Have we lost our zen?! Perhaps in a literal sense, but we’re as centered as ever…

Two years of building zentiv agency has brought a lot. We’ve built an amazing team. We’ve developed an inspiring list of clients. We’ve pushed the quality of our work to a whole new level. But most importantly we’ve learned a lot about ourselves and what we want our company to be. We decided to eat our own cooking…take our own medicine…call it what you will, but when we decided to part ways with one of our partners in zentiv agency, the need to really look at our branding had arrived.

DISCOVER

We start all of our client work with a DISCOVER phase. And what did the DISCOVER phase teach us about ourselves? What we really do is build brands. When you look at our work and the areas where we are experts, everything we do can be classified as developing tools to build brands. For example, digital is the most powerful brand building tool available today. Even if you have a logo, a well developed identity creates the full brand experience. Copy writing develops a brand voice that takes the brand experience beyond the visual. And so on and so forth.

With that in mind we explored all of the things we explore when we’re hired to rebrand a company. Who is our core audience? Is there a secondary or tertiary audience? How are we going to speak to our audience and when we do, what tone will we use? As you can see, we ended up with a casual brand voice which is very similar to the way we all talk in client meetings. Friendly but knowledgeable. We ended up there by going through our brand voice exercise that’s proven effective for a host of clients. I personally wanted to talk exclusively in acronyms, but I was out voted.

With our audience and brand voice fairly well defined we started talking names. zentiv agency? TIV, Inc.? New name? The sky was the limit. But in the end because of what we do, TIV was the obvious choice. Since 2009 we’ve been building brands under the TIV name and the equity in the brand was there. TIV has always stood for quality, expertise and a very personal and hands-on experience. Adding our new partner, Eric Van Cleave, into the mix was the perfect fit for all that TIV stood for. We keep joking that we’re going to adopt Eric to keep the family-owned and operated thing going…but let’s face it, he’s already family whether he likes it or not.

DESIGN

The majority of the initial work in DESIGN centered around the TIV logo. We looked at whether there was a need to adjust the form of the brand mark or whether it remained relevant and representative of who we are. And the color scheme? Those who have visited our old home in Windsor or the zentiv building in Santa Rosa know that we use our brand colors on more than just our business cards. With that in mind we developed a system for using the green, orange, and gray that represents all of the iterations of our company.

Once the logo was finished up we focused on our website. The DISCOVER phase lead to the strategy of keeping a similar format to the old TIV website. We’ve always believed that an agency’s website should be nothing more than a framework for the projects inside. We designed a clean and simple layout that is ideal for showcasing our client work. The biggest carryover from the zentiv agency website was the team page because the sentiment is still true and the team remain the key to our success.

DEVELOP

Once the design was complete we moved to the DEVELOP phase which fell heavily on the graphics and programming teams. We knew if we were building a brand new website we wanted it to be perfect. So we took new photos of all packaging in order to keep the style consistent and avoid being visually jarring with jumps between mocks, photos and other treatments. We showed the digital work in action to emphasize the importance of designing for multiple platforms. Finally, we developed a very unique approach to showcase all of the components of our brand development and campaign work. In a perfect world we wanted something recognizable that could also be used across digital and social media channels.

The development team took the opportunity to really explore some user experience ideas that they’d been hoping to have the opportunity to work on. The combination of a simple design with subtle animation is a great example of how great design doesn’t need to be overly intricate.

DRIVE

With the launch of the new website and the new branding, our DRIVE efforts are focused around social media, blogging, and PR. But we don’t want to spoil anything…check us out at TIVbranding.com/blog or Facebook.com/TIVbranding to keep an eye on our ongoing brand building efforts.