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Branding Gurus Rebrand Themselves


by Jonathan Lansner, Staff Columnist

So who do the branding gurus use when they need a brand makeover?

In the case of a marketing shop from Irvine, they performed the corporate identity overhaul on themselves.

So as of today, say goodbye to RiechesBaird. Say hello to BrandingBusiness.

The road to a new identity was a roughly 18-month journey that company insiders say was based on the same premise as they’d use on any client: What is the new corporate strategy and how would a new identity amplify that metamorphosis?

In two decades, RiechesBaird evolved from a small local shop – as the old, two-man name implies – to a 23-person consultancy handling global accounts.

Founders Ryan Rieches and Ray Baird had added two partners – Alan Brew and Michael Dula. There’s the 3-year-old office in New York City. And dreams developing of a far broader empire.

With this grander vision in place, the consultancy asked itself – including many internal discussions from the top of the ladder to the lowest – what was the best way to position the company for the future.

“It was a great opportunity to practice what we preach,” Dula says.

One drawback, it seemed, was the name.

Family names in a corporate image certainly evoke a favorable impression of quality, hand-crafted products and service. At the same time, they can be limiting.

It may suggest a modest scope of work or service area. And some clients may want accounts handled only by the “name” partners – when it takes numerous crew members to deliver the services.

In addition, this firm’s name in particular was hard to spell and correctly pronounce – making it a tricky moniker to market domestically and internationally.

“We had to leave egos in the past,” says Rieches, a founder who is no longer in the name.

As the rebranding efforts were underway, the power of the company’s 5-year-old brandingbusiness.com website came into focus. It’s an educational hub for companies pondering a rebranding, not a RiechesBaird information site. The brandingbusiness.com site had developed a significant online following as a go-to site for marketing executives.

If the old name had to go, why not leverage the good vibes the firm had created with its branding-advice website? “BrandingBusiness” – in very direct, simple language –- says exactly what the company does.