Branding a 120 Year Old Startup
ATT’s divestiture created a new company whose name and identity was prohibited from including “ATT” or any reference to the regional operating companies. However, one component of the newly divested company was Bell Labs, known and recognized as one of the great research think-tanks and product development centers in the world. This asset was recognized as something that should be leveraged.
In developing the brand strategy for this new organization, analysis determined that what distinguished “Newco” from its competitors was its unmatched level of innovation afforded from its Bell Labs organization.
While prospective customers valued innovation, they also expected and valued company staying power and strength. Thus, the new identity needed to convey the energy, dynamism and innovation of a Silicon Valley start-up, yet also convey stability and credibility.
The new brand identity system combined a fresh moniker and descriptor. The “Lucent” name evokes clarity and illumination, while the descriptor: “Bell Labs Innovations,” leverages the organization’s rich heritage of discovery. The graphic symbol was developed to reflect the intricacy of a hand-drawn piece to convey both energy and creativity–key characteristics of innovation.
The new identity system was applied across the organization, from corporate identity applications, marketing and corporate communication materials, to branded environments. A notable fact was that signing at some 800 facilities worldwide was designed, fabricated and installed within just 8 months.
The company launch was immensely successful and led to an IPO that crowned Lucent Technologies as one of Wall Street’s darlings for years to come.
This work was led by Charles Rashall while employed at Landor Associates.