In 2015, we helped Gekko Technology shed their former skin, IT Sourced, to support their new business strategy. Co-founder and director Kristian Burrill shares his journey.
When we established ITSourced.com, it was created as an IT Webshop aimed at delivering discounted hardware to end users. After a couple of years, the business took a new direction with the addition of two new directors, John Donlon and Phil Griffiths. With them they brought a supreme knowledge of Cisco and services which ultimately led to us taking a new direction as a business. We scrapped the Webshop and redirected the business as an IT Systems Integrator. Over the next 18 months or so following the redirection, it became apparent that ITSourced no longer suited the business as a name and, following the acquisition of some funding for marketing via one of our vendor partners, we took the opportunity to invest in rebranding the business.
2. What did you expect from the re-branding process?
We went into the process not really knowing what to expect, I guess we knew at the end of it we would have a shiny new brand that would better reflect what the business was now about, but I don’t think any of us expected the true value that we realised from engaging in such a process.
3. What surprises or insights did you gain from the process?
The biggest surprise was the enjoyment we all took from the process; we all had a lot of fun sharing ideas and views of how we each saw the business, and how we wanted the business to be viewed by the wider business community. With regards to insights, we gained so many and so much in relation to understanding basic things such as our mission statement, our ethos, and our core principles that drive us as a business. We had never really sat down as a board to discuss what our business was about. We’d had many a meeting as a board to establish our services and what we could offer to potential clients, but we had never really discussed our brand and how we wanted businesses to understand our identity. To take days out from the office and discuss this at length, was extremely insightful.
4. How does the Gekko brand sit with you 12 months on?
Extremely well, internally everybody loves what we did. We now have a strong brand identity, one that we feel is individual to us and helps us to stand out in a crowded market space. Externally, the feedback has been fantastic; everybody loves the name and the brand concept. Twelve months down the line, we have only positive things to say about the brand, as do others.
5. Do you feel you have delivered the Gekko brand story yet?
I think we have, yes, but I also think that we’re still learning how best to do this. We have to constantly remind ourselves of our brand guidelines and work hard to ensure everything we do is on brand. Eventually I would like this to become second nature, but as with any business, our team is always evolving and we must ensure we work hard to deliver our brand story in everything we do.
6. What was it like working with an agency on the process?
I’m a huge advocate of working with partners who have knowledge that we don’t. We’re specialists in technology and delivering services, not marketing or brand design. Once we knew our brand needed a revamp, there was only route for us to take, to work with an agency who had ability.
7. Describe the re-branding journey – how has it changed you as a business?
The best thing about the journey for us was the requirement for us as a board, to leave the office and switch off from our day-to-day to spend time with each other, discussing and understanding our brand identity. Getting under the skin of our business to discuss and understand what we were about and where we wanted to go as a business, was extremely invigorating. I don’t think many businesses find time to do this or, realise the importance of doing so. It’s completely changed our approach to business; we established a set of principles, company ethos, vision and mission statements, and a great set of assets that enabled our employees and potential clients to better engage with what we’re truly about.
8. Did you have an understanding of brand before you started the journey?
No, not at all. We had an idea of the company we wanted to be, but not a clear idea of how to make that tangible.
9. What tips would you give to companies looking to re-brand?
First and foremost, understanding your business is key, and recognising if your brand truly represents your business as you wish it to be. It’s not necessarily a case of re-branding. It could be that you’re on the right track already and you just need to develop the brand you’ve begun to create. What you might learn though, is that the brand you’ve begun to create does not represent your ideas in the best way possible. If you have doubts or ideas around your brand, engage an agency. Let them take you on a journey of discovery that will be fun and insightful, and ultimately lead to a polished brand identity.