How We Rebranded
For the last three years, we’ve described INK Public Relations as “PR in a different light.” The concept aimed to show, through client stories and an integrated approach, that our version of modern public relations encompassed much more than media relations.
Towards the end of last year, it was clear a shift had occurred in the industry and while our business had shifted as well, our name had not. While we continued to insist that PR was ‘all the things,’ the world and industry decided that “PR = media relations and stop trying to tell me otherwise.” Our expanded service offering demanded a bigger brand umbrella. After much debate and research, we selected communications. Today, we introduce a new brand and a new name. INK Public Relations is now INK Communications Co.
When we started on this long road last November, with INK creative director Emily Grossman leading the way, we had three main goals:
- Streamline our offerings into service buckets that reflect marketers’ key program needs and common terms.
- Showcase our client case studies visually and with meaningful metrics.
- Brand and describe our approach to data-driven, targeted communications (what became “The Good Stuff”).
As we began work on the visual identity, we were also making selections for our new Austin office. A piece of art by Jason Archer called Stray of the Dead (which will greet guests in our new headquarters) inspired us. His description of the series hit a nerve. There is a restless spirit to INK that is at the heart of this brand evolution.
Stray of the Dead is an analogy and icon for a restless spirit. It draws upon Texan and Mexican influences, mainly the Day of the Dead, representing the spiritual journey of the human soul unable to stand still, even after death.
Our visual approach carried through the overall strategy of showcasing who we are through the great work we do. After thirteen years of rainbows, we honed our color palette. Bold graphite and white were just what we needed to allow the client work to shine. Shades of green, yellow, pink, and blue were used to set off those graphic elements and highlight INK’s services and personality. Muted tones of those colors add depth to icons and in other marketing materials. We maintained our original font family while adding an eye-catching modern serif to the mix.
Goal 1: Organize Service Offering
Using our new color story and stylized numerals in the modern serif, we divided our service offering into four categories: 1. Research + Insights, 2. Public Relations, 3. Digital (which includes content and social media), and 4. Creative. We finalized these elements first as we needed to more accurately represent ourselves in new business proposals. Our win rate has doubled since adopting this new positioning.
Goal 2: Case Studies
The image-heavy layout of our case studies – which can be found in the Experience section of our website – display the visual storytelling and beautifully branded content that contribute to success and impact for our clients. With a show-and-tell approach, we attempt to connect the challenge, strategy, examples of content and earned media, metrics, and overall business effect.
Goal 3: The Good Stuff
Lastly, the Good Stuff. We tell clients if you start with the right stuff (research + insights), you’ll end up with the good stuff (results that matter). With a nod to our company mission, “Good work with good people makes for a good life,” the Good Stuff brands our approach to targeted, data-driven communications. By understanding your audience’s preferences and pain points, and creating compelling content and messaging to meet those needs, companies have a greater potential to break through the noise and make a difference. This fun and playful icon and GIF take center stage in our marketing materials and new website and become an internal rallying cry to push ourselves strategically and creatively for our clients.
There are so many things that come into play with a new brand. Making them all hit at the same time was an impossible task for us but we came pretty close. Our new logo and brand is being activated today through our signage, our social channels, our marketing materials, our brand video, and our business cards.
We would love to hear your thoughts and critiques on our new brand and website. A lot has changed but our hope is that our brand still represents the same culture and commitment to doing good work with good people, with an expanded and evolved brand promise. Kudos to all the people at INK, especially Emily Grossman and our friends at Workhorse Marketing, for making this new brand come to life across all our platforms and channels.