Bridging the Gap with New Brand and Logo

by | Oct 12, 2010 | Blog | 4 comments


When I started my re-branding efforts earlier this year for my consulting firm, Connect, I had no idea that Gap and The Clorox Company —the two consumer giants in my backyard—were undergoing brand makeovers as well.

Our rationales for our brand facelifts are similar: our current brands didn’t reflect today’s reality. We needed to recalibrate how we define and explain ourselves.

Unlike Gap and The Clorox Company, which sells products to millions of consumers, Connect provides professional services to a select number of businesses. Now, what exactly does Connect do?

Glad you asked! Let me share a case study. One of my clients, a fast-growing Fortune 1000, outsourced its employee travel services. More than a year later, employees were still complaining and looking for excuses to avoid using the program.

The analysis we did showed three trouble areas. Both the travel booking and on-the-road experiences didn’t match what employees expected, based on what the company had told them. Furthermore, the company’s focus on cost savings at the expense of everything else didn’t ring true with the company’s financial success and rapid growth.

We repositioned the program and updated the messaging.

The changes turned the program around. Within months, employee satisfaction and compliance increased to the 90% levels.

With this rebranding, based on market research with clients and other exploration, Connect is now focused on helping functional leaders, such as IT, Finance, HR, Communication and Marketing, get people on board with change initiatives.

By working with Connect, clients achieve their goals without the drama, delays, and distress so often associated with change. They also build their credibility as progressive leaders who listen, involve, and support their team and other employees. And they gain clarity around the change, which sharpens everyone’s focus and keeps them on the same path.

In the almost seven years Connect has been in business, we’ve always provided change communication services. But we’ve also done more, which was diluting and confusing the brand. And frankly, as the company founder and managing consultant, I felt too scattered and not as focused as I should be.

For example, as I wrote in my July newsletter, I was serving two target markets simultaneously: The LEAN COMMUNICATIONS™ crowd and my change clients. The LEAN COMMUNICATIONS™ crowd enjoyed my special tools and fire prevention advice. My clients appreciate my problem solving and fire fighting.

For the LEAN COMMUNICATIONS™ fans out there, please note I will be using the  LEAN COMMUNICATIONS™ tools I’ve developed over the years and writing about them. And I’ve got several more under development, which I’m now testing with clients. I’m also using my other innovation, the SILENT, SUGARCOATED MOOSE®. Both the lean and moose tools help build understanding, credibility, and trust.

So is anything else changing? Ah, yes, the new logo and tagline pictured above that support the Connect brand.

The logo emphasizes the word Connect, although Connect Consulting Group remains the company name. (Unlike one of my clients, The Clorox Company, which is lengthening its name to convey its diversified product range, the one word “Connect” better describes what we do around change.)

Also the Connect logo features more color. The mustard joins the deep purple from the original mark. And the logo is more compact with the graphic element (the linking n’s) built within it. The purpose is to reflect the human element of change with a bit of whimsy. (Business and change are serious work; but that doesn’t mean we always have to be dull or drab.)

The tagline “clear credible change” is “descriptive and reassuring” as one individual wrote in my special online survey to test alternative logos.

Ah, the testing! I invited clients, family, friends, and fans (through Twitter and LinkedIn) to review alternative logos that Radiant Brands created. So unlike Gap, I can’t be criticized for not inviting feedback during the logo development phase.

My crowd-sourcing feedback was helpful, yet contradictory. We did make tweaks based on comments. Yet, based on the fervor of some folks, I’m sure they won’t like the final design.

As for whether I would do the crowd-sourcing feedback again and would I recommend it to others, as some asked, I say “yes” to both. Besides giving me input, many people thanked me for asking them for their opinion, which was gratifying.

However, who knows if my new logo will appear on the site Your Logo Makes Me Barf? (Until Gap pulled the plug on its new logo due to negative reactions, much of the site traffic was about the horrific changes to this iconic logo.)

As for my brand journey, it’s continuing. My website designer, Rowboat Media, is now developing Connect’s new website, which is where I’ll be blogging, probably in November.

Thanks to everyone for their support to date and I hope I can count on you to stay with me.  While we don’t have the long history of The Clorox Company (100 years in 2013) and Gap (41 years), Connect does have a track record of satisfied clients and excellent results. (The new website will feature their testimonials and case studies.)

Meanwhile, if you want to know more about Connect, this small, privately-held company that operates under the radar compared with these two pillars of the San Francisco Bay Area business community, just email me.

And if you or someone you know can benefit from Connect’s change services, please refer me! Thanks all!


  1. Jean Farmer

    A Monday-morning quarterback here…. about your new logo. I know you’re ecited about your new look. To me, though, the word “connect” isn’t clear in the logo. It looked like the word “collect” then “correct” to me, before I realized what it was. The “n’s” in the mustard color do not look like “n’s” when the viewer does not know what it’s supposed to be. The logo you had been using was clear and clean. It might be just me, but the typeface of your former logo seems more modern than the one of the new logo, which looks like typefaces we used in the 1970s and 1980s. But maybe those typefaces are back! Continued good luck with your changes – it’s always exciting and there will always be crabby people like me who have a hard time understanding the changes. 😉

  2. Meredith Eisenberg

    It has been really exciting to watch this unfold. I think that the new logo showcases your message of bringing people who are not connected together. I also really like the tagline — clear, credible, change. It fits very well with the market research you did. I think it takes a lot of courage to do the time of “soul searching” (do businesses have souls?) you did to come up with something that truly captures what you do for clients.

  3. Julia Schoenberger

    Liz, I applaud you and the Connect Consulting Group team! It takes a smart operator to stop and evaluate if a company is still on the best path, followed by the courage to make the necessary changes — especially for the founder. Congratulations!

    As a corporate communicator, I know it can be challenging to convince an internal client to solicit feedback, only to explain that not all comments have to be accommodated. Whew! I like that you asked for feedback about the logo and tagline, and then took the extra step to explain the reasons behind the final decision.

    When I shifted my career from graphic arts to corporate communications, I took one golden rule with me: Art is subjective. You’re right — not everyone will like the new look, but many will, and I’m one. In my opinion, it reads as “connect,” and the colors are a nice change from the muddled sea of so-called “earth tones.” Out of curiousity, I checked the Pantone trend site and a similar palette is ranked as #207 out of 18,535 member contributions. So, it’s all a matter of perspective, eh?

    Have fun with your new look and renewed focus!

  4. Liz Guthridge

    Thanks for the comments! I agree with Julia; art is subjective.

    As I wrote in my post, I felt I needed a new look to reflect my new niche–the tight focus on change. So even though I liked all aspects of my old Connect Consulting Group logo (as well as my LEAN COMMUNICATIONS logo), I decided to make a break with the past and introduce something new. After all, if I’m supposed to encourage people to change the way they work, I can’t be hypocritical and avoid change myself, right? So I worked and consulted with a number of branding and marketing experts, which is making my change journey relatively smooth, very enjoyable, and exciting.

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