Case Study

Activating the
Miniat brand

Miniat Holdings, a family-owned, fifth-generation purveyor of food products, sought a strategic partner to help drive the brand forward during a period of rapid growth. Internal brand activation was the key. 

The business had been founded by a Lithuanian immigrant peddling meat in the neighborhoods near Chicago’s stockyards. The collapse of the stockyards in the 1950s led to the creation of two new companies: Ed Miniat, which prepares cuts of meat at large scale for national food brands and restaurant chains; and South Chicago Packing, which focuses on producing animal fat products like oils and shortening.

Over the past 20 years, the Miniat companies had been on a tear, growing their workforces and expanding facilities. Leadership told us they once knew every single employee, but that wasn’t possible anymore. They were hiring so quickly, how could they restore that all-important family feel?

Their response to the situation was a unifying manifesto—dubbed “Driven to Serve™”—that the CEO could share with all employees in a series of staff presentations over the course of three weeks.

Immersion was the first step. We visited both facilities, met with management, and toured the plants. We were greeted with spontaneous smiles and greetings from employees in every department. The friendly, family-style culture we had heard about was authentic and wholly energizing.

Our next step was to develop an internal brand activation campaign, including branding for the “Driven to Serve” initiative and planning and management of the six launch events scheduled for three shifts of workers at two plants.

As employees arrived, they encountered gigantic Miniat-red banners and balloons, cryptically announcing “D2S.” No one had been informed of the “Driven to Serve” initiative, so there were many people asking each other what was going on and what D2S meant.

The effect was perfect: tons of curiosity and a sense that something big was about to happen. In each session, after CEO David J. Miniat explained the mission to each employee group, he directed employees to help themselves to a celebratory spread of food and swag. It was a blast. We personally handed out hundreds of meals, D2S-branded cupcakes, “mission memo” cubes and magnets, and “Driven” T-shirts.

In the months and years following the employee rollout, we took Miniat’s mission to the world with four multilingual websites celebrating the “Driven to Serve” theme.

We also continued to develop sub-brands for departments and events, as well as other forms of marketing support.

Onsite activation events

Teasing the brand launch

Launch presentation

Branded shirts & snacks

Mission memo cubes