"Brand" New - The story of the Nexus 5 Group Name and Logo
By: Tom Cowan, Director of Operations with Nexus 5 Group
Dani Heimsoth, Project Engineer with Nexus 5 Group
I wanted to take a moment to reflect on something that was very important to our success at Nexus 5 Group. Though we didn’t really know the impact at the time, we did know that it had to be done right and well thought out.
Nexus 5, Service Technologies/Construction Technologies/Primepoint Partners were in the process of merging. It was a massive change. Some of it was by design and some of it was due to unique circumstances. We needed a fresh identity and a brand that gave us motivation. The prior name and structure were just confusing and clunky (as well as dated.)
This was the first time any of us had ever gone through a rebranding effort. Thank goodness, because if we'd known what it was going to require, we might not have put ourselves through it. Sometimes, ignorance is bliss!
We started at the beginning, of course, by figuring out a new name.
This proved to be a real challenge. We went back and forth on what we thought mattered in a brand name. Should it have a stakeholder's name in it? Should it include words that describe what you do? Should it be classy or profound?
Those are many of the thoughts we had initially. But after we started down this path, there were other questions. Does the name have any alternate meanings that are negative? Is this word attached to political, racial or gender slurs, etc.? What other companies might already be associated with this name? And does it result in good or bad vibes? How does it perform when doing a Google search? Is the .com domain available? And on and on and on. I'm worn out just thinking about it again.
Our Team for the Rebranding Project John Hinman (Managing Director) Tom Cowan (Director Of Operations) Mark Fletcher (Chief Technology Officer & Senior Vice President of Cohen Esrey)
In the end we made list upon lists of names. With input between the three key contributors (John Hinman, Tom Cowan and Mark Fletcher) there were a ton to sift through. NO WAY we couldn’t agree on one of these,,, Right? Wrong. How frustrating it was to have pages of names and nothing that we could all agree on.
The heck with it! Close up shop, we're hopeless!
One day I was heading to Belton, Missouri with my wife Glenda. It was a great morning because it was nice and sunny. We were going to look at RV’s at Transwest. OUR HAPPY PLACE!!! On the drive there, I was looking at signs for some reason. A sign we passed had the word Nexus on it. It really caught my attention. I turned my head back to look again. I'm still not sure what the ad was about; phone or shampoo... Who knows? I started getting excited and asked Glenda to do some research on her phone.
I knew we had a winner, I just needed to convince the rest of the team.
What I liked about the name Nexus was that it sounded modern, interesting and catchy. The meaning of the word hit home right when I saw one of the definitions: CONNECTED. And it didn’t take any time to convince the rest of the team. We went through all of the questions above, and today we're known as the Nexus 5 Group.
Wait, why the number 5? And what about the word Group?
Well, the five is easy. We wanted to have something in our name that reminded us of our commitment to company culture. We have 5 Core Values, so it made sense to add the number 5 to our brand. (And it just sounds cool, right?)
The Group part was a little trickier. In all disclosure, we had to do something different than simply Nexus 5 because that domain was already taken. And there wasn’t enough separation when comparing to the names of other companies. Honestly, Group just stuck. It sounded professional and established. And it added the additional commitment to win and lose as a group (our culture fosters equality in strategy and decision making.) So that's how we arrived at Nexus 5 Group.
The “E” signifies our three divisions which were, at the time, construction, service and supply. Now it stands for construction, mechanical and service.
And here is a short story about our logo. We hired a company online to help us design a logo. Since we just battled through finding a name, this was the easiest route. We had around 750 designs from hundreds of designers to choose from. UGGGH! Yes, that is a good problem to have, but dang it was hard to narrow them down.
We finally arrived at a decision on our current logo. We loved that the “E’ in the logo could signify our three divisions: Construction, Service and Supply. (Now it's Construction, Mechanical and Service.) It was clean, modern and it was easy to embroider on clothing and print on pens and cups. (Yes, that was a factor in our decision-making process.) And finally, we decided on the color orange. Reason? It was a trendy color at the time. Also, it's a color that is commonly associated with joy, warmth, heat, sunshine, enthusiasm, creativity and success.
Slogging through the process of picking a brand name and logo was worth the effort.
Even though it was painful at times, we're glad we made the effort and took our time to do it right. Our brand and logo unite us as a team. They give us a consistent look when we show up in person and when we send emails and documents to clients and prospects. It's integral to so many things we do on a daily basis... and my closet has a lot of orange in it now!