Building the U.Group brand was no easy task. Throughout the process, there were those who were uncertain, investors who scratched their heads, and many, though cautiously optimistic, were not too sure. It was a nail biter, and the one thing we knew for certain was that if we had any doubts, we had better keep them to ourselves.
The good news is, that’s exactly how the process was supposed to go. If it hadn’t been challenging, that would have been cause for alarm. We’ve had the experience of developing countless brands and have learned the hard way that if things go smoothly, you’ve got problems. The fact is, there’s nothing easy about building a brand that challenges norms.
Why a new brand?
This was a question that many asked. We had two great brands with tons of equity. ByteCubed and CHIEF were respectively gaining in their markets with brand recognition that was through the roof. People loved these brands, and many questioned the wisdom in replacing them, but we knew we had to do it. With aspirations as big as ours, we had to look ahead and create a platform that would unite our mission.
Keeping it simple.
You. Simple, right? When we landed on it, it felt like a Eureka moment after having worked through hundreds of names and concepts. We wanted a brand that was simple and a name that was short, distinctive, and most importantly, representative of everything we stood for. Not so easy. And like everything in life, once it’s there, it seems obvious. But it was anything but obvious throughout the process. Concepts are fragile and “You” was no exception. As we pondered the idea of what “You” meant to us, the suggestion to use the letter “U” as the identity cemented the concept, and we knew we had our brand.
Great, but how will it work?
The excitement on the team was palpable, but it was still early in the process, and we knew there were mountains to climb. We had to not only convince stakeholders that this was the way to go, but also create a brand platform that could overcome trademark, URL, social, and content challenges. There were moments when we felt stuck and thought we might have to give up the concept completely. But as the group of contributors grew, new perspectives entered the conversation, and like magic, issues that seemed intractable were solved.
The URL, U.Group was the result of an 11th hour suggestion from our founder, which kept us from having to settle for a mismatched .com. Not only did we have a great URL, but it was identical to our name. Other suggestions, like reframing our content in the second-person had a galvanizing effect, giving the brand the power it needed. While all of this was taking place, our general counsel was pulling out his hair trying to make sure the brand could be registered and trademarked. And through all the holdups, he succeeded in getting us there.
A heavy lift.
Once the brand was in place, the real work began. An army of technologists, strategists, designers, and countless experts of every type went into action. Building our new website, changing our systems, updating social channels, managing client communications, pushing press releases, and working through a never ending list of considerations. These collaborative efforts demonstrated the power of our combined efforts.
Now that U.Group is launched, I couldn’t be more excited. And no matter what comes next, YOU will always be the most important part of our brand.