Every now and then, companies large and small, with great fuss and fanfare, announce a re-brand. And the world looks on and wonders why. Calvin Klein does it, Apple did, Starbucks too – and just recently – so has Christie. This suggests there must be sound commercial reasoning behind the color palette discussions and hours spent; the executives do not easily sign-off on self-indulgence.
So, if re-branding is not self-indulgent, what is it? To understand that we need to know a little about how brands are believed to work. The first thing to know is that the logos, the colors, and everything else, are not in themselves brands but the outward expression of something much more profound. A true brand is both a kind of unwritten contract between an organization and its stakeholders: “These are the promises we make” and – increasingly with consumer brands – an emotional contract: “This is how buying from us will change how you feel, and how others see you.”
Should either of these contracts change significantly, the most efficient way of conveying this is usually a re-brand. New deal, new clothes, new image.
A change of clothes means nothing
But the opposite is not true, a change of clothes alone means nothing, and you don’t get to be superman just by wearing his cape and tights. Without the underlying changes that support it, re-branding is self-indulgent – and pretty much worthless.
So, when you see the new Christie website, and the new colors, and hear a less formal tone in the things we write, you can be sure that they’re matched by changes under the hood that outshine any gleam from our new paintwork.
These changes have been underway for some time. Their purpose is to ensure Christie remains seen as an innovative, approachable business that supports its partners and the entire AV and cinema community. Especially important during the current crisis, doubly so as we emerge from it, and normal life returns.
Now, few of the changes we’re making warrant headlines on their own, but their cumulative effect will be substantial, noticeable, and far-reaching. And they speak of the persistent optimism that’s long been part of the Christie brand – no matter the clothes it has worn – or the circumstances.
Uncertainty may have the upper hand over optimism in the world right now, but we know the conviction that tomorrow will be brighter and better is as much a part of AV’s makeup as it is our own. In just the same way our new look is an outward expression of an inner determination, we see a resolve that runs deep in our partners and industry.
But that’s the thing about brands, businesses and believing in a bright future. It’s the steel beneath that counts.