Our Branding Story

They say change only occurs when you run out of options. I would like to think that we changed to make options. It’s uncommon to find a company that could survive and grow for nearly 25 years on the same brand (or lack thereof). But there we found ourselves as 2015 drew to a close. It had been a year of some turmoil with the renewables industry in the UK hitting the brakes so hard that the global temperature flew through the windscreen. As a company who had always specialised in this field, we knew that it was time to focus our extensive brainpower and experience towards other sectors in acoustics.

But then came the next big question for the company that had avoided the glitzy and jargon fuelled calling to branding as Odysseus’s men plugged their ears with beeswax to avoid the siren’s song. How do you do it? How do you take a company as established as ours, and create something completely new and fresh, whilst maintaining our core values that are so very important to us? Well, you outsource it of course. And after endless deliberation, debate and lashings of near despair, the unstoppable force to our immovable object transpired to be Salad Creative.

We had to be picky. Our company is unique and special to every member of staff. We didn’t want an agency to come and splash their branding all over our new one, and we didn’t want to be buttered, greased or any other oil-based product-ed up. And that was what our newly commissioned creative agency had to offer. From the start, they seemed to have a good grasp of exactly what we wanted to retain, and what we needed to change. In no way was there a conflict in this regard (sarcastic mumblings).

Early meetings were constructive, ranging from learning that it’s more than just having a fancy website and logo, to providing detailed lectures on what a sine wave on an oscilloscope looks like in efforts to explain the origins of our previous logo. We became more active on social media, attempting the somewhat belated entry into the murky mires of trends, hashtags and vacuous opinion.

One of the first requirements for each staff member was to fill in a questionnaire on where we currently saw the company. One of the most important things we learnt from this is that we currently see ourselves somewhere between a Land Rover Defender and a Nissan Micra; and Greggs and NASA. A happy middle has since been found.

Two branding concepts were presented to us. We sat in nervous trepidation of what was to come and tried to maintain poker faces as the overwhelming realisation of change punched holes through our old logo to bloody ruin. Early reactions were strongly in favour of Concept 1; however as the dust settled on shattered stresses, cracks started to appear in this predilection.

The discussions were endless. The damaged egos would have made Trump weep. At one point it was as though we were caught in a Shakespearian epic and it was only a matter of time before someone cried havoc and let slip the dogs of war. But finally, when all was at the brink of destruction, we agreed on a path. Concept 2 had won the day. Yet not all were fully content at the start, and questions were still raised, but as will all matters in life, it is only with hindsight that we see the true wisdom in our choices. (Or not).

Over this time, the website wireframe and creative brief were signed off. Additionally, after a meeting with a copywriter, we were presented with the first draft of our “tone of voice” package. And what is a tone of voice package I hear you ask in a tired voice edged with guilt as you realise you’re over 600 words into this article and that your boss is watching from across the office? In short, it’s branding in literature to complement the branding in graphics. There were some minor teething issues with aversions to words such as synergy, and great amusement in our selection of straplines (we make sense of the unseen world, including but not limited to: sound, radiation, gravity, and Nigel Farage’s integrity), but it was a fairly painless process to get right.

In the following months the website was designed, approved, and implemented. This was especially exciting. We were finally starting to see all of the branding coming together and context dawned in ruddy, yet distinctly blueish, tones. As a company experienced in the testing of codes, we took a huge amount of pleasure in running through every pernickety aspect of functionality within the built website. Finally, all that was left for the website was the photo day.

It would not be incorrect to say that we entered into our photoshoot day with a throbbing undercurrent of panic. It is an odd sense of nervousness. Somebody is stood there taking a static image of you, which, at the end of the day, is a pretty accurate reproduction of what you actually look like. Of course, you don’t always sit bolt upright with a grimace implying a large rod has been delicately positioned on the chair, but that is why you have so many photos taken. It is just a hope that at some point between grinning like a moron and scratching your backside there is a photo that you might bear sending to a, preferably distant, relative.

All that was left was the stationary. Pads, letterheads, business cards and calling cards shot through the presses like bullets from a client seeking machinegun. Not since Apollo 11 has a launch date been so eagerly anticipated, and, like Apollo 11, it was one small step for man, and a giant leap in predicted revenue and commissions (may have misread the original quote).

So where does this leave us? We have the brand, we have the website, and we have the expertise. We are aiming for new, dizzying heights, and with our trusted team and marketing strategies by our side, watch out for the next big thing (in acoustics, at least).

by Alex Woodfield

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Date Posted

22 Sep 2016

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