The Making of a strong Brand. Redesigning Sereviso
A strong brand may be complex, but never complicated. However, especially IT companies tend to solely rely on argumentation to lure potential clients. Their marketing materials are overloaded with technical terms cast into the shape of endless bullet lists–difficult to understand but aiming to demonstrate competence and professionalism.
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However, competence is the absolute minimum we expect from any service provider. What’s more: we even presuppose it. Professionalism, therefore, is not suited to differentiate from any competitor as it should simply be out of the question. Instead, the vast use of argumentation makes services or products comparable to similar ones on the market–with little to no space for meaningful differentiation.
From a branding perspective, comparability is the last thing we want for our company. We aim for uniqueness instead.
The following article is a joint work between Chris Griessmann and our brand strategist Florian Hämmerle who helped us with a team of creatives to develop our new voice. It reflects the two perspectives necessary for a strong branding–the internal view, as well as the external.
A Shortcut to Meaning
Florian: Every company has something that makes it unique. We learned early that there is more to Sereviso’s success – aside from its competence. As Simon Sinek stated in a much-noticed TED talk, clients do not necessarily buy what we do. Instead, they buy why and how we do it. The core motivation shapes businesses and, somehow, it is always there, aware or not: it affects strategies and even the little things we do every day.
Reducing the complexity of communication was our first task to do. We had to understand, as laymen to Sereviso’s field, what this company was all about. To do so we used a technique based on C.G. Jung’s research: The swiss psychologist introduced the term archetype to describe recurring symbols and behavorial patterns that are intuitively recognisable and need no further explanation.
The results of a quantitative survey with Sereviso’s team and their clients allowed a first peek at a common identity
In our model, said archetypes serve as a shortcut between the factual level and the level of meaning. By discussing which ones Sereviso’s employees deem fitting, they automatically reveal valuable characteristics of the company and its culture. At the same time archetypes function as a bridge between an identity and a narrative, or, in terms of branding, between strategic positioning and design.
Why we are who we are
Chris: Collecting data is one thing, understanding them is another. In our fast-paced economy, numbers and facts are meaningless if we don’t find ways to process or even access them. Getting the information to take action usually goes along with a lot of manual work. Consequently, a lot of decision-makers fall back on fast, intuitive choices, based on their gut feeling. Instead of knowing, they are guessing.
At Sereviso, we want to change that. We provide the knowledge and technologies necessary to gather data from various sources into a single source of truth. This data is made accessible as serviceable information. By automating the whole process behind it, decision-makers are less dependent on the cooperation and ability of their human subordinates. Additionally, they regain plenty of time to focus on the qualitative aspect of their work: to plan, act and decide, always backed up by the good feeling of up-to-the-minute information.
Getting the information to take action usually goes along with a lot of manual work. As a consequence, a lot of decision makers fall back on fast, intuitive choices, based on their gut feeling. Simply put: instead of knowing, they are guessing.
Sereviso’s main purpose in one graph: to provide the information necessary to enable action.
What makes Sereviso different
Florian: When we speak of creativity, we normally think of the usual suspects: designers, musicians, maybe dancers. Looking at Sereviso, those first associations expose themselves as what they are: rather short-sighted stereotypes.
Creativity is about finding new approaches. It is about fostering unusual perspectives and experimenting with the ordinary to eventually come up with something new, extraordinary. But, most importantly, creativity is a prerequisite to finding the ideal solution to any complex matter. And that is exactly what we saw Sereviso doing, day in day out.
Chris: Consulting has developed into a natural ingredient of our service. So does the extra mile. As former finance guys, businesspeople, and IT project managers, we have experienced our clients’ frustrations firsthand. Now we lend an ear to whoever needs it. This leads to a deep understanding of our clients’ needs, on a factual but also an emotional level. Paired with our agile and compact structure, we offer individual and reliable guidance, sometimes even over a long period of time.
As former finance guys, business men and IT project managers, we have experienced our clients frustrations first hand and now lend an ear to whoever needs it.
Developing a Language
Florian: A brand’s purpose and personality are foundational to its narrative. They are reflected in its vision and values and have an impact on colours, imagery, messages and even its website content. To illustrate that effect, let us have a look at some of Sereviso’s new key elements:
Sereviso’s positioning as a “sage” necessitates deliberate content and design elements. A sage does not stage himself, anything he does has to serve a purpose. The sage aims for transparency and comprehensibility. Knowledge transfer, therefore, gains importance, as does well-structured content and sensible use of white space. Marketing material is meant to create trust while avoiding intensified argumentation as well as dull advertising blah blah.
We thus aim to create high-quality content with value for the reader, even before getting in personal contact. These aspects are supported by a clean and modern design system, developed by Marlene Leichtfried and Vinzenz Luger.
The slogans show the versatility of data and their potential, by simply adapting to a project’s goals.
Chris: The new slogans are based on a linguistic framework that simply adapts to the goal of a project. By reflecting the process from data to information which finally leads to actionable knowledge, we outline our clients’ journey while positioning ourselves as a reliable partner along the way. However, the destination remains up to the client to decide, hinting at the versatility and potential of our services. The very same idea is translated into the visual language of the brand, using technical 3D animation and stills to create our key imagery.
Florian: As proposed by Marlene Leichtfried and Vinzenz Luger, the colour scheme should differentiate Sereviso more from its competition. By avoiding the inflationary blue colour of the IT branch, Sereviso’s unusual combination of greens easily makes the design, and its messages stick out. Meanwhile, their logo is reduced to a wordmark, an understatement that reflects one of Sereviso’s core beliefs: that everything they do is about their clients and projects, never about themselves.
Sereviso’s fresh combination of greens differentiates the design from its competitors.
From identity to design
Florian: A brand does not reinvent identity. Instead, it effectively expresses the positive aspects of what is truly there. Authenticity is key to credibility. And credibility is the foundation of trust.
Understanding Sereviso’s identity was a straightforward process. Their strengths were obvious and showed themselves in their everyday business already. However, Sereviso’s design and marketing material were not focused enough to transport these qualities in an impactful or even comprehensible way.
By using archetypes, we reduced the complexity in communication and built a bridge between the company’s identity and a visual language. Furthermore, we created an intuitive strategical blueprint that helps Sereviso to stick to their messages and communicate consistently–even without marketing expertise.
A brand does not reinvent identity. Instead, it effectively expresses the positive aspects of what is truly there. Athenticity is key to credibility. And credibility the foundation of trust.
Chris: A big thank you goes to everyone who supported us in the making of this new brand, foremost all employees who have given their valuable and honest views.
Secondly of course to our partner, formerly known as Haemmerle & Luger, a collective of creatives, who restructured themselves during the Covid pandemic from an ordinary agency structure to a free collaboration of talents – an agency on demand, so to speak.
Brand Strategy: Florian Hämmerle
Brand Design: Vinzenz Luger (both and)
Coordination: Marlene Leichtfried (both and)
Graphic Design & Text: Andrea Holzner
Animation & 3D Arts: Vincent Wagner
Photography: Jorma Müller
Programming: Sebastian Gansrigler
SEO Optimization: Dajana Doskoc
Translation: Susanne Präsent