Goodbye The BrainStorm Group, Hello Bob’s Your Uncle

You conduct 18 months of rigorous self-examination, carefully weighing the pros and cons of rebranding, testing out various names with clients and staff, and then Bob’s Your Uncle. The BrainStorm Group formally introduced its new name, Bob’s Your Uncle, along with new exterior signage and a revamped website, on Thursday. For Bob Froese, who arrived […]

You conduct 18 months of rigorous self-examination, carefully weighing the pros and cons of rebranding, testing out various names with clients and staff, and then Bob’s Your Uncle.

The BrainStorm Group formally introduced its new name, Bob’s Your Uncle, along with new exterior signage and a revamped website, on Thursday. For Bob Froese, who arrived at the agency in 1996 and succeeded Ron Telpner as CEO in 2011, it was the culmination of an intense year-and-a-half process that was both exhaustive and exhausting.

The process also came with a significant price tag of more than $100,000; staff members’ time was the biggest commitment though the company also worked with outside consultants. For Froese, the entire excercise went a long way towards answering the age-old question “What’s in a name?”

The previous name had served the agency well when The BrainStorm Group served primarily as what Froese described as a “strategic think-tank” for clients. However, it had evolved into a more traditional full-service agency, producing work for clients including Mike’s Hard Lemonade.

Froese felt frustrated at the fact that, despite some well-regarded work in both Canada and the U.S., the name was simply not resonating in the advertising community. He attributed the lack of pizzazz to a name and a concept – brainstorming – that has become somewhat cliché in business.

So when it came to renaming the agency, Froese figured he could pursue one of the two most common options: 1) Name the agency after its founder or principals, or 2) seek out a deliberately esoteric name that conveys a certain amount of hipness and an unconventional approach to business.

In the end, Bob’s Your Uncle is a hybrid of the two.

“We were definitely going for interesting and memorable,” said Froese. “But we also wanted it to somehow communicate our purpose, and reflect that moment when you land on something and everybody’s eyes light up and they say ‘That’s what we need to do.’”

It didn’t come easily, however. Froese said Bob’s Your Uncle was first suggested about a year ago, but he shelved the idea because it seemed too connected to him. The name resonated so strongly during testing, however, that it became a clear choice.

“When we started to unveil it to our clients, they started to have so much fun with it,” said Froese. “It’s a name that communicates a sense of joy that’s getting lost in the marketing world these days because life and the industry is becoming so complex and data-driven.” Froese also admits to taking pleasure in how the name suggests finality, a signal that “we’ve got there.”

Still, he admits that he wavered at the last minute when a client expressed doubts.

“Changing your name is a big deal,” he said. “It gave me enormous appreciation for what our clients experience when going through something like that. I can see why you would stop just short of the goal line.

“Carrying on [the way they were] is the easiest thing to do,” he added. “There’s nothing wrong with the name, but I think sometimes you need to make change in order to have things change.”

Advertising Articles

Air Canada makes content play with heartwarming video

Airline promotes Air Canada Foundation with six-minute video from former AOR Marketel

ZenithOptimedia revises global ad spend forecast downward

Canadian spending to grow 1.1% to US$11.2 million in 2015

TD banks on Instagram ads to support music program

The financial institution continues its support of the Canadian music scene

Why marketers should push forward, not pull back

In today's economy, slashing ad budgets can mean lost sales and lost opportunities

Time to change our research strategies (Column)

Three tips to consider for your next millennial campaign plan

Simons selects Cossette as agency partner for expansion

Agency to help Quebec retailer build brand awareness outside its home province

Marketing in the age of mobile

There is both art and science in building engaging mobile experiences.

Airbnb signs deal to sponsor 2016 Rio Olympic Games

Online community is the Games' first alternative accommodations sponsor

Ontario Tourism invades Instagram

15-second videos on social site support upcoming Pan Am/Parapan Am Games