Jarvis recently said it just might, one day, change its name to something a bit less cock-up connected – so naturally Building jumped at the chance of making a bit of cash as a branding consultant. We drummed up suggestions from the industry, and judged which one was right for the new company

Invitation to tender

Nature of contract Company rebranding
Winner’s fee £25 drinks voucher
Awarding authority Building magazine

Description/object of the contract In a recent interview with the Financial Times, Alan Lovell, chief executive of Jarvis, said the troubled support services group might consider rebranding. He is quoted as saying: “Changing the company name is something that the board thinks is worth considering.”

The Jarvis brand has been tarnished by a series of high-profile disasters. These include the tragic Potters Bar derailment, a lengthy series of profit warnings and the announcement of a £240m pre-tax loss at its last interim results.

A company source says there are no immediate plans to rebrand and that Lovell simply did not want to rule out the move as a future option. The source adds that Jarvis’ negotiations with its banks and suppliers is higher up the board’s agenda than changing the corporate image. And, of course, the group has briefly rebranded parts of its operations before. Last year it called its PFI company Engenda, until a director noticed that it was a bit pretentious and dropped the idea.

As Jarvis does not have the time to focus on a name change, Building has set itself up as a brand consultant (well, honestly, how hard can it be?) and has been working with its readers to come up with the perfect image. Here’s a shortlist of the ideas that we received, as well as the winner of that all-important £25 drinks voucher.

Pre-qualified… but didn’t make the cut

Submitted by: Public relations consultant to the construction industry
Entry description: “It’s like Jarvis Cocker, innit? It’s certainly, er, uplifting.”

Judge’s remarks: “Hmmm … The relevence of socially observant indie band Pulp to the construction industry probably becomes obvious only after smoking a couple of Camberwell Carrots. And we have reservations as to what the look of the logo would be.”

Submitted by: Alistair Rose, assistant director of facilities and estates at Lancashire Care NHS Trust
Entry description: “This is an anagram of eo ire itum, Latin for ‘to advance, to travel’. This is appropriate because they are focusing on transport schemes.”
Judge’s remarks: “Methinks you’d had one or two glasses of vino when you submitted this, matey.”

Submitted by: Crispin Matson, managing director of M&E consultant Rybka
Entry description: “For the obvious reason of rising from the flames.”
Judge’s remarks: “Has Jarvis risen from the flames just yet? Might be a name that could jinx the group.”

OnTrack Construction
Submitted by: Andrew Pinkerton, director at Keppie
Entry description: “This name links their rail work and the fact that the company is back in business.”
Judge’s remarks: “Nice link, but not catchy enough.”

Third runner-up

England 1966 Plc
Submitted by: Stephen Gee, managing partner at construction consultant John Rowan & Partners
Entry description: “Like England when they won the World Cup, Jarvis would have got nowhere without Banks.”
Judge’s remarks: “In the male-dominated construction world, this would appeal to the nationalistic machismo of the company’s clients and suppliers.”

Second runner-up

Submitted by: Matthew Symes, business consultant
Entry description: “This links the previous name and its culture in the form of a new beginning.”
Judge’s remarks: “Probably the best-thought-out entry. The greedy so-and-so deserves that £25 voucher, but unfortunately it just misses out.”

First runner-up

Submitted by: Geoff Allum, analyst at Investec Securities
Entry description: “It stands for ‘Jarvis ain’t fixing facilities anymore’. Plus, everyone likes Jaffa Cakes, don’t they?”
Judge’s remarks: “Close but no cigar. A very worthy runner-up – Jaffa also means seedless, which is apt given the company was anything but virile last year.”


Submitted by: Unnamed construction analystEntry description: “It looks both backwards and forwards. Backwards because they were accident prone in the past and forward I don’t think they’ll have teeth.”
Judge’s remarks: “Superb. Nice and corporate, yet also refreshingly honest. A winner.”