Anyone who has ever found themselves faced with the task of being creative under pressure knows how challenging it is to get outside their own head and come up with a solution that hits it out of the park. What we’ve learned over the years is the benefit of partnering with the right professionals to bring an outside perspective and expertise that ensures the desired outcome.
This was the case when we were first approached by David C Cook Canada about a new name and brand initiative to reflect the morphing of Cook and Augsburg Fortress Canada as an entity born out of two very distinct Christian cultures and histories. Having recently acquired Augsburg, Cook had been wrestling with trying to create a name internally before deciding to engage our brand and design firm to lead them through a process on this very important initiative.
A New Name / A New Company.
“Quick Studies” is a phrase our clients have often used to describe us. We needed to get to “know” Cook and Augsburg as quickly as possible so we could develop the right kind of creative and understand how best to communicate both merging corporate cultures, as well as the audiences they serve. Understandably there were real apprehensions from both entities about the merge that had to be addressed either directly or by sensitive implication throughout the process. We started by focusing on their common ground and that helped guide us to a solution that remained true to who they both were as separate entities. Words like “Christian”, “Canadian”, “community”, and “serving” rose to the top as we worked through the common characteristics that were most important to this new brand in development. Through a process of review and analysis of both company’s existing communications and cultures, we worked closely with senior management to identify the challenges and synergies of this merge. Once defined, we went through “idea capture sessions” to align with the vision, mission and values. After creating and proposing several names, the one that “stuck” was Parasource.
This combination of “Para”, meaning to come alongside and to assist, speaks to their mission to serve and “source” represents a trusted one-stop shop for all the resources needed for ministry that they provide, captured it for them. “Ownability” has become more difficult in the world of name invention. Riordon has its own process for vetting the initial ideas before presenting to the client, but ultimately we need the assistance of an IP lawyer to do the final search, register, trademark and to establish ownership on the client’s behalf. In most cases we think of a brand identity as consisting of three elements: the icon, the typographic for the name and the tagline. These three key parts help define the visual essence and provides a context for presenting the personality and promise of the brand. As things unfolded we were able to maximize the real estate of the new brand name by creating a kinetic “P” icon to complement the “Parasource” typographic married with “Marketing & Distribution” to qualify the vertical space they’re in. The development of a new tagline, “Serving Canada’s Christian Community”, evolved out of a process we took our client through to distill essential messages derived from their core competencies. Once these fundamental elements were established and the brand personality was defined, the roll out of print and web applications were put into motion.
The creative expression of the new name and brand in various applications is always the fun part, but without the strategy thinking up front, there is nothing substantive to build from. We had the pleasure of partnering with this terrific group of hard-working people to help them realize an exciting new chapter in their company’s history and to bring to life a new name and brand that captures all that they will be going forward. Learn more at parasource.com.