Back in 2004, Shark first developed the branding for an innovative new startup based in Montreal, Canada. Under the leadership of Marc Poirier, Acquisio grew into a global search and digital technology services powerhouse. Asked, after a decade to revisit the company's branding and marketing, Shark created an organized brand refresh, Next is a quick recap of the branding process.
BRANDING GOALS - When clients initiate new branding, normally by detailing their business goals and vision, we like to simplify the discussion with some ground rules and goals for successful branding. Perceiving a difference. Good branding begins with a focus on developing a distinct image in a marketplace. Separating oneself (or company) from the competition - both visually and conceptually - is how consumers can distinguish and hold onto a brand image. Perceiving Value. While good branding means people can clearly differentiate a name, product or service, great branding is about infusing a sense of perceived value into a brand. With great branding, people perceive a difference and they perceive value which can create brand loyalty, shift products from commodities to premiums and so forth. But before any of the rebranding process could begin, some pressing "11th hour" cleanup of the company's looming Summit provided a preview of things to come and underscores marketing that imparts a sense of value.
BRAND STRATEGY - Good branding agencies generally try to install an objective and singular strategy to drive the branding process. With Acquisio, it was clear that the company’s marketing typically listed numerous advantages and benefits but rarely tied to any consistent idea about Acqusio itself. In that list, however, we uncovered one attribute we really liked: Acquisio offered "The Fastest Optimization Algorithm on the Market.” The idea of speed in search and digital obviously had potential as a positioning strategy. We then circulated an article to Acquisio management from Fast Company which noted, "Speed Will Triumph. The best soccer teams in the world emphasize pace of play over perfection. They recognize that keeping the ball moving quickly is better than waiting and trying to make the ideal pass."
With speed in mind, the logo was first up for review. Originally designed in 2004 by me, Shark's Creative Director, the Acquisio logo was composed of three simple bars stacked one over each other. It was an elegant and simple signature that actually pre-dated the same universal “hamburger” logo utilized by responsive websites worldwide. With a design strategy based on “evolution” rather than “revolution,” we preserved much of the Acquisio logo’s original form but modified it into a new, and" faster" look.
DESIGN SYSTEM - A design system is kind of like a brand manager’s tool set. In it you will find a logo, a limited number of fonts, a color palette, specs for layout, the use of images, and pretty much everything that goes in to ensuring a consistent and well integrated brand image. The new Acquisio design system driven by the "speed" strategy was developed simultaneously in brand ads, websites, digital ads and more.
BRAND ARCHITECTURE -To further the strength and consistency of the brand across current and future products and services, Shark developed the brand architecture for naming and branding various sub-brands and service categories. By isolating ACQ in the Acquisio name, we designed an elegant method for connecting Acquisio’s five primary Service Marks: ACQOptimze, ACQReporting, ACQSearch, ACQLocal, ACQPromote.
BRAND STANDARDS - By defining the parameters for typography, color palette, layout, image use, and more, a brand manual provides companies with an organized set of operating instructions for managing the brand in a variety of applications. We created Aquisio's Brand Guidelines to convey the new, integrated vision for the brand, and formatted it in an easy-to-use booklet detailing approved use of typography, color palette, layout, image use, etc. - Acquisio's Design System.
In the end, we sometimes say "it's all about "the T." T-shirts are a wonderful test of all things branding - logos, attitude, color, typography, and more. When people willingly wear the symbols or statements of a company they are in effect, validating the merits of the brand. For Acquisio’s first T-shirt, we integrated multiple branding elements into a cool and contemporary expression of the Acquisio’s brand, personality, and positioning.
(Yoga people and those with a bad back, listen up)
First, we changed the name from multi-syllabic something or another to the contemporary and minimalist: QOR360. Next, we advocated for a clean design aesthetic across both product design and brand image. After a logo that merges the founders interest in aligned vertebrae, the company's proprietary "rocker" technology, and yes, the i Ching,
Now for the product, and some introductory text...Revolutionary ergonomic seating for a healthy and strong back. Created by a team of doctors and furniture designers, and inspired by the bodywork traditions of yoga, aikido, Feldenkrais, and Alexander technique, the QOR360 allows you to sit in an active and playful manner that gently aligns and realigns your spine. By allowing your pelvis to move and flex naturally, while extending and rotating in all 360 degrees, the QOR360 frees your spine to adopt its natural, and more perfect posture.
Following a Boston-shoot last month, post production on a new BankRI television commercial moved to Montreal for editing, sound, color and more. With approval confirmed, and the media buy in place, a big thanks and Chapeau!! to all of the talented and helpful people at Mels. Well known for their recent and beautiful work on Adele's "Hello" video, I want to thank, in no particular order: Cecile Morel, Catherine Grenier, Anne-Catherine Busson, le mixeur, Martin Boisselle, le monteur incroyable, Claude Antoine, et Jerome Cloutier.
The spot in its final form is sophisticated, smart and should prove to be a strong foundation for BankRI's overall corporate identity. In fact, the bank's marketing department led my Mr. Steven Parente initiated a more extensive and integrated, Commercial Banking campaign in print and digital based on the TV spot's imagery.
That would be Peter Jacobs, of course, and the position is for an Account Manager with marketing skills, diligence, a sense of humor, and a strong backbone. email Pete directly with questions, resumes, your credentials and more: firstname.lastname@example.org
Some shots from a shoot. We were very fortunate to find talented employees to stand in as actors and grab footage in Boston for upcoming broadcast projects. Big thanks and hats off to the actors - Elise Corbett, Katie Morrow, Dericka Gomes, James Burns, Luis Encarnacion, Adam Matteo, who did a great job!
Brokaw flys the bird.
The “Jack” Tee.
He walked tall among the giants of American Advertising.
An original member of Madison Avenue’s Creative Revolution
and global marketing man for Revlon, at Shark
he was simply known as “The Oracle.”
And yet, despite succumbing to life in a wheelchair,
Jack rolled into meetings with a passion for creativity
and a commitment to put principles before profit.
Which left those around him to see a man who stood strong,
and enduringly, with both feet on the ground.
Jack Benoze, 1931-2015
It's one of the leading educational conferences in the Captive Insurance Industry held each year by USA Risk Group. As you can see, this year is number eleven.
Recently seen on stage at The Spot, Providence, Rhode Island...
Brady/Callahan is a small, Springfield, Vermont law firm with big time brand marketing and a beautiful web interface. Here's a new digital ad concept slated for 2016.
Still exploratory, but here are a few images from new work that builds on Acquisio's powerful, world-class digital marketing technology- including the fastest optimization algorithm on the market. So, hit the information superhighway (Al Gore's words) and Go Like Hell.
Brookline Bank (BRKL) reports strong 3rd quarter earnings, Wall Street loves it, and great timing with our new "Momentum" business ad.
Nothing momentous, just a slow refinement of the company's homepage and overall brand strategy.