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Bergmeyer: Our Rebrand Story

At Bergmeyer, we pride ourselves in being brand storytellers as we bring brands to life through design. As such, we thought we’d peel back the curtain and tell you the story of our own brand re-launch in the midst of the tumultuous summer of 2020.
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We have always thought differently about ourselves, saying that we design “for people, not markets,” and that our work supports “a wide range of human uses and experiences.”

Accordingly, our services and markets have expanded organically over the years as we have willingly undertaken new design challenges that have allowed us to expand beyond our roots in traditional architecture and interior design. We also recognize that our inclusive and empowering workplace culture is our real special sauce. Like many brands, over time our brand collateral looked less and less like who we are, and didn’t allow us to fully tell our own story. So in mid-2019, we seized an opportunity to give our firm a fresh and distinctive new look.

With a clear vision of who we are and where we are headed in the future, we stepped away from the Architecture and Interiors Firm moniker and began referring to Bergmeyer as a “design collaborative,” reflecting the broad range of professional backgrounds we draw from and services and markets we support. We identified an internal design team to lead our rebranding effort, advising them that although everything was “on the table,” we hoped not to lose any of the value our brand had acquired over decades. In short, our goals in rebranding were:

  • To simply and clearly describe the firm’s expertise without using the names of traditional design disciplines
  • To present attributes like the firm’s inclusive and participatory approach to design leadership and our empowering and supportive corporate culture as market differentiators
  • To set loose our talented graphics and branding team to do all the branding and graphics work in-house

In putting an in-house team together, our goal was to create a participatory and structured design process that would bring people from different design disciplines and at different stages in their careers together. We also knew that “rebranding” meant much more than just coming up with a new logo, so we staffed our team with the talents to cover everything we anticipated needing including:

  • Logo
  • Letterhead, Business Card, Envelope, Cards, Electronic Document Templates
  • Tone of Voice (including Mission, Positioning, Tagline)
  • Color Palette
  • Internal Communications
  • Marketing Documents, Proposals
  • Website
  • Social Media
  • Employee Swag

The process rolled out over seven months in phases:

Phase 1: “Brand Assessment.” The design team did an inventory of the firm’s brand assets and completed a competitive landscape audit. They then used an internal focus group to review our current assets against best-in-class brand asset packages to create aspirational but achievable goals for all our rebranding work.

Phase 2: “Brand Development.” Using the goals from the brand assessment phase, our logo and its colors were the first design assignment. Recognizing that our serif font and corporate red were far too traditional-looking, we created a fresh, new original letter font and selected a bold color palette of “highlighter yellow” with multiple accent colors to better represent our staff’s creativity and the diversity of our talents and capabilities.

Phase 3: “Create our Touchpoints” brought design attention to our website. With so much fresh thinking in the firm’s new logo and color scheme, the team knew our web presence needed to keep up. Research on website design trends and user experiences led us to imagine a new way of showcasing our strong project imagery. Virtually all of our website text was re-written in order to be more concise and consistently on-message with our updated tone of voice.

The “Touchpoints” phase also produced templates for all Bergmeyer’s collateral, such as marketing presentations and interview decks. New business cards and stationery were designed as well. Literally everything that had the Bergmeyer name on it was included in the team’s scope of work.

Phase 4: “Brand Management” was the final and most important phase. Our designers hosted several all-office orientations on how to use Bergmeyer’s new brand assets and where to access templates for documents and presentations. They also planned the physical and digital aspects of an ambitious brand re-launch event scheduled for Spring 2020. The rebranding work concluded with the publication of a comprehensive Bergmeyer brand standards manual so all the company’s external messaging would be consistent and unified.

The COVID-19 pandemic may have put a damper on our ability to host a physical launch event, but, amidst the chaos of 2020, the firm was so eager to embrace the outstanding work our in-house design team had produced that Implementation could not be delayed. We also realized that – given all the challenges of the year – it was actually the perfect time to celebrate our re-launch and re-affirm our values, our mission, and our new path. In mid-June, we confidently rolled the new look out via social and web media. A new chapter in Bergmeyer’s evolution has begun, and we invite you along as we write the story.

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