Rebranding Strategy

How we rebranded our national architecture and engineering firm and what we learned

Rebranding Strategy: How we rebranded our national architecture and engineering firm and what we learned

by | Sep 26, 2018 | Graphics and Branding

Knowing when to start
We are known as a retail design company. It’s not a bad thing to be really good at one thing, but when you want people to see your other talents and attract a diverse spectrum of work, it can be difficult to pull off. This idea of wanting more diverse project types and showing off new service offerings is what started the three year process for the Onyx Creative re-brand.
Getting the name right
Researching our new name was difficult. We needed to find a name that encompassed our values and communicated our increased capabilities in creativity and design. This name would need to speak to all of our employees as creative problem solvers and not just general titles such as architects and designers. We wanted to communicate our quality services as special, sophisticated and hard to come by. We tried many different words but ultimately found the word “onyx” to be fitting.
Understanding the brand
Onyx is a precious stone, something valuable and desired, like a good architectural practice. It is a solid and, most often, polished stone, shining with sophistication. While onyx is usually black in color, it can also be a dark blue. The dark blue was chosen to pay homage to the blue in our previous brand and the history that it had established. As part of the design team, we developed a brand guide complete with our logo, brand colors, typography, standard images and more to fully develop and mold our new brand. With this guide, we completed new marketing materials including a Request for Proposal (RFP) template and business cards, among many others. Having a complete graphic package helps us maintain our image and develop new materials quickly, something we didn’t have before.
Digging into the message
Once we had a name, we dug into our values even deeper. What do we want our message to be? What should accompany this new brand name? Ultimately, we want to create design that elevates our clients’ projects beyond what they believe they could become. There are greater creative possibilities within each project, and we are obligated to search for them. This idea became our new tagline: Aspirational Design. Having the capabilities to design a project from start to finish is something that makes our firm unique. From logo and graphic design, architectural design, interior design, construction documents, engineering services and construction administration, we offer our clients a streamlined, special and easier experience while creating aspirational environments. Even though our team was inspired by this process, we were also nervous about the new name launch.
Taking the leap
Taking a company that has been established in its industry for more than forty years and deciding to change its name is no easy feat. We were nervous that people wouldn’t recognize our new name, and we could potentially lose out on new connections. We soon realized from client responses to the change that we are not just recognized for our name, but for the individual employees that have made a positive impact with our clients. We realized that no matter what name we chose to use, we would keep the trust and friendship of our clients. This realization made our branding process circle back on itself to confirm that our new name and message focuses on the most important thing in our company: its people.
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