archive, offering a financially advantageous and efficient process. Wrigley has at its disposal materials that enrich and inform its global brand on a continual basis at a lower cost to the company.
Drawing from Wrigley’s archive, The History Factory uncovered compelling stories and designed historically based yet contemporary exhibit pieces that supported Wrigley’s efforts to refresh its brand, reconnect its thousands of employees to a central corporate culture, and position itself as a timeless yet relevant company poised for growth. The History Factory continually works to preserve and build Wrigley’s heritage assets. Our long-term relationship reflects the lasting impact of the company’s history and its value to the company.