When I was invited to write a blog entry for Deliberate Productions, I had to think long and hard about what might be the right topic. Deliberate is all about making movies so I thought I could give my review on recent films I’ve seen. But is that what the loyal readers of this blog want to hear coming from a marketing professional?! Probably not was my conclusion.
I’m going to tackle the topic of branding – probably a topic that most people don’t give a lot of thought to but one that plays a large role in decisions we make. Having gone through a rebranding exercise with the last four companies I’ve worked for, I have a few thoughts on the topic. But don’t worry – I will get back to those movies.
A brand is the identity of a specific product, service or business and can take many forms, including a name, sign, symbol, color combination or slogan. There are some brands we know and love just by what appears to be a very simple symbol:
It’s amazing how some of these brands can shape our day-to-day activity. I’ve been lucky enough to be part of a branding exercise for just about every company I’ve worked for. In some cases, it was a somewhat “forced” rebranding as the company I worked for was acquired by another company but in every instance, everyone had an opinion about the brand.
Updating or changing a brand is not an easy exercise. The company I’m working for is called Ixaris and we market our consumer brand under the name of EntroPay. When I joined Ixaris, it was clear that the company was going through a transformation and changing the way in which they did business. As a result, it was important to review our EntroPay brand to determine whether or not it could evolve with the company. The answer was no. . .
As we started our branding workshop, we found ourselves identifying the audience that will interact with our brand, what we want them to feel, the brand’s character, the brand’s personality and how exactly will our brand behave. Once we had the answers to these questions, it was time to enlist the help of a design agency. Enter. . .the amazin’ Hazen! That’s right – Shawn Hazen.
After we armed Shawn with our branding brief, he worked long and hard on our new brand – and boy were we impressed! Shawn came back with about ten different designs, all of which we loved, but the one that really struck a chord was this one:
We’re a technology company that builds payment applications so getting the brand right was a bit tricky. What Shawn has done so well with this design is really capture that mix of capabilities. He uses a vibrant, energetic orange, which really gets to the start-up, techie feel of our company. And balancing that with a more corporate grey, caters perfectly to the financial services side of our business. It was (and still is!) a brilliant design.
DeeDee and I have been fortunate enough to work with Shawn on creating the brand for Deliberate Productions. We were somewhat vague in the direction we gave Shawn – we wanted red, we maybe wanted a play on the initials DLB (but all lower case!) and it had to convey the world of film. We had a difficult decision to make because all the designs were so GREAT! The one we chose really conveys all we were looking for and as a brand, definitely has staying power.
Given that Deliberate Productions is all about making movies, I thought I’d conclude my post on the topic of movies. I’ve recently seen a handful of movies, all of which have the potential of appearing on Oscar’s list of Best Picture – The Social Network, The Kids Are All Right, Black Swan and The Kings Speech. All great movies but the one that really stirred my emotions was “Blue Valentine.”
This movie is amazing – it’s not for everyone and it’s definitely not a “feel-good” movie but it is one of the most real films I’ve seen in a long time. Let me rephrase that a bit – the performances by Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling are the most real I’ve seen in a long time. As a married couple struggling through their marriage, you really feel their love, pain and lost love. They both deserve Oscars and in my mind, the film does as well.
Next up, if I’m invited back for another post, I’ll share my boycotts with you. Oddly enough, most of them are with very familiar brands!
NEXT UP: It all depends on DLB’s mental state after the Packers-Bears game.