Wednesday, June 13, 2007

New: Cynapsus

Once upon a time – oh, about two years ago – Mary Jo Martin went out on her own. She created a company called Knowledge-Based Marketing. You’ve seen some of the joint efforts she and I have created, like the disaster communications research study here.

Presto-Change-O! Knowledge-Based Marketing is now Cynapsus. (Magical, ain’t it?)

Martin’s business model changed. Knowledge-hyphen-Based Marketing seemed right two years ago. Today, Martin doesn’t really do marketing. She has increasingly and successfully concentrated on multi-faceted market research.

At the same time (after two years in business) her organization became successful enough to be confused with another company called “KnowledgeBase (no hyphen, no “D”) Marketing,” a large business unit of the even larger Wunderman international marketing communications agency.

Knowledge-Based Marketing…isn’t.

This Wunderman business unit – it never registered with the Texas Secretary of State. I guess those big agency types figured they didn’t need to. Maybe it’s not too surprising: Wunderman is part of WPP, a hugeous multinational agency group with so many operating units, even the ad mags can’t keep track of them.

Martin’s smaller company passed unnoticed (except by her clients) for a couple dozen months. But then, people started to call Martin instead of Wunderman. They asked Martin about mailing lists, which the Wunderman group sells. Very annoying, specially since Martin doesn’t do lists either.

It’s time for a change and Martin has made it.

The old name was quite serious but boring. Way too much is happening in our marketplaces today to be boring. So first, Mark Rothenburg pitched in to invent a whole new name for her firm. Rothenberg believes (with quite a bit of justification) that arbitrary or fanciful names offer the best choice of protection and securing a trademark.

Now Martin says:

Cynapsus describes the left-brain thinking that we apply to our many market research projects…the analytical thinking that helps our clients move from the research findings to activity. (Hear those synapses firing yet?) Cynapsus is about asking the right questions of the right people at the right time. We even included the question mark in our new logo – because we want people to ask us what we’re all about. Cynapsus moves clients from data to knowledge to action – exactly the way your own synapses move you into action when your brain has assembled all the data you need. Cynapsus is also about connections. That’s what the word “synapse” actually means. We’re the connection between you and your customers, the connection between you and your prospects.

I got the opportunity to counsel Martin on her new logo and color scheme – we aimed for something that combined “distinctive” with “professional.”

When Martin had her new logomark created, this question mark got right to the point of her business, with a dash of sass. The burgundy color scheme makes for a grounded, corporate look.

I’m just as pleased with the new Cynapsus website. Feel free to drop in…and compliment her on the photograph we used: an attractive payoff to the Kurt Vonnegut line, “New knowledge is one of the most valuable commodities on earth.”

A lot of companies frame their first dollar and hang it on their walls. Mary Jo gets a whole new moniker – a nifty and distinctive brand.

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