A New Name: From Innobec to Spiria
We have been called Innobec for over ten years. Why change our name now? How should we go about it? What have we learnt from the process?
Our new name comes from “team spirit”, and represents our extremely horizontal approach to software development that involves close communication with clients. It is also inspired by the company’s services, which are based on employees’ knowledge and cognitive abilities, and refers to the mathematical mind, where developers are not considered coding machines.
Our new name is Spiria.
To complete our “brand map”, we wanted a visual symbol drawn from the world of technologies. We drew from what is most familiar to us: coding. Look at the following code:
One symbol associated with coding immediately jumped out at us, as it is very commonly used in HTML, PHP, C, Java C++, and many other languages.
We isolated this mathematical symbol which originally meant “smaller than”. In other words, what is coming is greater than what is past. We are greater together than alone.
We flipped this symbol to obtain the following new symbol:
Which represents the last letter of our new name, Spiria.
This new symbol can be used both as an “A” in modern font and as a logo:
Why Change Names?
Nobody liked our name
After some discussions, it quickly became apparent that almost nobody liked our name, whether within our company or outside it.
So why didn’t we change names sooner? There were several reasons. First of all, over the last ten years, it was never a priority: a name is just a name, there are so many more important things to think about. However, as time went on, the following considerations weighed ever heavier on the scale.
Innobec had Very Poor Brand Awareness
Very few people in the world of technology had ever heard of Innobec even 2 or 3 years ago, making loss of awareness a non-issue. We felt that it was now or never to revamp our brand.
Acquisitions: “Do we have to use the name Innobec?”
This was a frequently-asked question in our acquisitions endeavours. It’s a perfectly legitimate question, but we felt the discomfort with the name and wanted to ease our expansion process.
We are at a crossroads for the company. We are reaching out to new markets by setting up offices close to our future clients, since physical presence is the best way to ensure person-to-person communications. By adopting a name that is geographically neutral, we are supporting our philosophy of locally accessible developers.
The other part of our name, “innovation”, is representative of our development process; unfortunately, it is probably the most overused word in our field today. In other words, having “innovation” as part of our name was paradoxical, as it showed a lack of creativity or sense of innovation. Isn’t it ironic that innovation is no longer innovative.
So, What to Use?
First and foremost, we wanted a name that was representative of our company and our values. We take pride in offering digital solutions that are diverse and to work with agile, drawing from many different technologies, from the simplest to the most complex. This is our main strength and what sets us apart from the competition. Few companies can boast of developing architecture software that is used world-wide, while simultaneously devising small-scale mobile applications, all under one roof. We provide service, not products.
We did not want to be associated with any one physical place, since we offer local service. We needed a name that supported this philosophy, with no geographical connotation.
Nor did we want any temporal or technologial connotations: a truly innovative company is not bound to a single technology, some of which are not yet in existence.
Language neutrality: our name also had to be usable both in English and French. It had to be easy to pronounce and to write in both languages.
Originality: we wanted a name that was different from what is commonly used in the ecosystem of local IT. First of all, out of respect for other companies: it would go against our values of integrity and collaboration; second of all, because it would be contrary to our brand, which stands for innovative solutions to problems.
Take One: Let’s Try This on our Own
At first, we tried to find a new name on our own. Our company’s most creative people, the design team, set to work on brainstorming, brand bucketing, defining our brand personality, listing inspiring words, you name it.
Having racked our brains and come up empty, we realized two important things:
- We are too emotionally involved and don’t have the necessary objectivity to make an informed choice.
- We just aren’t a branding company. To each his own.
In the end, we decided to outsource the process and to work with a company specialized in branding. We opted to give our visual brand a gentle touch-up until we are ready to transition to a new, permanent look.
The Temporary Touch-Up: Graphical Specifications
We decided to update the Innobec image, which was in need of sprucing up. But in order to avoid two consecutive image “breaks”, we created visual elements that could be folded over into the new brand. The graphical specifications were created with continuity in mind.
The logo, which will be used for just a few years, is based on a simple made-to-measure font:
We kept the red to provide continuity, while tweaking the hue from a darker red to a lighter, more modern shade: we are a technology company, after all.
Take Two: Let’s Outsource
We were looking for a small, creative company specialized in branding. A large part of the work consisted in understanding who we are and what we are trying to accomplish. The chosen company had to have a proven track record of brand creation, avoiding the trap of creating a beautiful brand for beauty’s sake, which would force us to go through this whole exercise again in a few years’ time.
Obviously, we had to take several tries at it. Personally, I was extremely aware of the challenge that a new look would represent for the company, and of the diversity of personalities involved in the project.
Despite the challenges, we did come up with several names which everyone could agree on as representing our company and what we wanted to be.
With this change finally made, we realize that a name does not a brand make. Nor does a name guarantee success. But now, we are ready for the next phase of our corporate life.
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