Branding Archives - Grafik

Think you’ve developed the perfect name?

Looking for the perfect name?

Posted by | Anything + Everything, Brand Marketing, Branding, Food for thought | No Comments

We’ve been doing a lot of naming over the past few months—enough to keep several of us up at night. It’s a pretty tricky business, after all. It always has been. And while many organizations are determined to develop options internally, naming is not for the faint of heart. Without a clear strategic approach, it can quickly become unfocused and unmanageable.

Of course, as naming experts, we would always recommend having an objective partner to support the effort. But because you may insist on working without a net, here are a few questions to consider. If you can answer yes to all four, then your new name may be a winner.
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Rebranding a Startup for Market Entry

Rebranding a Startup for Market Entry

Posted by | Brand Marketing, Branding, Clients, Digital, Social Media, Technology | No Comments

Working with a startup is always an exciting exercise and our collaboration with Carsquare, an automobile meta-search engine, was no exception. Carsquare, like many startups, was founded in the proverbial “garage”. They focused all of their initial resources on software development, and once the company received their initial round of venture funding, they recruited Grafik to create a consumer-facing brand.

Over the past five months the Grafik team has worked with the founders’ to ensure their innovative thinking transforms the market. The mantra we developed, ‘Search them all. Find the one.’, encapsulates the product’s dual strengths, a uniquely robust platform and a customized user experience. By incorporating a magnifying glass into the logo, we reinforce the notion that—in one place—consumers can now see cars from all of the top automotive sites, access reviews and advice, and save the results of their searches.
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Carsquare Launch Event Party

Launching Carsquare

Posted by | Brand Marketing, Branding, Clients, Digital, Events, News, Technology | No Comments

We’re always excited to take part in a client’s brand launch, but we were especially happy to host the launch party for Carsquare last week, right in our own studio. DC-based startup, Carsquare, came to Grafik earlier in the year looking to clearly define their brand and develop a richer user experience. On Tuesday evening, we unveiled the results of a six-month initiative that included a new logo, a new tagline, and sexy new website that puts Carsquare in high gear. Guests included investors, local media, and several new Grafik clients.
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An image of the NYC skyline with a patriotic tribute to the Twin Towers

Branding Loss and Hope

Posted by | Brand Marketing, Branding, Food for thought | No Comments

As brand strategists, we feel a heavy responsibility to unearth—and then communicate—the essence of a product and service. And as we go through the process, what emerges from a myriad of choices is a feeling captured in images and words and colors and a specific tone. Our canvases are typically the web and all that can be poured into it—videos and infographics and text for sites, abbreviated versions of same for social media and its accompanying invitation to respond and re-post—ephemeral physical locations like trade show booths and sales offices; outdoor signage; broadcast; and traditional print collateral.

But what if all that were also bound up in a permanent physical space? What if we added architecture to the mix? And what if the “product” was how we see ourselves as a country and how we memorialize—as we must—a truly gruesome event?
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Animating to Save Lives

Animating to Save Lives

Posted by | Branding, Cause-Related Marketing, Digital, Technology | No Comments

After several deep dives with global power company (and Grafik client) AES, it became clear that to effectively promote safety we had to reframe the very concept of an accident.

AES had already taken the first step by changing their internal nomenclature to “incident” versus “accident.” What at first seemed a classic example of Orwellian double speak, was clearly a very canny move indeed, with no underlying desire to deceive or to shirk responsibility.  Just the opposite—responsibility was at the heart of the matter. It’s easy to say “accidents happen” and chalk them up to something out of our control.  But when you believably and creatively make the point that there is a root cause for absolutely everything, that there is causation for every action, then the word accident narrows in meaning—and the case can be made that every incident is indeed preventable.
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The different interaction points consumers have with your brand.

Brand Evolution in the Era of the Enlightened Consumer

Posted by | Anything + Everything, Brand Marketing, Branding, Digital | One Comment

Evolving a brand is not always a simple undertaking. It’s not just navigating clients through the process. Regardless of the project, brand marketers are becoming increasingly astute at understanding what I call “The Enlightened Consumer.” This consumer is exceedingly conscious of marketing and takes their relationships with brands very personally.

As these relationships become more complex, so do the ways in which we bring brand experiences to our audiences. Keeping in mind that the Enlightened Consumer (EC) is on a journey with your brand, what do you want them to say to you and to each other? How do you want them to feel and how do you retain and grow consumer bases as brands evolve?
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D-Day: Photos That Tell A Story, Motor Pool

D-DAY: Photos That Tell a Story

Posted by | Brand Marketing, Branding | One Comment

My Dad hit Normandy Beach on D-Day 5. He was a mechanic and truck driver in the motor pool; if he even carried a gun he never told me. He rarely spoke about the war.

My memory of him as a photographer was a lot of vacation film shot with the lens cap on. But after he passed I found a box of photos from 1945 Berlin that are consistently impressive. They are tiny, taken with a Zeiss-Ikon camera he bought when he got there, but when you scan them and blow them up, there’s plenty of visual information in those black & white prints.
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Today is Safety Day at AES

Today is Safety Day at AES

Posted by | Branding, Clients, Integrated Communications | No Comments

How many global power companies stop their normal work for one entire day worldwide to celebrate their safety standards? Grafik client AES does, all to drive home the point that working safely is a way of life. Today, March 28th, nearly 20,000 AES employees from Brazil to Vietnam to nearby Arlington are gathering to recognize the importance of working safely 24/7/365. It was an eye-opening experience for us to see the dedication and commitment throughout the company as we helped them create the presentation for today’s event—and you don’t have to work in the field to take the message to heart. The entire Grafik AES team is far more mindful of all that can be done both at home and at work. Congratulations.

Seven Interviews with Mikah Sellers, Grafik SVP of Business Developement

Seven Interviews

Posted by | Anything + Everything, Branding, Grafik Culture, Jobs, News | No Comments

Going for a job at Microsoft, Google, or Facebook, you might expect a rigorous gauntlet of interviews—whiteboard sessions, exercises, and interrogations designed to determine whether or not you meet the lofty standards and fit the corporate culture. You probably wouldn’t expect the same kind of process for a Mid-Atlantic branding agency, though. So when Lance Wain, President of Grafik, invited me for a meetup, I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

I had met Lance once before when I was VP of Marketing at LEVICK, and worked with Grafik when I was a partner at Doceus. Over a cup of coffee, I learned how the company was quickly evolving into a serious contender in the brand strategy space. Lance told me about his vision, and I was intrigued.
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Working With Disruptors

Working With Disruptors

Posted by | Branding, Clients, Digital, News, Technology | No Comments

Few things in business are as gratifying as working with startups, particularly those intent on disrupting an industry. Real game-changers are pretty rare in Silicon Valley and New York, and all the more so in Washington, DC. But when you come across one you know it immediately. True game-changers solve real problems for real people. They’re led by individuals who have big, clear visions, and the kind of workaholic, get-it-done drive that enables them to tackle seemingly overwhelming obstacles.

Over the course of my career I’ve been fortunate to work with and for a handful of truly disruptive startups, including NexTone, which was acquired by Genband; Lightningcast, an AOL acquisition; Great Plains Software, which was acquired by Microsoft; and a company called Digex that was acquired by MCI. The founders of each organization had a vision for how they wanted to change the world around them. They spotted the problem and envisioned a solution way ahead of the competition.
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