Monday, August 23, 2010

KBR Technology Assumes a Brand of Distinction – and Distinctiveness.

The new brand [or sub-brand, to be precise] for KBR Technology was born when two concepts came together in my mind. First came how the client described her business unit:

KBR Technology is a distinctive global business whose core technologies have significant impact on the productive success of industries, people and countries.

The second was seeing a major work called “Needle Woman” by Korean artist Kimsooja at the Museum of Fine Arts-Houston. In this video installation, the videographer stands utterly still, her back always to the camera, while crowds of people flow by, around and past her.

Her crowds are different from segment to segment; they are ordinary people on the streets of Nepal and Cuba, Chad and the Yemen, Brazil.

KBR Technology’s current and potential customers are in markets in the Middle East, India, China and the rest of Asia – not in Western Europe or North America. The crowd idea allows for the clearest possible contrast for the business unit among companies with similar profiles and “products.”

[KBR Technology licenses technologies which are just as cutting-edge as laser guidance or optical interconnects; but they’re far more focused on the basics of process industries. You will not frequently notice the application of advanced techniques in the more efficient production of ammonia, for example; or in improved ethylene and propylene yields. But for the world’s developing and expanding economies, these produced materials are the building blocks of new and vital societies. These technologies measurably improve the lives of people everywhere and are real examples of a successful global knowledge economy.]

Beyond the rapid business booms and the towering new skylines in so many far reaches of the world, there are the people - always.

So Part 1 is our “world photography” that puts the new sub-brand into a distinctive context, increasing differentiation from the KBR corporate look itself. On the top level, this business unit’s communications feature vivid color, movement…and life, culture after culture.

Part 2 is the contrast (in the ads, at least) with the individuals who offer the technologies. It is not only the corporate entity or business unit which delivers the know-how – it comes via KBR’s own people. A brand has the opportunity to refer to the total experience of an organization. So each combined photo-set can help form the mental picture stakeholders will have of KBR Technology. (Brand voice here is quintessentially visual.)

The repeating headline, Part 3, begins to make the brand package more concrete. KBR Technology is the global company that literally helps put the “HOW in Your World” with specific technologies and processes. These capabilities help customers reach out beyond each plant perimeter to the peoples of their society at all levels.

Then the expanded tagline, KNOW-HOW DELIVERED, ties everything back to the KBR corporate slogan. That’s Part 4.

Well, you know it is never so simple except in hindsight. Even in a sub-branding program there are many moving parts and many people helping to make the concept come true. For the initial steps, getting the new brand up and running, let me first mention and thank my frequent collaborators at Prism DesignTerry Teutsch, Stacy Allen and Susan Reeves.

None of this would look and feel as good as it does without the Prismatics’ touches from the get-go – colorful, dramatic and specific.

And my maximum appreciation goes to the KBR Technology client who has been supportive of the creative and incredibly capable in rolling out the brand internally. She has never been shy about her feelings; at one point, she emailed:

Just a quick note to say thank you. The work is terrific.

Can’t beat that.


S. Reeves said...

Richard, Love the Kimsooja work. Wish I'd seen it when you did.

Thanks for bringing us into this project. All the brand elements really link together so well... People, Environment, Color, HOW in Your World, KNOW-HOW DELIVERED, KBR Technology, Life, World.

Thank you.

Terri Phillips said...

Richard, this is a really nice campaign. Wish I could read the words, but I love the concept and visuals.

Richard Laurence Baron said...

Terri, thank you. I revamped the visuals so perhaps these ad executions are more readable.

Laura Kamrath said...

I like the "HOW in your world" really captures what KBR brings to the people and communities. (Did you know KBR designed and built Rice Stadium?)