Con-way to succeed CNF as corporate name, CNW to become new stock ticker symbol in launch of global branding initiative
CNF Inc. announced it has put a proposal before shareholders to change its corporate name to Con-way Inc. and adopt CNW as the new ticker symbol for the company’s publicly traded stock.
“CNF is a venerable symbol that traces its origins to the old Consolidated Freightways organization,’ noted Douglas W. Stotlar, CNF president and CEO. ‘Over the past 20 years we have evolved as an enterprise in the way we operate, provide transportation and supply chain management services to our customers, and perhaps most importantly, in the culture, attitude and capabilities of our people. The Con-way name has emerged as a powerful, respected brand in its own right, known for service excellence and superior shareholder value. It portrays with more clarity who we are today, and what we will be in the future.’
Shareholders will cast their ballots on the name change proposal at the company’s annual meeting, which is scheduled for April 18th. The proposal is detailed in the company’s preliminary proxy statement, which has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and will be mailed to shareholders next month.
The new corporate name and stock symbol mark the launch of an integrated strategy to bring the company’s operations under a single master brand and value identity. The first stage, which will commence once shareholder approval is received, will be a phased ‘re-branding’ of CNF Inc. administrative offices and Con-way operations under a single graphic identity with a new Con-way logo. While there will be no change to the business model of the Con-way regional carriers and other Con-way subsidiaries, building signage, employee uniforms, vehicle colors and markings, sales and marketing materials and other visual cues will be converted to the common logo, color and branding schema.
The company is examining options for conversion of Menlo Worldwide Logistics to the new Con-way corporate brand. Menlo today has extensive operations in North America and over 20 countries globally. Research is underway to identify the necessary steps to implement adoption of a common brand in the countries and global markets where Menlo does business today and would expect to in the future. Once the research is completed the company will consider a decision to migrate the Menlo name to Con-way.
Stotlar cited two primary reasons for the integrated corporate brand strategy:
1)Eliminate market confusion and misconception. The CNF symbol is rooted in and remains associated with past institutions no longer in existence. Market research has shown this to create confusion among customers and prospects with respect to the business profile and portfolio of services offered by the organization today.
2)Leverage a common, well-recognized master brand for clarity of customer understanding and accurate market identity. The Con-way name represents an established, modern-day organization servicing some 400,000 customers, employing over 24,000 people, and known in the market as a consistently profitable, financially stable operating company.
Stotlar emphasized that the corporate name change and broader branding initiative were consistent with the overall strategy announced in 2005 to ‘flatten’ the organization, facilitate more sharing of expertise and experience across operations, broaden career opportunities for employees, and present a more unified, definitive and value-based service offering to the market.
‘We’re confident this branding initiative will relieve market confusion, while capitalizing on the equity and goodwill of the Menlo and Con-way organizations as the foundation to grow our business in high-quality freight transportation, logistics and global supply chain management services,’ Stotlar concluded.