In 2000, 17 men and women founded a new marketing agency because they wanted to do things differently than typical shops. Their goal was to create a workplace centered around strong, long-term relationships. With clients, naturally. But also with each other — in a culture that puts the associate first.
And they succeeded.
In 2020, Two Rivers Marketing turned 20 years old. Thanks to our loyal clients and talented associates, our agency has grown rapidly — doubling in size in just the past four years alone. Suddenly, we found ourselves facing the same marketing mountain we’ve helped many leading B2B brands overcome — what do you do when your brand no longer reflects who you are as a company? Since we’d recently hired more than 60 associates, expanded our agency services, and totally revamped the way we approached our day-to-day operations, we’d taken a giant leap forward — and left our old brand behind. Like yesterday’s donut, it was still good but felt just a little dry.
It was time to consider an agency rebrand. Good thing we know a little something about that.
We were enthusiastic and ready for the challenge. (After all, this is why we get up in the morning!) We put together an interdisciplinary team from across the agency, rolled up our sleeves, and began the same process we’ve perfected over the past 20 years with our roster of global B2B clients. So here's your behind-the-scenes look at how our B2B branding expertise helped our agency.
First step: Discovery workshop
Our agency’s lead creatives, a member of our executive team, and our director of client strategy met for an honest and open discussion about who we are as an agency, who we aren’t, and who we wanted to be. During the workshop, we scoped out the competitive landscape — looking at the branding of other top global B2B agencies, along with auditing the very latest general branding trends.
Because all marketing is human to human, we find great value in determining an “archetype” or personality that best personifies a brand. By working through an archetyping exercise, we landed on a new brand persona for Two Rivers Marketing.
Our persona: the Seeker
The Seeker is driven to continuously learn, grow, and expand. A more studious, directed, and intentional version of the Explorer brand archetype, the Seeker thirsts for a better way, a better life, and a better world.
Second step: The Big Idea
Now that we had our arms around “who” we were, it was time to give a new “face” and a fresh “voice” to our agency — aka, a brand logo and messaging. Four agency art directors and a copywriter sat down to brainstorm the place where 2RM starts with all our client branding projects: The Big Idea.
Here’s how we land on The Big Idea:
- We drill down to our most profound Customer Insight: What is the one core emotional need that motivates our customers about all else?
- We identify our Brand Connection: How does Two Rivers Marketing meet that need better in a unique, specific way?
- To express our brand connection to our customers in everything we do, we develop an easy-to-understand sentence that links the customer insight and brand connection together. This is The Big Idea!
Here’s what The Big Idea looks like for Two Rivers Marketing:
Customer Insight: Your product or service is complex.
Brand Connection: We do complex really, really well.
The Big Idea: We’re Two Rivers Marketing. We’re at the center of B2B.
Third step: Owning the 2
“When we rebrand, we always look at the company’s existing brand and see what is most ownable. What is already there that’s truly differentiating? What can we rally around? Then we explore how we can build on it or express it in a fresh, new way,” says Managing Director, Creative Services, Drew Jones. “In 2RM’s case, our agency is really, really good at helping B2B clients build relationships with their customers and their sales channel, and making a business’s complex products relevant in their customers’ lives. That connection, that relationship is what the 2 stands for in B2B marketing. Our name is Two Rivers Marketing and building relationships is our founding principle. So it made sense for our brand to own the 2 — the center of B2B,” Jones explains.
A solid Big Idea is like creative catnip for art directors. They jumped at the chance to translate “We’re at the center of B2B” visually — including a new agency logo, brand colors, font, and photo style. Their concepts were presented to agency management, and a new brand look that best expressed The Big Idea was selected.
Our new visual identity expresses the intent of being a bolder version of ourselves. The new 2RM brand is direct, bold, and vibrant — furthering our position as a leading smart, strategic, and growing B2B agency. Our new logo, a multi-faceted hex, represents our ability to create order out of complexity. Deliberate, thoughtful problem solvers — that’s who we are. And what we bring to our client relationships.
Work began to meticulously update all agency marketing materials, and a brand new website was created. To communicate our new brand to the world, we created a comprehensive launch plan — some of which had to be altered as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are now moving forward with remaining activities, such as delivery of 2RM branded gifts for clients.
End result: A brand with skin on
Your brand is more than just how the outside world views your company. When it’s right, your brand is in action in the way everyone in your enterprise thinks and interacts every day. Our company rebrand truly reflects Two Rivers Marketing passion, mission, and position in the B2B marketing industry. And it’s centered on what we value most — relationships.
Want to give your brand an update?