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Powering a New Era

Graybar is a Fortune 500 company specializing in electrical and telecommunications supply chain management. The company approached its 150th anniversary—and 90 years of employee ownership— amid rapid industry disruption and technological transformation. Executives knew they could use the corporate legacy of industry leadership to elevate the company’s brand and catalyze employees, customers and suppliers to embrace the future-focused mindset it would need to remain competitive.

Working with Graybar, History Factory mapped out a robust anniversary plan to remind today’s audiences that leadership and ingenuity is central to Graybar’s DNA. The plan included a variety of elements: a theme, “Powering the New Era,” used throughout the anniversary year in internal and external communications; a graphic identity for the anniversary year; content banks to fuel communications such as social media; archives development plans; and a thought leadership platform on topics such as digital transformation and employee ownership.

Viewed internally and externally as successful, the anniversary program acted as a pivot point for the organization, delivering: 

  • Increased PR coverage in trade publications and local and national media, including the St. Louis Business Journal, KMOX Radio and Private Company Director magazine 
  • Brand elevation at national training conferences, in local placements, and through sports sponsorships with the St. Louis Cardinals and Talladega Superspeedway 
  • Strengthened corporate communications and marketing efforts using storytelling via physical displays, videos, social media, speeches and other formats