By Daniel Hunter
Social Media Week starts in London today (Monday), prompting the marketing industry to reflect on the global impact of social media, an innovation that has caused one company a unique headache.
Social, ironically a branding agency who don’t ‘do’ social media, have had to re-brand their own business after 12 years. They’re hoping their new name, launched today, will last ‘Ever After’.
Ever After have produced work for some of the most iconic brands such as Hilton Worldwide, the Global Radio Group, Nissan, Renault and Grazia.
"We work with Ever After because they’re a dream team from start to finish. They very quickly grasp the essence of the business need, keep the message intact and find the balance between fun and formality. They’re the best people to have around, whether in the boardroom or the bar," Max Buckland who is head of Marketing for Capital, Choice and XFM commented.
However it was in a bar that the problem began. Steven Lucker, Creative Director of Ever After, is one of the UK’s leading designers, having enjoyed success on both sides of the Atlantic.
He was sat in a bar in downtown New York in late 2001 with Co-founder and Creative Director Paul Driver when they decided on the name Social for their new branding and design venture; at the time it was a perfect fit for the lifestyle-focused, friendly team. It neatly described the way they wanted to do business.
Their foresight in how the business world was changing was not rewarded. ‘Social’ soon became synonymous with one distinct area of marketing and it led to a lot of confusion. Social’s headache was made worse by the number of new businesses who started using versions of the name ‘Social’, because they do social, so the original Social became the Social that didn’t do social!
Steven explained how it all went wrong: "Since Zuckerberg came up with his bright idea in 2004, it’s been increasingly problematic for a brand creative agency called Social to tell our prospects that social media was ‘not really our focus’. We finally had enough of the, justified, looks of ‘you’re an idiot’, and realised we had to take our collective heads out of the sand and face up to the fact that our name was a problem.
"We surrendered and decided to find a name that would last and would be relevant to what we do. We’re all about getting the story right and helping brands to communicate in a way that reflects their business so ‘Ever After’ was the perfect fit. We can’t see this one turning into a global phenomenon overnight, but if there is some student in Harvard with other ideas we’d like to know about it now."
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