That’s a question I’ve gotten a lot since we revealed our new company name few weeks ago. And I love it.
Over the years, our team has worked with companies and organization to help them name, rename, rebrand and redefine their message. It’s one of the marketing areas where we’ve had the most fun and success. But in 2016, when our agency team was challenged to complete the same process for OURSELVES, it was different.
With a mix of veteran team members and new faces, we set out on a journey to explore corporate values, our big “WHY,” our motivations and our strengths/weaknesses. We even took a little trip down memory lane. We looked at (and laughed about) some of our early steps and marketing. We chuckled about how styles and trends had changed. Then we reflected on how our services and capabilities had changed over the years… and the questions started coming.
Interviewed in the “Hot Seat”
We took a deeper dive into our old services, business model and messaging. The conversation moved to a whiteboard wall where we could record thoughts and the questions kept coming. “Why did you start the company in the first place?” “What started the move from just ‘design’ services to agency marketing services?” “And what makes it time for this kind of brand change right now?” “What would happen if we don’t make this change?” and the questions and answers kept coming…
What do we do now that it didn’t do 5 years ago? Why is that important? What value does that offer clients? What are the ‘non-negotiables’ – core values – for us? What makes the greatest difference? What do we want more of in the next 3-5 years? What matters most for our clients’ futures? What’s the advantage of working with our company?
When we stepped back from our white board wall it was clear a major evolution had taken place.
A Beginning by Design
In 2000 when the company first started the sole focus was design services. Named “By His Design” – to remind me everyday that this was about more than my personal goals or abilities, it began. Logo design, graphic design, layouts and printed marketing materials were our bread and butter. The first clients were friends or colleagues, their families and neighbors. Then a presentation for NCIS Cold Case Training… and another… then requests came for websites. Trusting that this faith journey was one of providence, I took a few classes, pulled a few all-night sessions… and quit my day job. I was officially all-in.
Designed for a Different Road
Those early days were long gone now. In front of me sat a team with varied technical and professional skills.
On that white board was a broad range of digital services that we had never anticipated when we started as a design company:
- brand audits
- competitive research and analysis
- marketing automation and tracking
- naming and identity services
- persona development
- content marketing
- search engine optimization
- analytics reporting
- lead scoring
- social media marketing
- database, payment and other development integrations
- web hosting, server security and support
Definitely a little more than “just design.” In pursuing what our clients needed for their marketing to be effective and generate great returns, we had designed ourselves right down a different road. Now, it was time to hit the gas and go!
So, why the name 17blue®?
The quest for an original, innovative name took time and research. It took gut-checks and domain checks. Our signature ELECTRIC BLUE was staying. The circle (globe) was staying. Here’s where the 17 came from… We’re in our 17th year of business and 17 is a number that represents victory. The color blue represents foresight or revelation. In essence, you could say 17blue® stands for “Victory Revealed.”
That’s it. We’re here to make a difference. We implement change and shift things for our clients to see victory in their businesses and goals. Shifting and accelerating takes vision, creativity and effort, but we like winning – for our clients, our community and our team. [Watch the “17blue: Our Story” video.]
The Sweetest Victory of All
Winning takes guts and it’s fun! For us, how we win matters, too. It’s about the principles: Do it right. Tell the truth. Serve others. Make a difference. We like winning. We also like authentic strategies and tactics that build trust. Doing the right thing matters. Winning when you’re doing the right thing is the sweetest victory of all.
It’s still by His providence and design, but on a different level and at a different pace.