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Branding a totally new, 38-year-old energy company

Penn West was a venerable institution in Calgary’s energy landscape, and at its peak, was one of Canada’s largest oil and gas producers. A combination of internal and external factors, including the general energy sector downturn in 2014, led to the restructuring of the company from the ground up as a mid-size producer, including leadership, assets, and approach to doing business.

With this dramatic shift well underway, Strut was brought in to reposition the company, and evaluate the merits of a complete name change. 

Learning more about the changes already made, and those that were upcoming, it became quite clear that this was fundamentally a different company than “the old Penn West” and we strongly believed it would be best to demonstrate this is — at its core   — a totally new company, was with a totally new name.

Working with the organization’s leadership team, we facilitated working sessions using our Brandbase™ process to develop the foundation for the brand strategy. 

We then held multiple Namestorming™ sessions both internally and in collaboration with the leadership team, whittling down a long list to a shortlist, and ultimately…Obsidian.

The name change received overwhelming shareholder approval, and the Obsidian Energy name, logo, and brand has received rave reviews from internal audiences, institutional investors, and energy sector peers.

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Rename and rebrand the organization to demonstrate the fact that the totally restructured Penn West is fundamentally a totally different company, and reflect the organization’s new vision and core values.



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