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Clarifying a brand architecture and positioning.

Background / Challenge
EQT (NYSE: EQT) was founded in Pittsburgh in 1888 as Equitable Gas, a local gas distribution company. The company changed its name to Equitable Resources in 1984 with Equitable Gas becoming a wholly-owned subsidiary as the company’s focus evolved into exploration and production. Over the course of the past decade, the company has evolved into a forward-looking, 21st century natural gas exploration and production company. However, investor perceptions of Equitable Resources as a low growth gas utility were stubbornly slow to change in line with its reality. In turn, Equitable Gas had low customer satisfaction levels, being seen as cold and corporate.

Strategic Insights
There was significant confusion among analysts, customers and employees over the difference between Equitable Gas, the regulated utility, and Equitable Resources, the parent company. The confusion was depressing the share price and hampering the company’s ability to hire the highly qualified engineers and scientists it needed to grow. Although the company had evolved operationally beyond its legacy business into a pure-play natural gas producer, perceptions of the company were still be linked to its 19th century heritage as Equitable Gas by virtue of its shared connection with the Equitable name. With the help of BrandingBusiness, the company embarked on an ambitious plan to rebrand Equitable Resources and redefine it in contemporary terms.

BrandingBusiness recommended a new brand and communications strategy to put “daylight” between Equitable Resources and Equitable Gas and position both more clearly and effectively within their respective business constituencies. Investors knew Equitable Resources as “EQT,” the company’s NYSE ticker symbol. The corporation adopted a new brand name—EQT Corporation—to capitalize on the familiarity of its ticker symbol and its use as the company’s online address. In conjunction with the name change, BrandingBusiness developed EQT’s new brand identity—composed of progressive typography, a bold color treatment and an iconic, proprietary design that expresses stability and ingenuity. The identity, and the brand, are further reinforced by EQT’s new tagline, “Where energy meets innovation.”


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