To help brands connect with consumers in this ever-changing world, Performance Marketing (PM) has continued to grow and evolve the way it does business since its founding in 1999. However, the days of companies hiring one agency partner for everything were long gone. Clients didn’t want to buy everything that came with a “full-service” agency, they wanted access to specialists who fit their specific needs. But sometimes those needs required marketing and technology expertise to integrate — a task not easily accomplished between multiple agencies.
Knowing that the merger of marketing and technology was key to customer connection and client success, PM welcomed three specialist companies into the fold — Shift, Blue Traffic and Vector Haus. Creating this family of specialist companies gave clients access to any number of experts and specialized services without having to hire out additional agencies. However, whenever an acquisition brings companies together, there is often a disconnect in brand stories and blurred lines between offerings. With no uniting story that highlighted the expansive capabilities of this collaborative collective of brands, or clear delineation between specific services and roles, it was time for a new approach.
To distinguish the new parent company as a collective that merges marketing and technology, we needed to concept an identity that would better communicate the specialized services and integrated solutions clients would receive through their partnership. We also needed to further define the specialty of each company within the collective as well as how they all work together to bring bigger thinking. This would require additional branding efforts to create unique but complementary identities for each of the four sub-brands — PM, Shift, Blue Traffic and Vector Haus — to help them look and feel like a connected family.
Regardless of the specialist, the collective has always operated with the focus of doing what's right by our people and clients — but it was time to capture that on paper.
Establishing a shared vision helped keep all our companies connected in the right ways to meet changing client needs related to marketing and technology. Individual mission statements helped establish each sub-brand's individual role in achieving the collective vision. Together, these formed a foundation for which we could strengthen our value of connecting marketing and technology and resolve to deliver more to our clients.
Ensuring the delivery of a cohesive customer experience across all brands was the next critical step. Common values were established across all sub-brands to ensure seamless integration when working across the collective. And new vision statements were created to galvanize each sub-brand with a singular purpose.
To build a fresh identity and remove confusion around what the collective was, we selected “Anthologic” for the parent company name — a mashup of anthology and logic. And like an anthology, Anthologic forms a collection of specialists (sub-brands) with a range of skills and expertise who can work separately or together to achieve the right solution for clients.
To build focus areas for each sub-brand, we developed or refined target audience personas, products and services lists, value propositions, brand positioning and core messages. We explored the individual personalities of each sub-brand and identified areas of common ground. We then concepted logos that would tie each of the sub-brands more closely together through the use of typography and shape while still giving each one its own unique identifier (e.g., a crescent moon for PM and forward slash for Shift).
A core color palette was also developed for the Anthologic collective, and each sub-brand received its own secondary palette to support the individual sub-brand personalities. Finally, the team created unique branding elements for each of the sub-brands, including voice and tone guides, patterns, iconography and photography guidelines.
We planned to launch all of the new brand identities in November 2019, in celebration of our 20th anniversary. The launch included the release of the Anthologic brand video, five new branded websites, an email campaign to partners, clients and friends of the brands, a press release, features in local business publications and announcements on each brand’s social channels.
From creative to development to leadership, this branding effort involved the work of the entire Anthologic collective. Our goal was to create individual but complementary brands — each one designed to stand alone or work seamlessly together with the rest of the collective.
After the launch of Anthologic and the new brand identities for the collective of companies, we saw a significant jump in visitors across the Anthologic company sites and have connected more than half of our clients with services from other areas of the collective. These new connections would have never happened had we not brought our collective brands together. Additionally, we created a stronger culture across the companies and more united collective identity with integrated values and processes for sharing work.