Kim Millar, founder and MD of creativeagency, timeSQUARE, has experienced first-hand how refreshing your brand canlead to overall business rejuvenation. A recent rebranding exercise has notonly given the company a facelift but has opened doors to new growthopportunities and provided the business with a renewed sense of focus andpurpose.“For many years – since inception really –timeSQUARE was an advertising agency that specialised in the healthcare sector.When I started the business, that’s the sector that we got into initially andclients came to know us for our healthcare related work.” Recently, however,Millar has turned her attention to expansion into new sectors and, with a newbusiness positioning, felt the time was right for a new corporate identity.
“The company’s brand was originally derivedfrom the energy and creativity of Times Square in New York, and while thoseconcepts are still central to the brand, we felt that our old logo and pay-offline, ‘Life enhancing advertising’, while relevant to the healthcare sectorthat we focused on, were only serving to constrain our growth into newsectors,” explains Millar.She adds that the brand needed morevisibility as well. “I was in a big pitch presentation recently and realisedthat, while people were familiar with our work, they had no idea that we haddone it, or even what our brand was. Our research subsequently confirmed thatpeople were impressed by what we’d done but didn’t associate it with us, andthat needed to change,” she says.
Millar enlisted the help of designspecialists, REX, to work on the new brand. “When I first started in business Iused to do everything myself and I put all the money I made back into thebusiness. But we’re fortunate now to be in a position where we can hireexternal experts,” she says. Deciding to bring in specialists was an importantstep because, as Millar explains, “While we work every day on other company’sbrands, as is often the case, we were not great at doing our own.”First and foremost, the new corporateidentity needed to deliver on the company’s expansion goals and reflect thefact that it has spread its wings beyond the healthcare sector and taken onclients ranging from vehicles and fashion to FMCG and pet care.
“As an agency, we are passionate abouturban life and everything that it entails – from the brands that define it, tothe media channels that fill it, and the people that live it. Today, timeSQUAREis fuelled by the passion of South Africa, its people and the brands that formpart and parcel of urban life.” explains Miller.The design team combined the energy of theoriginal Times Square with the company’s expanded focus to create time-SQUARE:the great urban experience. REX transferred this urban energy onto paper in theform of light – the lights that are representative of the energy of Times Square New York, and also representativeof the energy of timeSQUARE South Africa. “Light exists in multiple forms, itis always in motion, and it never ceases to exist. It is the perfect visualrepresentation of the energy of timeSQUARE,” says Rudo Botha of REX, who workedon the brand.
Millar believes the result encapsulates thecompany’s new focus and opens doors for future growth. “It includes ourexisting clients, but also gives us scope to continue expanding our business towork in new sectors and with new brands that also play a role in this urbanexperience,” she says.The new corporate identity is more thanjust a new look on paper. As is so often the case, the rebranding experiencehas helped Millar and her team to focus on what the company is about, where itwants to go and what image it wants to project to its clients. The result is arevitalised company and brand that has a new focus and a clear vision for thefuture. “The process has re-energised the agency for the years ahead,” she concludes.