Rebranding Success Story: Axis Promotions

Several years ago, Top 40 distributor Axis Promotions (asi/128263) determined it needed to revamp its website and e-commerce stores. But once internal marketers started to examine options, they found themselves repeatedly shelving the project in favor of other pressing concerns – client needs or operational demands. “The process got put on the back burner,” says President Larry Cohen. “Client stuff always comes first.”

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It also became clear that figuring out which rebranding direction to take and how exactly to execute a new vision might prove more daunting than originally thought. Cohen says that having “lived in our own space for so long,” the company “had trouble moving beyond the constructs of what our brand meant and what we wanted from our website.”

Counting at least three or four start-and-stop moments over as many years, Cohen and his team eventually decided to outsource the bulk of the work (at a cost of $30,000 for the effort). In doing so, they began to realize that what seemed unique, special or a market differentiator internally didn’t always have the same effect on others looking from the outside in. For example, as the company’s plans to change its online offerings came into focus, their branding firm began inquiring about the Axis logo. Where Cohen and others thought their old logo expressed vitality, movement and engagement, the branding firm had one comment: “We don’t get your logo and don’t understand what it has to do with your business,” Cohen remembers branding experts stating bluntly.

Looking for consensus on changes, Axis decided to survey staff members, most of whom voted for a logo refresh. But no one could seem to decide on whether or not the company should keep the image of a globe that had always been a logo staple. Taking inspiration from AT&T, the company wondered if they could modernize the image of a globe to keep it within the logo. In the end, they nixed it altogether and haven’t looked back, Cohen says: “It’s rare that you can say it achieved all the things that we wanted it to do.”