We work with brands on a daily basis. Our careers are dedicated to providing professional advice and services for brand roll-out, design and application, as well as assisting our clients to maintain and increase the awareness of their own brands. Mid 2012, after several changes to our internal business structure and work output, we realised that it was time for us to revisit our own brand. As we ask many of our clients to do during the branding process, we needed to take a step back and think about who we are, what we do, where we are going and in all, what we want our brand to say about us. In this way, we had a new client on the books… Nucleus Media.
We began with a brand brainstorming session whereby we looked at:
- Who we are
- How we are currently perceived
- Where we are positioned in our industry
- What we do
- What is our staff culture
- What are our competitors doing
We undertook a brainstorming session to review how we are and want to be perceived.
We then reviewed these questions in regards to where we want to be in the future. Upon conclusion of these sessions, we realised there was a lot of discrepancies between how we are currently perceived and who we actually are. This meant reconsidering our brand was warranted and revision would allow us to factor in future business development and growth.
There were three main areas that we decided required our primary attention in the initial stages. These were:
- Our logo
- Our position
- Our website
Our logo: Dropping ‘Media’
In our brand review, it came up more than once that our logo and name has caused confusion within our market. Most of this stemmed from the ‘Media’ in Nucleus Media. Several people thought we were media buyers or a video production studio. We have advised many of our clients in the past that a logo does not need to reflect specifically what you do, and in this circumstance, it seemed our name was working as more of a hindrance than a help in our communications.
Original Nucleus Media logo.
With this in mind, we did not want to develop a brand new identity, but instead evolve our existing one. We firstly decided to drop the word ‘Media’. We referred to ourselves as ‘Nucleus’ anyway, so removing it brought the brand more inline with our office culture and voice.
Second stage of Nucleus logo evolution.
We also decided to remove our icon. The reasoning for this is that the rationale behind the icon was no longer relevant to our current (or future) business. We believed we had essentially outgrown it and its removal would better visually position us where we want to be.
New Nucleus logo.
Left with our wordmark, we felt that this would work best as the ‘signature’ of our brand.
Our position: An advertising what?
Branding requires the consideration of both industry and market position. We needed to consider who our current clients are, what kind of business we want to attract in the future, what services we provide and if/how we are different to other businesses within our industry.
We realised that people within the business had been referring to who we are and what we do in a variety of ways: Advertising Agency, Digital Agency and Design Studio. Branding relies on consistency. We believe this confusion within the business had stemmed from our growth over the past few years as well as the addition and development of staff skill sets and scope in services offered. We decided to look at what we actually do and categorised our service offering into four key areas: CREATIVE, STRATEGY, WEB & ONLINE and VIDEO.
We also considered our point of difference next to other agencies and studios. In establishing our new brand values we wanted to communicate that we are creative, approachable and responsive in our service delivery. Projects are discussed and reviewed by most, if not all team members meaning that input sits inline with a studio environment versus that of an agency. With this in mind, we decided to position ourselves as something new… a place where campaign development, design, branding, strategy, web and digital can meet in a cohesive and ‘ideas sharing’ environment: an Advertising Studio. We do not necessarily need to visually ‘brand’ Nucleus this way, but we have introduced a new vocabulary to the team that will keep our brand cohesive and consistent.
Our Website: Keep it simple.
The third main area, and a reasonably large project, was the redevelopment of our website. We wanted to simplify it, increase usability and ensure it easily communicates who we are and what we do.
We thought about why people are coming to our website and there are essentially two main reasons. 1. To find out who we are and what services we offer and 2. To view our work. These elements needed to be easily accessible and sit at the forefront of the site. To achieve this, we divided our site into 3 main sections ‘Welcome’ (Introducing Nucleus), ‘Who we are’ (About Us) and ‘Our work’ (Portfolio).
The new Nucleus website welcomes users with inviting black and white photography of our people and our work environment.
We also did not want to lose our ‘science’ theme completely as we felt that this still had some relevance to who we are. Instead we reconsidered it so that our visual and voice was inline with our new brand direction.
A mono colour palette was carried through the website allowing our work to stand out amongst our own branding. We revisited the way work is displayed and created a functional filtering system making it easier to view and browse our portfolio.
In all, we wanted the presentation and usability of our site to reflect the values of how we operate and work: creative, approachable and responsive.
Branding can be a long and complicated process, but it is important to take a step outside of your brand to review it objectively. Sometimes harsh truths are revealed, but any brand issues can be reconciled with a bit of creative thought and planned implementation. Branding is about establishing the foundations for the future of your business and although the idea can be extremely daunting, the best approach before taking two steps forward with your business is to take one step back and think first about where you want to go.