In 1956 Harry V. Schnabel Jr. and his brother Jim started a company in Washington DC called Foundation Test Service Inc.
Soon after in 1959 Schnabel Foundation Company was founded and after 5 successful years of operation the two brothers decided to split the companies so each could follow their preferred career path. They made an even trade for each other’s shares, which resulted in Harry taking ownership of Schnabel Foundation Company and Jim taking ownership of Foundation Test Service, Inc., which later became Schnabel Engineering Inc.
Overtime, having two successful Schnabel’s in the marketplace, offering what at first glance appeared to be similar services, was causing confusion and inhibiting Schnabel Foundations ability to systematically grow sales.
Our interviews with clients uncovered that using the term ‘Foundation’ in the company name was limiting and didn‘t accurately convey the attributes for which the company was most valued—their Design/Build capabilities.
Harry’s commitment to innovation and operational efficiency was driven by an intuitive understanding of what his clients valued most – getting out of the ground to street level as quickly and safely as possible.
Being labelled as a foundation company wasn’t accurately communicating this and was limiting opportunities as a result. In order to communicate their expertise accurately, we removed the word ‘Foundation’ from the company name and adopted the descriptor of Geostructural Design & Construction, positioning them as specialists in that field. We then created a new visual brand identity for the company.
We also heard from clients that Schnabel is a principled organization that always do what they say they’re going to do and have proven themselves on hundreds of projects, over many years. To enshrine these values we created the tagline, PRINCIPLED. PROVEN., to ensure that these important pillars, that underpin the brand, stand out and are clearly communicated.