A Brand Case Study:
The Branding of Aspen Brook
A biotech consulting company evolved into a thriving daily newsletter and accompanying static website but lacked a cohesive identity. With aspirations for expansion, they needed direction and a brand that was professional yet approachable — a brand that would be taken seriously, but not threaten their current subscriber base. My challenge was to study and evaluate their needs then create and build a cohesive brand bridging all of their endeavors: Aspen Brook (consulting), Aspen Alert (newsletter), Aspen Xchange (biotech community site), Aspen Award (industry award) and so on.
The Brand Strategy:
The first step in the development of this new brand strategy, was to define their target audience, objectives and concerns through an extensive interview and branding exercises. Through those, a mission statement and brand values were developed. This process formed the foundation of all design and creative routes that were explored and presented.
The brand positioning was further resolved in a new tagline, “The Biotechnology Community, Connected. Every Day.” Aspen is differentiated from their competition because their daily newsletter and associated programs were the the only of their kind — the voice of the community, reported on on a daily basis.
Building on their new positioning, a brand was developed consisting of a logo, palette of colors, typography treatments and image standards for all communications.
It was determined that maintaining a leaf in the design was a logical departure from the existing Aspen Brook brand variations. This approach maintains the idea of a leaf, but makes it more abstract. Less frivilous. Anchored -- not drifting in the breeze. The intention of the cropping was to give the leaf strength, making it appear majestic, noble — standing strong.
Primary brand colors are inspired by the aspen leaf in all of its phases, the brook and sky and the neutrals reference the bark of the tree. The concept was to balance friendly and inviting colors with more traditional business colors.
Helvetica was chosen for its ease of readability and no-nonsense tone for daily news.
Application of the Brand:
My first task of applying the brand was to redesign the newsletter, including typographic hierarchy and the establishment of guidelines for charts and graphs which brought visuals to important survey results that had previously only been displayed as text. I also put together a coordinating placeholder website for the company while working hand-in-hand with developers to oversee my vision of the creation of an interactive daily site, The Aspen Xchange, which is rich with information and interactivity. The launch of the Xchange led to the introduction of an integrated series of sponsor portals, an all-inclusive industry-wide calendar of events and a plaform in place to to continue onto the hosting of online industry conferences (virtual trade shows) and podcasts and videos.
Aspen Award and Promotional Materials