Founded in France in 1963, Groupe Services France (GSF) is a global cleaning services company that provides commercial and industrial cleaning services for facilities across the globe. GSF currently has offices in France, the United Kingdom, Spain, Canada and the U.S, with a staff of over 31,000 employees worldwide and operating revenue of over €34 million.

GSF established its U.S. operations in 1987 after the acquisition of Safeway Building Services in Indiana, and expanded across the Midwest with the acquisition of American Janitorial Services in Ohio in 1992, and CBS and MEI in Illinois in 2005. Currently, GSF USA employs a staff of over 1,000 employees and cleans more than 20 million square feet of space/day.

GSF approached Otherwise in the spring of 2015 to develop and execute a brand strategy that would illuminate the GSF brand to help the company navigate significant changes in their U.S. business, including negative industry perception, challenges of recruiting and retaining staff, and shrinking client budgets.

Our work with GSF began by developing an insightful, relevant brand strategy that was informed by a series of working sessions with the GSF leadership team to position the brand and articulate its unique character and culture.

We surrounded our hands-on brand-building with a thorough analysis of the industry, sessions with staff and conversations with clients. Through the process, we illuminated GSF’s authentic commitment to staff, its focus on building long-term solutions-oriented relationships with clients who share the belief that a clean working environment matters, and its transparency in pricing and business practices. And by understanding that GSF’s high-purpose positioning is distinctive within the commercial cleaning industry, we introduced a brand promise that is captured in the simple phrase, “We Care About Clean.”

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We then used the outcomes of our strategy work to guide the writing, design and development of GSF’s new website — a central point of engagement for clients and employees that reflects the company’s new positioning. The new site includes a “Client Stories” section, where we tell the stories of some of GSF’s most valued clients and the GSF staff who serve them. We combine these narratives with portrait photography of the GSF employees, reinforcing the company’s commitment to staff, and further differentiating them in the marketplace.

As the next step of our brand illumination process, Otherwise is currently creating a capabilities brochure that builds on the content and design vocabulary established for the GSF website.