You paid your dues — studied
hard, worked hard, and went as high in the company as you possibly
could. But what then? Should you stay without much hope of further
advancement? Or should you make the leap and start up your own
and Audrey Schmidt had certainly paid their dues. As Certified
Dental Technicians with over 40 years of experience between them
they had worked at some of the best dental laboratories in New
York, and risen to the top of their field. They could have stayed
on as long as they wanted, but felt that the time was right to
make the leap into their own company.
They knew that they were risking everything, playing for the highest
stakes. How could they maximize their brand power and get their
new business off to a running start?
Choosing the right creative vendor
Ernie and Audrey researched Rochester brand identity firms and solicited competitive
quotes. The top contender was IDU Creative Services, and they spoke on the phone
several times with David Wright, president and founder. They liked David's phone
presentation and the fact that his business was top-rated with the Better Business
Bureau. After a face-to-face meeting, they accepted his bid and awarded him the
and Audrey were clear right at the outset — they
wanted their brand built solidly from the foundation up, and it
was a top priority that the brand express their business philosophy,” said
technology is both a science and an art; however, Ernie and Audrey
approached it very much from the ‘art’ side of the
spectrum. Making a crown or bridge that is aesthetically perfect
and looks completely natural for each patient requires not only
research and fine craftsmanship, but also artistry and intuition.”
Defining the brand
David proposed a three-tier brand development program for the Schmidts:
- Establish their brand’s promise, benefits and personality
- Create a brand name that accurately expresses the brand
- Design the perfect visual identity to depict the brand
The first set of meetings centered on the value of a strong brand,
what Ernie and Audrey considered the heart and soul of their brand,
the unique benefits that only their brand could provide, and the
brand personality that would create the right tone of voice for
all of their corporate communications.
“The Schmidts were very involved in the process,” said
Wright, “They wanted the brand statements to be deeply true,
and I believe that after we finished the brand promise, brand essence
and brand personality, they had them framed and hung on the wall
at their laboratory.”
Creating the company name
The second set of meetings focused on creating the right name for
“Ernie and Audrey brainstormed a list of words and name ideas
that had meaning to them,” said Wright, “One thing
that came out in our meetings was that in addition to the natural
pride in their professional ability, the Schmidts were proud of
their German heritage, so in her lists of words Audrey included
German words like artig (good) and Zahn (tooth).
This was an inspired thought on her part and played a pivotal part
in the final name selection. We discussed what type of name would
be best (a coined name like Kodak, an associative descriptive name
like Eveready, or a generic name like Pets.com), and then we got
IDU researched the names of all dental labs within 100 miles, compiled
lists of name ideas, created a list of best candidates, and made
a preliminary investigation of trademark and URL availability.
Then, for final selection, David set up the ten best names in his
proprietary evaluation format, each with typographic treatment,
concept justification, trademark and corporate search results,
brand statements, and the name used in common business scenarios.
Ernie and Audrey fell in love with the name “Artizahn Dental
Studio”. As David wrote in the concept justification:
“Artizahn” is based on the English word artisan and
the German word Zahn (tooth). The Schmidts are of German
heritage and this name plays off the German tradition of fine engineering
and craftsmanship. “Artizahn” evokes the artistry,
quality, old world craftsmanship and experience of the brand. “Dental
Studio” clarifies the field and speaks to the consistency,
leading edge technology, beauty and accessibility of the brand.
The word Artizahn is unusual and eye-catching yet easy to pronounce.
There are no local competitors with a name similar to Artizahn.
Designing the ideal logo
With the brand concepts and brand name established, David then
created a wordmark and logo combination that expressed both the
old world artistry and technical expertise Ernie and Audrey wanted.
The logo, combined with their tagline “Artistry with Integrity”,
extended the Artizahn brand promise, and locked together with the
logo formed a seal of quality that dentists would come to recognize
Artizahn Dental Studio opened with a bang and fulfilled all of
Ernie and Audrey’s growth forecasts. They hired more staff
and soon began looking for bigger laboratory space. The credit
is theirs, not only for having the skill and vision to create a
successful dental lab, but also for having the foresight to hire
the right creative professional to build the brand solidly from
the foundation up.
Leveraging the brand design
As the business grew, Ernie and Audrey asked David to design and
print a number of items, including letterhead, business cards,
envelopes, snap-out multipart work order forms, labels and more.
But that’s another story …
Click here to
see samples of the Artizahn brand identity.
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