ESG, a Kingston-based manufacturer of micro-seismic monitoring systems, has always had the brain power to outperform its bigger competitors, but they were losing business because prospective customers only wanted to work with the big guys.
“Our customers didn’t understand who we were,” says Director of Marketing Shan Jhamandas. “They saw us as academics, but we believe we’re an industry leader. We needed a platform to showcase what we really are. We started by changing our name to ESG Solutions to show people that we are a unified company that provides turnkey solutions to a global clientele.”
“We had one group marketing to the petroleum industry, one group to the geotech industry and another group to the mining industry,” says Jhamandas. “Each group was branding itself differently.”
“Each division wanted to be different, even though they were all in one company,” says BmDodo partner Jen Cameron. “We needed to find a way to honour those differences and at the same time show the world that they were one unified company.”
Most of ESG’s competitors have developed their identities around the same image: the seismic wave. In order to make ESG stand out, we decided to start with another image. We chose the dot, which seismologists use to symbolize a micro-seismic event. “No one uses dots,” says Jen.
“It gave them a completely unique presence in the market.” Once we had the basic image figured out, we set out to solve the consistency problem. We used the dot image as the company’s overall identity and assigned each division its own colour. That way, the divisions each had their own identity, but it was within the framework of the company’s overall identity. The colours work, both separately and together, creating unity and symmetry on the one hand and a distinct look for each division on the other.
The new identity makes ESG stand out from its competitors for all the right reasons. “Brian and Jen made us realize that we had to differentiate ourselves through design,” says Jhamandas. “I think it’s safe to say that we do that now. Our identity really makes people take notice. It’s eye-catching.
It provokes questions and makes people stop and take notice. It’s a unique identity, which plays to our advantage, because we’re an industry leader, so it’s only fitting that we have a different identity.”
Jhamandas reports that the company’s revenues have grown since they rolled out the new identity and adds that at least some of it is attributable directly to the new look. “At least one client came to us because he liked the look of our trade show booth,” he says.
The Association of Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario recognized ESG’s identity package with a Design at Work award in 2008.