As humans we relish the specialness of celebratory milestones: Birthdays, promotions, anniversaries, graduations, and everything in between are cause for a proper celebration.
I myself love any excuse to toast a job well done without hesitation, but as I write this tribute to Bergmeyer’s brand on the eve of its one-year RE-Brandiversary I paused to ask myself a question: Is it socially acceptable to extend our celebratory traditions as humans to the brands we serve (and that serve us), on their big day?
Personally, I’ve witnessed the benefits of this humanistic approach to brand identity first-hand. It is remarkable to see how thoughtful my colleagues have been with Bergmeyer’s continued brand evolution over the past four decades, clearly identifying the Bergmeyer brand as a living, breathing presence in need of the same TLC we as humans yearn for to stay healthy, happy, and fresh. Bergmeyer’s brand is a storied veteran, rich in history and connectedness through years of growth and adaptations. As humans, we are inherently ever-changing beings, and constant evolution isn’t optional for those looking to remain new and now. Your brand isn’t exempt from this either. Past the physical aspects of evolution is the idea of evolving your mindset to fit the world around us. We must hold ourselves accountable, and constantly challenge ourselves to think bigger, do better, and be bolder in everything we set out to do.
Having joined Bergmeyer in January of 2020 with a strategically planned rebrand well underway, I was instantly enamored by the passion within the people behind the brand, and it became immediately clear to me just how special Bergmeyer’s collaborative, inclusive, and empowering culture was in contributing to this extraordinarily rare self-reflective exercise I was jumping into full force. We were ready to breathe new life into our trusted Bergmeyer brand, and in order to get it right, we were unapologetically (and democratically) honest with ourselves, holding ourselves accountable to the same set of standards we would use to test the brands of the clients we serve each day.
Having a clear understanding of who we are, coupled with a solid framework of where we aimed to go, it was clear our refreshed brand identity and voice needed to support our transition from a traditional Architecture + Interiors firm to a more inclusive moniker as a Design Collaborative. This shift was reflective of the broad range of professional backgrounds we draw from and services and markets we support, and our internal teams, task forces, committees and stakeholders forged their way through the year-long effort to ensure we evolved gracefully and respectfully to the decades of value our brand had manifested to date.
Through a process in four phases:
1. Brand Assessment
2. Brand Development
3. Touchpoints Creation
4. Brand Management
We were hard at work on our own brand and found the experience to hit on many levels of physical, psychological, and emotional elements as we reflect on the past year’s events. Our initial goals and timeline for launching the new brand to the world were upended by the year of 2020 – and after the pandemic grew in impact and businesses shuttered across all our clients’ markets, we were apprehensive to launch our refreshed brand. Was the timing insensitive? Were we tone deaf? Would anyone care? Would all this hard work go to waste?
Thinking deeply about the timing prompted us to return to the basics and remember what makes Bergmeyer’s brand uniquely special, which in turn gave us the answers we knew all along and proved why our brand needed to breathe bigger at that moment in time than ever before – because WE needed to breathe big with our brand. WE…our people, needed to celebrate. We needed to connect. We needed to create. We needed to be proud and positive in a time when people were feeling the burden of no-good-news overload. We lived vicariously through our brand rejuvenation and came together through a shared purpose to unapologetically celebrate; no matter where we were physically, we felt close in spirit and energized about our collective future.
To help me reflect on how we have seen our refreshed brand thrive over the past year, I have brought in a few Bergies to help me tell the stories from their personal point of view.
“My first exposure to the new Bergmeyer brand was when Eric Kuhn and I were enjoying a catch-up libation in NYC when he was in town. I was in my previous job at the time and towards the end of the evening Eric showed me the new look and feel through the Instagram feed. It literally leapt out of the phone at me, strikingly different and very bold. Obviously, it made an impression, given that I work here now.”
– Christian Davies, Design Practice Leader
“Company swag isn’t typically known to garner attention from outsiders, that is, unless the branding is universally wearable. I knew we had something special with our newly branded swag when one of our clients repeatedly commented on the quality + caliber of the jackets and design. So much so, we ordered him and his team a few for themselves. #ProudBergieMoment for sure.”
– Stan Kubinski, Principal
“The new Bergmeyer shirt has quickly become my go-to uniform during the pandemic. Great for my new bike commute to the office!”
– Kristyn Hill, Senior Interior Designer
“It was only after walking around the office and seeing all the new yellow surfaces and trim (both large and subtle), that I started to realize how tired I had become of the red scheme – isn’t red supposed to subconsciously trigger emotions of stress and anger anyway? I love the freshness of the yellow and the secondary accent colors around the space, and I think that as more and more Bergies return to the office, this will be a welcome change for everyone. A fresh start, and the timing is perfect!”
– Jason Cohen, Associate + Design Practice Leader
“PAINT is such a fabulous, simple way to change a space! The light in the office is totally changed. Its SUMMER in here now, and the fresh, new Bergmeyer brand is welcoming all of us back warmly.
“One cannot have too much yellow. ~Pierre Bonnard (French painter 1867 – 1947)"
– Jess Smith, Senior Associate, Director of HR + Administration
“In early October I received a message on LinkedIn from a former Bergie who is now the Director of Marketing at a large engineering firm asking me “Who did you work with for the new Bergmeyer brand? It looks great!” She was doing research on potential graphics and web designers for their own upcoming re-brand and was blown away when I told her we did the brand and website refresh in-house. We are hoping to receive an RFP for their brand and website refresh soon!”
– Matt Hyatt, Principal
“I LOVE my Bergmeyer swag black Arc’teryx jacket. It is incredibly versatile, and I feel proud to have Bergmeyer on my arm. I know when I wear my jacket another Bergie is wearing theirs and although apart we are still a collective!”
– Mare Weiss, Principal
“Last year we formed our first Bergie road cycling team for the Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC) and we raised close to $9,000 to kick cancer’s butt! What does this have to do with our new Brand?
This year we decided to dress the part by designing our own cycling “kit,” bringing our new colors and patterns together to create shorts and jerseys is motivating us to ride more and raise more. We are not only dedicated to kicking cancer in the face - we will also look good while doing it.”
– Bill Spaulding, Senior Associate, Director of Education
“I believe that it was bold to do something like this during a pandemic, but in a great way! It was a great opportunity to evaluate the company brand and I think it speaks to who the Bergmeyer brand is, and why the culture at the company is so unique. It shows a lot of growth as a whole; in culture, as a firm, and I find that yellow itself is really nurturing which is also reflected in the people here at Bergmeyer.
During my interview and in my research about the firm I found that the color is bold due to lack of representation within our industry, but also really embodies the culture of the firm from just the color and emotions that are inevitably felt when observing the color itself. It shows that we are not afraid to stand out but also that we are a group of warm people who are always looking out for the best of each other. I feel quite lucky to be part of this firm and hope to express the new refresh through my work as well as in the field when engaging with other professionals!”
– Ryan Whitcomb, Interior Designer
So back to my question: Is it acceptable to celebrate your brand? At Bergmeyer we believe it is more than acceptable - it is essential.
Happy Brandiversary, Bergmeyer – thank you for being the best brand-friend.