The Port, Reimagined

The Port of South Louisiana gets a whole new look thanks to a recent rebrand.

When the Port of South Louisiana changed its management team at the beginning of 2022, the new leaders agreed that the Port needed a fresh brand identity. For starters, they wanted a new branding message that would drive awareness, tell the Port’s story more succinctly, and create and strengthen relationships by featuring the kinetic energy and growth potential of the Port of South Louisiana. 

That meant highlighting the Port of South Louisiana’s position as an elite player in global shipping markets with economic growth potential for all stakeholders. It also meant spotlighting new goals and missions — like the Port’s focus on agriculture, infrastructure improvements and energy diversity.

The Port of South Louisiana, which last refreshed its brand messaging in 1998, consulted with several regional advertising agencies and hired Red Six Media to oversee the rebranding efforts. “Red Six Media stood out from the pack,” said Alexandra Hernandez, public information officer at the Port of South Louisiana. “They’ve worked with numerous clients in the River Region, such as Dow, River Parishes Tourist Commission and St. Charles Parish, and we felt they had the foundational knowledge about the region upon which we could build our future trademark.”

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According to André du Broc, senior copywriter at Red Six Media, branding is one of the most valuable assets for a business. “A brand is what first greets the eyes and ears of your customers or clients,” he said. “It is a virtual handshake that carries a promise. It is tone, voice, design, color, font and all the pieces of a company’s daily wardrobe. A strong brand lasts in the hearts and minds of all who encounter it. An awesome brand goes to infinity and beyond.” 

To start, Red Six Media asked a lot of questions and aimed to understand the audiences that would be targeted with the rebrand. “We consider our Discover Phase to be the most important step in getting a brand right,” du Broc said. “Identifying the audiences is of the utmost importance. Knowing who we are trying to reach shapes everything in our branding strategy.”

Rather than the term “audience,” du Broc prefers “seeker.” 

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“They are in movement and hope to find what they’re looking for even when they don’t know they’re looking for it,” he said. “So, what are they seeking?”

The Message

Aside from wanting a dynamic brand, the Port of South Louisiana wanted the new brand materials to exemplify the Port’s multimodality (transportation via water, land, rail and air). 

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“We also carefully considered the audience we wanted to target,” Hernandez said. The Port of South Louisiana narrowed the audiences down to the maritime and commercial industries, government entities and the community at large.

“In business-to-business communication, it is well-assumed that all parties are seeking to win, but what they consider a win can differ,” du Broc said. “In the maritime industry, winning may be finding efficiencies that drive down costs and drive up profits. For government officials, winning may be finding the approval of the community and constituents because they supported job and economic growth opportunities. For the community, winning may be finding job and economic stability and safety. The brand message must make a promise to each of these groups that they will find what they seek.”

The new brand messaging will now inform the maritime industry that the Port of South Louisiana is easily accessible via four modes of transportation that allow access to more than 60 percent of the United States and two Canadian provinces. It also will convey that more than 20,000 acres of available land, most with Mississippi River frontage, is prime for development.

Meanwhile, the rebranded materials will inform local, state and federal officials that the Port of South Louisiana is an undeniable driver of the regional and state economies. Furthermore, that these officials should remain confident that their support of port infrastructure funding will further advance industry in the River Region and continue to improve the quality of life of its residents.

Finally, the new brand will communicate the Port of South Louisiana’s economic impact on the River Region’s residents and workforce. This impact comes in the form of creating jobs, higher earnings and tax revenue, and the Port’s commitment to reinvesting into the community.

Represented by a new tagline, “A Better Way to Cargo,” the main message of the rebrand is that the Port of South Louisiana is the smartest locale from which to move cargo. “Its location, accessibility, multimodality, cost savings, workforce, and focus on efficiency and safety cannot be found anywhere else in the nation,” Hernandez said.

“The new tagline—A Better Way to Cargo—implements a contemporary colloquialism called verbing (the use of a noun in place of a verb),” du Broc said. “This choice brings a more youthful energy to freshen a brand that promises to do something new and better. ‘A Better Way to Cargo’ means that maritime audiences will find their efficiency; government officials will find approval in their support for a competitive Louisiana port; and the community will find peace of mind in knowing that their local Port is doing something better.”

The Materials

The new branding materials created by Red Six Media are contemporary and vibrant, using clean fonts. “Any brand that is decades old can become dusty,” du Broc said. “In the Port of South Louisiana’s case, the brand was a bit dated and lacked energy and personality. It did little to stand out as a contemporary or cutting-edge competitor in the market. Vibrant new colors were chosen to add vitality along with a logo that highlights the Port’s competitive advantage of having four points of access—road, rail, air and water.”

Additionally, the new logo’s shield is a representation of protection from risk, danger or other unpleasant experiences. “It represents a place of safeguard, shelter and security,” Hernandez said. “We are rolling out new marketing materials like brochures, advertisements and a revamp of our website (the latter will come soon after the rollout), and the rebranding will be reflected on our social media.”

A Bright Future

According to du Broc, it was a dream working with CEO Paul Matthews and his team at the Port of South Louisiana. “It’s very rare that we step into a discovery meeting and find a client who is so fired up about reworking their brand,” he said. “His energy was infectious and his vision for the Port was clearly communicated. This made our work easier and more accurate. As a Louisiana company, we’re excited to see the Port of South Louisiana grow and flourish with new energy and a new brand.”

The Port of South Louisiana moved into its new headquarters in Reserve this past March, at which time it revealed the new brand messaging. “We are excited that the stars aligned to be able to do both at once,” Hernandez said.

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