from Nathan Greenberg
Over the years, I have worked with many C-suite executives, directors, and other business leaders to shape, grow, and improve their branding. Often I tell them that they need to listen to outside opinions to better understand who they are and how their company is perceived. Why? Because business owners or managers -especially entrepreneurs- cannot view themselves objectively. Over the last couple of years, I have been listening to my fair share of outside opinions.
I became a shining example of “physician heal thyself”.
Arkside Marketing officially began on February 4, 2010. Our eight year anniversary will be celebrated in three days. Earlier in 2017 I came to realize that we were suffering from brandmark confusion.
To the left, you see our original logo (in a vertical layout). People saw our logo our logo as an “M”. People saw purple and brown. In fact, I vaguely recall the original designer of the logo asking me if it was an “M”, but I pushed right passed that! “No, it’s an ‘A’ and an ‘M’. I’m so creative!” Instead of learning from a few years of this reaction, I took it as a challenge to explain that it was actually an “A” and an “M” and the company colors were blue and yellow/gold. After 6 years, I asked our new Lead Designer to “clean up” our image with proper blue and yellow colors.
Before you ask: I have no explanation for why I did not try to solve the A/M confusion at the same time.
We also had a challenge with our name. It was clearly defined when we had a great employee named Mark. This was his cold calling introduction: “Hi. This is Mark, from Arkside Marketing.” Oy vey.
We suffered from Arkitis.
In 2017, something snapped. I heard yet one more person call our logo “the M”. That was it. The proverbial straw. It was time to change the logo. Only took me seven years to learn. But it also presented an opportunity to do something to our name that I had been thinking about for two years. It was time to shorten our company name.
This was an opportunity to practice what I preached. There would be no “design (or death) by committee”, but I valued the array of insights available in my own team. From production to accounting, I knew each had an opinion that could help the process while simultaneously reinforcing our culture of inclusion. This may be my company, but I appreciate the support and wisdom of others to make us all more successful.
We began with a good assortment of VERY different directions. It allowed us to refine what we liked and eliminate the definite no’s. Quickly I realized that if we were going to shorten the name, it would be ideal to do the same to the logo. The style was unique, just badly executed by me. This also helps avoid any mass confusion about the company changing. We would still be the same great company, but with a modified logo and simpler name.
With that direction, we changed the logo to be a true “A” and maintain the colors. “Arkside Marketing” became “Arkside”. We aren’t dropping any part of our marketing services. To the contrary – we will have some expansion announcements this year! We just eliminated the obvious. There were now logo layouts not previously possible with two long words. You will be seeing those across various media as the new brand is rolled out.
The result is the shorter name and logo we unveil today.
Just a shorter name and logo. At least when it comes to our brandmark. We are still the same awesome marketing resource you and many other companies have come to rely upon for the last eight years.
But there are other important changes coming this year. We look forward to bringing a new website online before Q2 with a more modern design and new capabilities such as a complete store of promotional products, custom apparel options, and even the ability to order print items such as business cards and banners.
We are also bringing new technology and processes to our in-house operations that will streamline customer service, order processing, and production.
To all of you who have given your opinions, insights, and ideas, I thank you. Certainly to those friends and family who have supported my ventures and trusted me with your business, you have made the last eight years possible. You mean more to me than I can ever fully express. But I will always try.
Thankfulness has been part of this company and I take this moment to refresh that practice.
So “thank you”, and welcome to Arkside again.