The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship – referred to as the CIE – needed a complete rebrand. It’s a buzzing business incubator hot spot for fast-growing companies, but neither their name, messaging, nor brand reflected this.
Our first task was to understand what the CIE had evolved into since their launch in 2008 and to help determine and define where it was going. We had to capture and reflect this in its messaging, look and feel, and deliver it in a way that would connect with prospective and current tenants, the business community, and move them to action.
We began with research, which gave us a foundation upon which we could build their brand. We workshopped with the key stakeholders to gather their input and vision.
The new name? Co:Lab. We used this name to couple with other key phrases throughout our messaging and marketing. Co:Lab = Co:llaboration, Co:mmunity, Co:working, Co:mmunicate, and Co:ffee.
While Co: lab’s role was that of a guide and an enabler, we defined Co:Lab’s culture as grown up with a touch of the little kid. The tone of their messaging is friendly, conversational, informal, yet professional. Their tag line is Collaborate, Innovate, and Accelerate.
Once we had a solid hold on the messaging, we knew where the creative should lead. We needed the right balance between professional and play.
The flexible path of the entrepreneur – represented by an ever-changing line – did this. Once this was in place, it could be expanded out into a line icon system and build over time.
We built the Co:Lab palette with business blue tones in mind – but with a few unexpected pops of color.
Finally, we developed a playful repeating pattern built from the icon system. We used this as a secondary element on all collateral. This brought the system together and pushed it to another level of customization – and makes the brand highly ownable.
Everything came to life in informational print collateral, a website that was easy for them to take and manage with their internal team, and an interior mural. They even repainted their offices to match the brand. The result? A lasting brand.