EPM - Brand Reposition As Organizing Principle Spurs Business Growth


Empresas Públicas Medellín E.S.P. [popularly known as epm] is a government-owned industrial and commercial enterprise, founded in 1955 by the municipal government of Medellin, Colombia. epm provides three basic services: water, energy, and natural gas. It also provides telecommunications services to 3.3 million people.

epm is today a multi-Latin company with subsidiaries in Panama, Guatemala, and El Salvador. In addition, the company provides telecommunications services in the United States and Spain under the UNE brand.

With internationalization of epm, the company considered delocalizing its brand identity, so not to have growth and market value prospects anchored by assumptive stereotyping and cliché.


epm faced dual challenges. International growth opportunities suggested strategy shift, without alienating epm's home. A new brand-building strategy could not be seen as a distancing from the city.

Away from the conference rooms at company offices, we found an enterprise perceived as cold, arrogant and engineering-focused – wildly at odds with the spirit, character and passion consistently experienced within the organization.

Seen as an enterprise not present in the lives of people despite being present in the lives of people, epm was a company of being without being.

Pushing a button. Flipping a wall switch. Plugging into a socket. Turning a faucet. Each creates an expected result - lights illuminate, a coffee maker makes your first cup, your morning shower is ready. The results are anticipated without thinking. A maternal presence missed only when absent, epm was unappreciated and unrecognized for its day-to-day presence in peoples lives. Yet this problem also offered an opportunity:

With epm, energy, water and other services appear magically, simply because EPM has been and always will be present everyday, offering maternal-like security

This positioning also endows the epm brand with a legitimate promise:

estamos ahí

In English, always there.

Rather than utility company providing energy, water and other needs, epm is an enterprise far more profound with a human face, offering people the independence to enjoy life without need of thinking of these services. Always discreetly and dependably present, epm offers the freedom to celebrate the everyday.

Own The Conversation® Results

Pointing to the presence of epm in the lives of those they serve, estamos ahí honors the importance of daily life by providing freedom from worry, while also offering an easily understood and bankable brand promise drawing upon maternal values.

This promise further serves as easily understood operational standard among epm team members, for each other and in support of their customers, while also framing the brand vision of the company as it continues to grow.

Breathing new brand purpose and organizational vision, the new epm visual identity honors the familiar acronym bestowed over decades upon the company by the people of Medellín, epm's home.

A teaser campaign was created by McCANN Colombia, the client's existing ad agency, supervised and led by our team, to capitalize on the new - always there - brand strategy and reputation building opportunity. 

A privately held company, epm is experiencing mushrooming market growth. 


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