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Classic Icons & Top Technology Build a New Brand, A Brief Case Study

Press release from the issuing company

NEW YORK -- MAY 9, 2001 -- Pisarkiewicz Mazur & Co, the New York branding consultancy, has combined the classic and the cutting edge to launch the brand identity of its client ION Networks Inc. The Piscataway, NJ-based network management corporation looked to PM & Co for a new identity last fall, following its merger with another high-tech security firm. The challenge was to communicate ION's brand promise (the highest levels of network performance and security) and to make the message easy and economical to distribute via the company's international field sales force. "We decided almost immediately to 'humanize' ION," said Mary F. Pisarkiewicz, founder and creative director of PM & Co. "We didn't want to fall into the communications trap that snares so many technology companies -- making themselves look so mysterious and abstract that even their intended customers don't really understand what their message is about." A New Logo is Created... With this in mind, Pisarkiewicz and her team went about creating a new logo that clearly communicates the connectivity that is ION's basic promise. A color palette of deep red teal blue provides a warmth and accessibility that is unusual among the metallics and corporate tones common in technology communications. A tag line "It's About Availability," expressed ION's major attribute, network performance, in a conversational, contemporary way. A Cast of Characters... As the identity was rolled out into tactical elements, more humanizing was in order. A cast of characters representing ION's key customers and their various concerns. These characters appear throughout the campaign from trade advertising to the exhibit booth to the website. A series of icons was also developed by PM & Co to symbolize ION's benefits. "Instead of creating icons that stood for 'tech' we decided to employ photographs of familiar objects -- a pocket watch to represent time, a porter's bell for service, an opening door for availability, a dart hitting the bull's eye for results. We believed that this set ION apart from its competitors and also that these familiar, enduring objects project a message of reliability and security -- which is the essence of ION's brand promise." Managing the Brand... With the identity in place, PM & Co turned to their second challenge -- managing the brand across the world and across multiple platforms. The answer was the development of a Visual Alphabet(R) for ION. This proprietary brand asset management tool aggregated all of ION's new branding elements -- both graphics and copy -- of communications that are customized for unique market needs, yet always on brand. TheVisual Alphabet 2.0 will be launched in mid-May. This new, fully interactive Internet-based version will allow PM & Co clients to create customized, on-brand materials, including Power Point presentations and video. The version also includes an animator and an optional feature that allows a client to conduct Internet-based consumer research on the effectiveness of package design, advertising and other tactics.

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