Project | InHarvest Name Change & Retail Brand Story
InHarvest is a whole grains, rice, and legumes company headquartered in Bemidji, MN. From humble beginnings as a small wild rice company, InHarvest is now one of the largest processors of wild rice in the world and a purveyor of high-quality rices, grains, and legumes to the culinary industry. The relationship between InHarvest and Macleod & Co. has been going strong for over nine years.
InHarvest had, and maintains, aggressive growth goals and at one point wanted help creating a strong retail brand for a big-box retailer. After a previous effort to create a new name and brand fell flat, Macleod & Co. discovered that the real problem lay with the company’s culture and operations: Salespeople were not on board with the previous direction because the process hadn’t included them. They didn’t believe in the brand that had been presented to them, and they were not going to put their hard-won relationships at risk.
The salespeoples’ feelings of ownership over the brand, and subsequent refusal to embrace changes, could have been negatively perceived by management. Instead of dwelling on a potential power struggle, we asked permission to investigate the issue and truly listened to what the dissenters had to say. While all ideas were not incorporated, the process was inclusive and took much less time than addressing the resistance would have.
Re-concepting the brand went quickly and the brand was sold into sales first, then to management. The resulting brand was so popular internally that they wanted to change the company name to reflect the updated image. The CEO agreed, and the company was rebranded with no internal resistance.
“Changing our name was the best thing we ever did. The new brand communicates and supports our company values.”
—Regional Sales Manager