By Keri Miller
After 10 successful years in the Canadian event industry, e=mc2 events decided it was time for a brand “refresh.” Although the original brand had significant brand equity and the core business was quite similar to what it was in 2001, a cultural shift had occurred within our walls and in the world around us. We needed to ensure our name, logo and website accurately reflected our evolution and current position in the marketplace.
The original name, e=mc2 event management inc. was extremely long – a whopping 10 syllables! It also began to feel too stuffy and did not reflect the friendly reputation we had developed amongst our clients and suppliers.
“When I started the company 11 years ago, we were the new kids on the block and the goal of our name was to demonstrate that we were experienced event management professionals,” says President and CEO Jocelyn Flanagan. “While we are still professionals, we wanted our name to convey the fun, dynamic and friendly nature of our company.”
In addition, over the decade we had evolved into more than simply “event management.”
“As our operations evolved into design, entertainment, conference and production services so did our arsenal of experience, which was evident in the diversity of the new team members we hired,” says COO Audrey Mayr. “We needed the name and brand to reflect that.”
With that e=mc2 event management inc. evolved into e=mc2 events, though some clients lovingly refer to us as “e.” The corresponding new logo (still green) simplifies things while conveying the fun professionalism ‘e’ is so well known for.
Capturing the essence
Second to the name and logo, developing a tagline was the most important element to our new identity. We spent hours upon hours with our internal team, our external marketing partners and our clients and vendor partners trying to capture the essence of our brand. “The Experience Matters” is an all encompassing statement that speaks not only to our collective decades of experience and to the memorable guest experiences at the events we produce, but most importantly, speaks to the positive experience our clients and suppliers have when they work with our team.
With a new name, logo and tagline, a complete website redesign was also necessary. The old website, not unlike the old brand, identified what we did in terms of operations but offered very little in terms of personality. We wanted to infuse “e’s” personality into every web visit.
The new brand celebrated its first year on June 28, and we couldn’t be happier with our decision to refresh. Our brand is now a true reflection of the soul of our company, our core values, our body of work and most importantly, our people.
Here are “e’s” top five tips for a successful refresh:
- Do your homework – Take the time to understand your existing brand culture (internal and external) as well as your competitors’. We engaged a firm to do a full market evaluation. We also compared ourselves to our competition and embraced and showcased our competitive advantages.
- Don’t start over from scratch – Our market evaluation told us that our brand was well-respected both amongst industry peers and clients. We needed to refresh our brand without losing all of the brand equity and recognition that we had developed.
- Involve all employees, collaborate and create brand ambassadors – For your brand to be an expression of your organization and culture it has to be reflective of your people. We had an employee retreat and spent the day experiencing who we were and what we wanted to be as a company; out of that we developed our four core values – together.
- Getting “e” motional is okay – If you don’t get emotional in the process and feel a connection to the brand (both old and new) how can you expect your clients to? Let your intuition guide you.
- Love it and live it – Ensure all employees instantly “marry” the new brand and “divorce” the old. You will always have the memories of the way you were – but they’d better not exist on your website, email signatures or print collateral! We launched our final new brand to employees and industry in a 48-hour period.
About the author:
Keri Miller is Partner and Creative Director of e=mc2 events, a leading, award-winning full service event company renowned for over a decade of executing memorable experiences that matter for its clients. Featuring event, conference, and production services, e=mc2 delivers first class, creative and dynamic productions. Visit them on the web at www.emc2events.com.