Emo Gets a Makeover – Time for a Re-fresh
IF&CR talks to Commercial Director Orla Stevens about exciting plans for the Emo brand in Ireland.
Emo Retail is part of Certa, which is a DCC plc company, a global supplier of energy with operations across Ireland, the UK and mainland Europe – making Emo one of the most trusted brands on the road in Ireland. We talk to Orla Stevens about refreshing the Emo brand, energy transition, and the values that make Emo such a trusted brand amongst dealers.
Why is the brand being ‘refreshed’ in 2023?
“The first thing to say is that brand is very much staying as Emo,” explained Orla. “It’s a widely recognised and trusted brand – so it’s getting a refresh as the brand continues to evolve. As with any brand, we want to evolve and modernise, and that is what we are doing here.
The Emo brand will retain all its trusted values?
“The Emo brand values will remain intact,” said Orla. “Emo has a strong heritage in communities up and down the country. The strength of the Emo brand is in the relationship side –we have a uniquely Irish connection , and we intend to build on that. It is an all-Ireland brand with customers across the island – and we are certainly looking for opportunities for future developments.”
Effectively, it’s evolution not revolution?
“Yes, there will be no shock to the changes. We’re not making any changes to the Emo logo, but we have refreshed all the elements that go with it, so that means you will start to see a more modern Emo brand on our website, social media, and on our canopies and signage. We will have a fresh new website launching in August that has some new features in the pipeline.” ”
Where does the Emo brand sit within the over-arching Certa ‘brand family’?
Certa is based in Portlaoise, owned and operated by DCC Plc which also has operations in Northern Ireland where it maintains the Emo brand. The Certa brand was introduced in September 2022 out of the amalgamation of the former Irish brands, Jones Oil, Emo Oil, Campus Oil, CC Lubricants and Source Lubrication Solutions.
Orla expands “Emo is a core part of Certa, and is also the largest network within the Certa family – effectively reaching over 150 dealers across the country, so it is very much a focus point for us, and we have some strong growth plans over the next 5 years. “
There are 127 Emo branded forecourts across Ireland
For over four decades, Emo has helped generations of Irish forecourts build successful dealerships through the quality, reliability and competitiveness. Will these qualities still be inherent in the new branding – will the ‘Emo’ logo continue to be instantly recognisable as a trusted brand for motorists?
“Absolutely – it’s all about the personal touch. We make connections locally – but also understand the wider market. Being part of DCC Plc gives us real strength in terms of buying power, global insight and expertise, which we can then distil down into local knowledge when working with our dealers.
“Anything that’s required, our dealers know they can turn to us – that personal touch is so important. Its our core value.” Added Orla.
Emo supplies 127 branded dealer sites across Ireland. Are you planning to build on that?
“Definitely! We have big ambitions for the Emo brand across Ireland. In this year alone, sixteen new sites are being developed – three of those will open in the next few months, so the Business Development Team has a busy time ahead.”
Business Development Team
Orla’s background in retail gives her lived experience – a range of skills that she brings to the team.
What would she say are the benefits for a dealership of the Emo brand in Ireland?
“Definitely the personal touch, and the Business Development Team is core to this.
“Our account managers are very hands on. Even at weekends, we are only a phone call away. I’m proud of the way we really look after our dealers. The expertise we bring – advising on market changes, DSA licensing and so on – it’s all just part and parcel of the service we provide.
“Dealers are at the centre of our retail business and our dealer service is very-much customer focused with experienced team members available, through all areas of the business, to answer questions and assist customers.
“This is particularly attractive to new operators who are fully supported through the process of joining our network. Many of our dealers are family run businesses and have been customers for many years. Family run forecourts are a particularly good match for our personal customer service; we value their business and are attentive to their needs.
We have dedicated Regional Managers across the country. “For example, Richard Irvine runs our Northern Ireland region. He is very much open to opportunities. He knows the business inside out, has a strong fuels background, and is an expert in his field, always looking for growth.
“We have a very strong team in the south too, led by Yvonne Hargroves, our Head of Retail & Fuel Card, and Sean Kelly with excellent industry expertise, both having been with the company for a long time, as well as some new, talented young BDMs in Cormac Malee and Anthony Byrne .
What does the branding refresh mean to dealers?
“The first thing you will notice is the website refresh, so we can let our dealers know what’s happening on the technology side and what’s in the pipeline.”
Apart from that, they may not notice too much of a change straight away. As new sites come along, they’ll get the refresh. It’s not going to be a ‘big bang.’ We will roll the refresh out to our dealers over time, starting in September.
What difference will their customers see?
“It will be a gradual rollout, so as mentioned our new sites coming on board from September onwards will all be taking on the new canopy design, they will have the new brand signage and marketing materials, and then of course the website will be live shortly, and that will have plenty new functionality coming down the tracks for both customers and dealers. “
“When Yvonne Hargroves moved into the role of Head of Retail late last year, she set in train some big plans for the retail side” said Orla. “Yvonne has been working hard with the Marketing team on the refresh, ensuring that the Emo heritage is retained.
Take me through the steps of the Emo brand refreshment – what does it entail?
“It’s been almost a year since we started the process. We didn’t want a massive overhaul, but to move forward slowly. The font will change. The re-signing piece has been in the pipeline for a while now. We had the Certa brand launch this time last year, and now in September 2023 we felt it was the right time to give Emo a similar refresh.
The next five to ten years will see energy transition, in support of DCC’s ambitious low carbon objectives
“We know we need to move towards lower carbon options. We recently acquired a solar business, Alternative Energy Ireland (AEI), and we have been doing a lot of work this year with regard to HVO* as an alternative to diesel – a lot of our large commercial customers are opting for this low carbon alternative and we have plans to offer this to our Retail and Domestic customers. We are particularly keen to bring our new solar offering to our Retail partners– so there are lots of different solutions.
“We understand that a lot of customers will continue to need traditional fuel for some time to come, and we are here to provide that and support their needs. Our legacy will be moving towards alternative energy sources for a more sustainable future. We are very much on that transition journey, and want to give customers the opportunity to use renewable alternatives.”
*Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil