Clients come to us from all stages of want and need. Some don’t have a web presence. Some have a website, but need a bit of a makeover. Our clients are sometimes brand new businesses, and in the case of Atrium, are in need of everything, starting with a name.
Sometimes we work with a client who needs a reinvention.
Such was the case with Solvaria.
Founded in 1997 as an agency in the then-fledgling field of IT consulting, they had evolved. They were originally “Business to Business Solutions,” and then became “B2B Solutions” (very hip!), but their client base, team of talent, and practice areas had grown to become something more comprehensive.
The folks at B2B wanted everything – a new website, new logo, new language, and a new name. Naming this two-decade old business was our first step.
We began with a simple question: Should the name be literal or symbolic? This was much like our quest to name and brand the campus card system Atrium. The word “atrium” is an open, center space in a building, and also a chamber of the heart that directs the flow of blood. So, “Atrium” was appropriate for a system that had an open ecosystem and also allowed the various gadgets, gizmos, and operating systems on a modern campus to communicate.
Would we have similar luck with B2B?
We started with various plays on the word “business.” Perhaps we should go the solid, stoic route, naming it after the principals, like a law firm – “Brown and Company.” “Smith & Associates.” But neither of those conventions represented the things B2B did.
B2B offers something called “fractional leadership.” Businesses today need a Chief Information Officer. They need someone leading the way with technology, solving today’s issues and placing the organization in a prime spot to adopt tomorrow’s innovations. They also offer comprehensive database services, making sure your systems are healthy, provide the data you need, and ready to grow. Stoic was out.
Many of the most forward-thinking companies today had seemingly nonsense names that didn’t reflect the nature of the business but became popular catchphrases: Uber, Flickr, Google. Could we come up with something that was unique and perhaps a little quirky, but still reflect what they did?
On to the Whiteboard.
As a team, we started a list of words that reflected what B2B did.
One word that we kept returning to was “solve.” Between the experienced C-Suite team they had assembled and the technology gurus that managed data, they solved problems for their clients and prevented new issues from popping up. In discovery sessions with the B2B team, they kept pointing out that many of the folks they took on as clients knew they had a problem, but they didn’t know what it was. They performed a sort of forensic or diagnostic test, much like a doctor, and said, “Well. Here’s your problem. Let’s solve this.”
Once we had identified “solve,” it was on to how to use it. Was it “The Solve Group?” “Solve Solutions.” “Wesolve?” When we started examining the design elements that could be used with “solve,” we discovered a contraction of the word – “solv.” “SOLV” also served as a handy acronym. B2B solved problems. They provided solutions. Their advice offered strategic pathways. Their leadership brought organizational stability. And they had the versatility to seamlessly integrate into any business, no matter their size or level of their technology use.
SOLV by itself presented a bit of a problem, though. Phonetically, it comes across as rather hard. It’s a directive or call-to-action. How could we soften the aural impact while keeping the meaning?
On to the prefix and suffix charts.
We discovered “-aria.” The suffix “-aria” comes from ancient Greek, and means “a place having or abounding in a certain specialty.”
“SOLVaria is where people find solutions.”
We liked it. The talented team they had built would be known as “Solvarians.” Solvaria is teeming with executives and data specialists who will diagnose and cure your problem, and prevent your ‘tech illness’ from returning.
A bit of time on the interwebs showed us that “Solvaria” wasn’t really in common use, which made trademarking the name and logo easy. This would help us organically in search engines, once the word was out about the name change. We also found that ‘sovaria.com” was readily available as a url.
Rather than stark, conservative colors for the design palate, we selected pastels and gradients of color. The softer hues reflect what Solvaria really is – a dedicated team of people. They are a perfect fit for your office, you’ll like them when they’re there, and miss them if and when they leave. It may be a technology-based company, but it’s driven by over 20 years of people.
Solvaria embraced our change, and took it to an entirely new office. New look, new digs, right?
They engaged a very talented interior designer, Melissa Mathe, who brought their new logo colors to walls, furniture, and even branded cornhole boards. She created a suite of semi-private offices gathered around an open greeting/meeting area that fosters both a welcoming environment and collaboration amongst the Solvarians on-site. Photographer Ansel Olson captured the new office beautifully for Melissa’s website.
And “Ansel”… Not much of an issue branding that name for a good shutterbug, eh?