This past Saturday on July 4th, America celebrated its 239th year as an independent nation. As we waited with tens of thousands of our fellow Americans to witness the display of fireworks above New York Harbor, my thoughts turned to our very own journey of independence to create Brandpersand five years ago this summer, and my personal introduction to the world of brand and name creation.
Twenty-five years ago, David Wood interviewed me in his rooftop office high above Fifth Avenue for an entry-level position with his privately-held, four-person 'international marketing consultancy,' or I as soon learned, a company dedicated to the creation of names. Not a 'design' company, which on occasion would create a name to accompany a logo, and certainly not an 'advertising' company, which might have a copywriter toss off a few catchy names as a by-product of an ad campaign, but a company dedicated to 'naming.'
As he shared his passion for the craft of brand and name creation, my initial skepticism about why any successful company with a multitude of creative minds would need an external company to create a name for their product or service was quickly replaced with the feeling that I must find a way to work here and learn all there was to know from him about this new take on an engaging idea, 'branding.'
Much like any other student of design and marketing of that time, I was well acquainted with the academic language surrounding 'brand.' However, the idea that one could strategize, design and validate every expression of a future brand under consideration, the appearance, the language, the tone, the feel, the idea – the essence of the brand experience, much like the process to plan a service or create a product as opposed to the organic growth of brand value as an extension of traditional advertising and marketing was, for me, a very new and intriguing concept.
After our meeting concluded, David introduced me to the 'other' David, David Jaeger. For fifteen years, we partnered to create some of the most iconic brands of our time as part of a new approach to brand building that is now accepted as the 'best practice.' As David Wood expanded the firm to leverage our strength in brand strategy and name creation and built a strong global presence in multiple creative and research disciplines, we grew from a company of five to an international brand consultancy.
The collective experience over the years was marked by tremendous success, and as found in every worthwhile pursuit, also our fair share of failure. Someone once told me, "There is only winning and learning, never losing." But loss is ever present, and the loss of independence after our acquisition by Omnicom led some of us to seek a path back to familiar ground. Much like our nation, our first steps post-independence have been challenging, deeply rewarding and full of promise.
With a recently refreshed (and responsive) online presence, new team members, new capabilities and related new services set to be introduced as we celebrate our fifth anniversary, the journey continues, as we continue to do our best.
Clement Galluccio, Managing Partner