Last year, with the 15th anniversary of Berger Commercial Realty approaching in 2013, I thought the timing might be perfect to swap our familiar green and yellow signs and all the rest of our marketing materials with a completely new look. We’d ditch our company shirts, jackets, coffee mugs, stationery and other branded items we’d produced over the years with the trusted logo. Business is good, it’s our 15th anniversary and it could be fun to come up with a new design. Sounded like a great idea. The more I thought about it, however, the less sure I became that scrapping those distinctive green and yellow sale and leasing signs was the way to go. After 15 successful years, people in the business recognized a Berger sign even before they got close enough to the property to read it.
What was I trying to accomplish by messing with the company’s logo? Isn’t it dangerous to change a recognizable brand? Maybe this wasn’t the right time after all. Questioning myself but unwilling to ditch the idea yet, I decided that this was going to be a collaborative decision. So I convened a team of our brokers and staff to weigh the issues and decide what the company would do.
That decision delivered one of the best things that came out of our rebranding campaign. Yes, we ultimately moved forward with a logo and design that is completely different from what we had before, but the exercise of getting it done was just as significant as the final product. Collaboration can bring a company together and break down the “silos” that arise over the years as strong, hard-working individuals build their books of business. Creating something new together, in this case a new look and brand message, forces you to discuss, listen, give and get feedback, evaluate and decide what really matters.
We uncovered common themes in the ways our company is perceived, which attributes matter most to our clients and our shared values. From these discussions we fashioned a vision of what the Berger Commercial Realty brand has grown to mean over the past 15 years and how it plans to continue growing and evolving in the future.
Rather than creating an identity crisis, we were making a bold move that demonstrated our energy and success. Sure, some people would tell us they liked the old design better, but the change had captured their attention … they noticed. If the goal of rebranding is to influence a customer’s perception about the product or service you offer by making it seem modern and relevant, then mission accomplished.
What began as an exercise in graphic design has developed into a multi-faceted 15th anniversary celebration with lots of what marketers call “touch points.” We’re reaching out to the community and rallying our team around some great charitable initiatives that we all can be proud of, in addition to creating bold new marketing materials that express the essence of who we are. Those comfortable old green and yellow for sale or lease signs gradually will disappear, replaced by our bold new colors and design.
Our new tagline is Experience the Power of Market Knowledge and it is based in the reality of who we are. It speaks to the knowledge and experience we bring to our clients every day in all aspects of representation and differentiates us from others who consider us competitors.
The years since I founded our company in 1998 provide multiple examples of the volatility, as well as the enduring value and adaptability, of the real estate industry. We approach the next 15 years with a new look and lots of confidence and excitement about the years to come.