Host Europe Group

How do we leverage our portfolio?

At a glance

With over 1.7 million customers and management of more than 7 million domain names, HEG came to us as the UK’s largest web services provider. They had grown quickly through acquisition but needed to drive greater efficiencies from their portfolio of brands to achieve their business strategy and growth targets.

Our insights revealed a previously unseen opportunity to drive better engagement with core audiences. Our partnership with HEG helped instil a customer first mentality – consolidating the brand portfolio to target specific segments. Our work also helped to secure significant ROI at exit – private equity firm Cinven later sold the Group to GoDaddy for £1.4BN.

The full story

Through a combination of qualitative and quantitative research, we established that awareness and engagement were extremely low throughout the industry. This presented a clear opportunity to reposition selected existing brands – increasing relevance with core audiences and driving awareness with standout identities. This process of brand consolidation helped to create an agile portfolio that maximised the potential consumer impact.

We supported HEG with the re-branding of four pan-European brands (123-Reg, Heart Internet, DomainFactory and Host Europe) – keeping their respective names but with two pairs sharing a common customer, brand strategy and identity.

We then worked with HEG to engage newly formed Group brand teams and brief agencies on how to bring the refreshed brands to life.

Having acquired HEG in 2013 for £438Mn, Cinven was keen to increase and enhance the value of their investment. Consolidation of the portfolio through our streamlined brand architecture was cited as instrumental in building value for the business prior to sale.

Our work helped to future-proof the portfolio and created a valuable tool to guide architecture decisions for future acquisitions.


ROI at exit


sale price of Group to GoDaddy

“The team provided an excellent analysis of the market and customer dynamics in web hosting providing a solid basis for HEG’s future brand architecture. The project was extremely well planned and executed from the beginning, via customer segmentation to end delivery of brand guidelines, with a highly responsive team focused on delivering the best possible outcome for our business and brands.”

Kate Cox, Chief Marketing Officer, HEG (former)


Telecoms & technology



What we did

Business & brand strategy
Customer undertstanding