Dual Branding Strategy Drives Chevron

It’s been a challenging couple of years for convenience store operators, marked by wild fuel price fluctuations and exorbitant credit card fees. Despite the adversity, Chevron stood apart as one of the premier industry leaders. By advancing its Image Refresh program at ExtraMile convenience stores, growing the Texaco brand and introducing a no-fee credit card for its branded marketers, the San Ramon, Calif.-based oil company earned honors as CSD’s Chain of the Year in 2008.

Chevron’s Image Refresh was carefully developed using an array of components each designed to meet individual site needs. The design builds on the successes of its popular Hallmark 21 image. It pulls together the strongest components of Hallmark 21 to create a program that evolves its brand image in a way that will modernize facilities and ultimately enhance the bottom line.

One of the biggest keys to building credibility with consumers is a consistent look and feel to the convenience store network. Image Refresh does just that, and marketers are sold on the retail concept. “We are thrilled with ExtraMile and the level of commitment Chevron offers us,” Wenda Lewis, vice president and CEO of Lewis Oil Co. in Gainsville, Fla. Hers was one of the first companies to invest in the Image Refresh program. “We made a significant investment not just in a concept, but in Chevron because we believe in the brand, and we are already seeing strong returns.”

To get branded marketers behind Image Refresh, which primarily focuses on updating the forecourt fueling area, Chevron is offering a strong reimbursement package based on a number of operating criteria beginning with fuel volume.

Chevron’s three-pronged approach to perfecting the ExtraMile, Texaco and flagship Chevron banners proved that good people do create great brands.

“It’s nice to get external validation, but we are striving every day to get better,” said Danny Roden, vice president of North America Marketing for Chevron. “I am so proud of the people we have here. They have demonstrated a work ethic and commitment that is extraordinary. In a tough industry, we have risen to the challenge, and I think it’s just the tip of the iceberg of what we are capable of.”

Shining Star
While its work with its core Chevron brand has been impressive, the oil company’s effort to revitalize the venerable Texaco brand has been equally remarkable.

Following the company’s 2001 merger with Texaco, Chevron was required to license the Texaco retail brand to Shell in the U.S. for the marketing and sale of motor fuel through June 2004. In July 2006, Chevron gained exclusive rights to the Texaco brand in the U.S. Since then, the Texaco star has risen at more than 2,500 convenience stores and gas stations nationwide.

Chevron last month began the next phase of growth for the Texaco brand. Image elements of the new Texaco 2020 design have been tested in Florida and Europe over the past few months and the initial response from customers was extremely positive.

“These new image elements will enhance the appearance and function of Texaco stations worldwide by standardizing design components, enabling marketers to drive down costs and take advantage of new technologies and energy efficiencies,” said Craig Peterhansen, Chevron’s general manager for Retail East.

Like it did with Image Refresh, Chevron said it wants to create a brighter, safer environment that is more inviting to customers and attract all demographics. In test stores many marketers saw new sales gains of 3-10%, Peterhansen said.

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