In a nutshell, we felt it was important to have skin in the game and because I firmly believe we had outgrown the name.
This is what we do for others
The first reason is a matter of being congruent with ourselves. We are constantly advising clients that are considering a rebrand. However, we have never gone through the fears, hesitations, excitement, and amount of work it takes to rebrand ourselves.
I have always said that it is not what the company’s name is (obviously with a few key exceptions); it is what you do with it. Asking opinions and running it by committees can only stall the process, and you will end up with something that nobody hates, yet nobody will love it either.
For example, I am sure that if we were to run by a committee (assume these brands don’t exist) names like Apple Computers or Starbucks, these would have been unanimously rejected; after all, what do they have to do with their products?
Outgrowing a great name
Every rebrand project we have embarked on has its roots in our client’s leadership, believing the name is not a good fit anymore; we are no different. We believe the name “Creative Engine” has a strong correlation with search engines, and the role search engines have in our lives has also changed dramatically. When I started Creative Engine 15 years ago, search engines were the source for this previously unavailable world of information. People were excited about the potential. Now that they are a ubiquitous part of our lives, they also represent, sadly, much more than access to the world’s information. They also represent the easy way out, the effortless solutions, and everyone is an expert at everything. The sweat equity it takes to become an expert at anything is unnecessary. Now, anyone can be an expert. Or so we think.
Every rebrand project we have embarked on has its roots in our client’s leadership, believing the name is not a good fit anymore; we are no different.
I wanted to establish some tangible distance between our ethos and the damage search engines make to our profession. For example, not long ago, we started working on a website for our clients and friends. They already had a logo designed, so we knew something was not right when we received the file for the logo. This logo was not unique. It took us 15 seconds to find around five different versions of this logo, all had the same details, and you could superimpose the logos we found on the internet on top of our client’s logo, and these would be almost identical. Whoever designed this logo for our client found the solution online, and pretended it was their work, and charged a pretty penny for it.
Perspiration and Obsession
Our work results from perspiration, the result of obsessing about the purpose, our client’s business objectives, and their competitive landscape. It is about making sure our clients feel proudly represented by their brand touchpoints. When a logo is designed quickly by just choosing a “cool” graphic from the internet, it may seem appealing short term, but it will age as rapidly and as well as milk.
Our best work, the type of work that has won awards or has our clients feeling confident on the world stage, has come from obsessing about all these perspectives and outcomes, from the hard work that results from understanding that anything good will not be easy.
It is also a result of our clients’ respect for our dedication to their brand and their trust in us in our insights, strategies, and ultimately, outcomes.
So we rebranded, and we landed on the name Étude.
Why Étude? Well, you can read about it here. But you will need a glass of wine.