BBM Canada rebrands as Numeris

Cundari responsible for the 70-year-old measurement organization’s new identity

It took just two hours last Thursday for nearly all traces of the longstanding BBM Canada name to be erased from the audience measurement organization’s offices in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Moncton.

The activity stemmed from a top-to-bottom brand overhaul of the 70-year-old organization that includes a new name – Numeris – accompanied by a new logo and positioning statement, “Audiences Count.”NUMERIS - Canada's Broadcast Measurement Authority, BBM Canada

It was developed in association with Toronto agency Cundari, one of 12 agencies that responded to an RFP issued by BBM last year – six of which were invited to present.

“We selected Cundari because we were confident they understood what we needed and a process we thought would work,” said Numeris president and CEO Jim MacLeod. “I’ve been involved with re-brandings where they talk about the brand promise and they have the logo and they tell the story, and I’d say ‘Geez I don’t see that.’ This you can see.”

Cundari will also oversee a TV and radio advertising campaign debuting later this year, as well as a planned revamp of the company’s BBM Analytics brand.

The new Numeris name is accompanied by a new logo, a blue and green capital “N” comprised of dozens of small, coloured dots that represent the bringing together of multiple data points and the individuals instrumental in making the business decisions impacting Canadian broadcasting.

The “Audiences Count” tagline is twofold, reflecting both the viewers and listeners counted by Numeris, as well their importance in influencing programming decisions.

Numeris first made the decision to rebrand about four years ago, but only began actively working on the project about nine months ago.

The recent troubles of BlackBerry, against which BBM Canada launched an unsuccessful 2011 lawsuit attempting to prevent it from using the acronym “BBM” to describe its BlackBerry Messenger service, made the rebrand less urgent than it had been at the height of BlackBerry’s power, said MacLeod.

“We take no joy that became less of a problem for us, but what it did do is take a little bit of the pressure off, meaning we could rebrand a little bit slower than we would have otherwise,” he said.

Numeris was originally established in 1944 as the Bureau of Broadcast Measurement, changing its name to BBM Bureau of Measurement in 1966 and becoming BBM Canada in 2001.

The latter change was intended to signify the organization’s evolution from the diary measurement that characterized its early days, yet distancing itself from its original incarnation proved difficult, said MacLeod.

“We needed to break from the past,” he said. “We could not shake ‘Bureau of Broadcast Measurement,’ even after we shortened it to BBM. To this day you still see Bureau of Broadcast Measurement in the press.

“Even in our members’ minds BBM meant books and surveys and bureaucracy, and none of that is true anymore,” he added. “We are the most technically advanced measurement company in the world, and we need a name that reflects that.”

MacLeod said that Numeris is “stable to growing” in a challenging environment for traditional measurement organizations, expanding its PPM (personal people meter) measurement technology into Montreal’s Anglo market this fall and testing a new video-on-demand measurement system using its 11,000-person PPM panel in Toronto.

“It’s kind of amazing how far we’ve come, and we seem to be going further and faster,” said MacLeod. “It doesn’t seem to be getting any slower.

“Every one of the organizations has its own set of challenges, but we have had the unwavering support of the board,” he added. “If we had a good idea they have supported it.

“That’s where we are where we are – now the trick is to stay there.”

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