When our company was initially created, just over 17 years ago, we were dubbed ‘PM&L’ which, yes, we agree sounds more like a law firm than a software development company. [The original name was driven by the initials of the company founders at the time.
Fast forward a dozen or so years, add a shift in ownership, and we were faced with a need for a new company name. More specifically, a new company name, new logo, and a new brand. While I wasn’t employed here back then, I’m sure it was an exciting time for our small, close-knit group of employees.
So how did we end up with the fabricated name, Envative you ask? Our Creative Director, Gaetano, dreamt it up, based on his affinity for “i v e” words and the connotation they project. Think creative, innovative, collaborative…Envative. Pretty clever I think. But yes, when I started here as Marketing Director, I got a lot of questions from friends and family like…”but what does the word ‘envative’ mean?” It’s a valid question I guess but, my question back to them was ..."what did the word Kodak mean when that was first uttered?"
Along with the name, Gaetano worked on the corporate color scheme – bright fun colors, with a cool logo design to match the fun, eccentric vibe that Envative strives to embrace. The idea being that yes – we have a bunch of super smart software engineers and developer “geeks”, but we are still fun and our own version of “cool”. As a result, ‘Web, Mobile, Data’ was added to the logo (just to make sure we are no longer mistaken for a law firm) and everyone was really excited! …At least for a while.
I read something recently that said most companies should revamp their website every 1 1/2 - 2 years. While that may seem excessive for some, I DO
recommend consciously evaluating your site, your brand, and your messaging to ensure that it is still representative of your organization's value proposition and the corporate image you wish to portray.
A couple of months ago, we did just that. We sat down and really thought about our brand and our logo and what it said about us. We decided it could use a little tweaking. ‘Envative - Web, Mobile, Data’ just didn’t seem to portray the passion behind who we are as a company. Sure, we develop websites, mobile apps and we know how to tie all the data elements together to solve client challenges. But that’s just the tactical part – the “nuts ‘n bolts” if you will.
This didn’t really speak to the expertise we have and the effort we put into building solutions that "look and feel" as good as the “nuts ‘n bolts” make them work. Yes, I said it, we build solutions. Big deal - so do lots of companies. But we're more than that and we want folks to know it. Factor in the attention we place on designs that foster engagement with the friendly interfaces we develop, it's more like an experience that we strive to create with each endeavor. So we knew what we wanted to portray, but how do we represent this in our branding without “throwing the baby out with the bath water”?
I won’t bore you with all the details of what went into the process. While the outcome appears quite subtle, it took us weeks longer than we had anticipated to agree on something everyone could get behind. Between brainstorming ideas, voting amongst the staff, and debating with the design team, there were times when I thought it just might not happen. Not to mention that throughout it all, my boss kept sending me articles like, “The Top 10 Biggest Tagline Mistakes”. (No pressure.)
In the end, what I’m really happy about is, we didn’t settle on something just to make a decision. We discussed and challenged each other repeatedly until we ultimately achieved a consensus on the “tweak” that made us all feel good about who we are as a company.
So I guess my advice is this:
In the end, this is what "matched" for us:
- Don’t rest on your laurels - it's easy to take for granted the relevance of your company's brand while you are busy focusing on existing customers. Keep your appeal to new potential customers in mind.
- Frequently take the time to re-evaluate your website content and messaging.
- Look from the outside in - consider what your logo, your tagline, and your corporate communications means to people who know nothing about you.
- Don't settle on something just to get it done. You wouldn't go to a party dressed in a polka-dot shirt and plaid pants, would you? So don't make a decision until you feel that what you have come up with matches what you are trying to portray.
So - what do you think?