At ELTjam we take our brand seriously. Extremely seriously, in fact. We take it so seriously that whenever a conversation opens up pertaining to our brand, all those present are required to sit cross-legged on the floor until the discussion has ended, and eye contact is discouraged out of respect. Thus, showing how truly serious we are about our brand.

That embedded seriousness doesn’t discourage us from wanting to evolve and extend the brand’s appeal, however. In several of our cross-legged brand meditations, talk has turned to the need to stay true to our founding principles, whilst also being able to play with the core values as we want them to be perceived by our customers. In short, we felt it was time to uncross our legs and bring on a full rebrand.

To help us do this we reached out to the only company with the skills to traverse the rocky road of “smartup” rebranding: Sherbet Hercules, a 3-man team working out of an abandoned caravan on the outskirts of Watford. Our first encounter with our account manager, Coltrane, only validated our confidence in Sherbet Hercules’ growing reputation in the startup world.

One misty February morning, Coltrane, a burly, lumber-sexual teddy bear of a man, greeted us all with a generous, full wrap embrace. It was an act of pure creative genius right out the gate. In that one manoeuvre, he stripped us bare of any pretence or entrepreneurial baggage, leaving us as exposed and vulnerable as drunk baby seals. As he swaddled me in his oak-like arms he whispered breathfully into my ear “Let the brand find YOU, Tim. Let it …”. I hope my fellow directors didn’t catch me wiping away the errant tear that escaped once he’d released me, and that, if they did, they appreciated the courage it took to cry.

Once introductions had been satisfactorily made, Coltrane led us into Sherbet Hercules HQ. The caravan was deceptively exactly as small as you’d expect it to be. There was barely enough room in the cramped tin can to seat us all. The rhythmic thrum of the nearby M1 rattled the discoloured windows. The chemical toilet had obviously given up even attempting to chlorinate any material that was introduced to it. The savage honesty of the Sherbert Hercules approach to branding was inspirational. This was the right company for us.

I began by telling Coltrane the company’s background and how we’d reached the decision to rebrand. He silenced me with his raised hand and continued to hold that silence for the duration of a full out breath. “That’s a story for another day,” he gently rumbled. “What I’m interested in is WHAT YOU WANT TO DO WITH THE REST OF YOUR F*CKING LIFE”. The capitalised portion of that utterance was delivered in a full, lung busting scream with no escalation whatsoever. Coltrane mopped the spittle from his beard and glared at us each in turn, as if daring us to look away. Raw, uncompromising genius at work. The silence that was left in the wake of his outburst seemed almost spiritual, as if a presence had come amongst us. Nick was the first to speak.

“I think tha–“

“NO”, yelled Coltrane, motionless from the neck down. “I don’t give a toss what you think. Next.”

This time Laurie.

“Could you be more spe–“

“NOO”, bludgeoned the bearded brand Buddha, somehow managing to insert another syllable into the word.

Jo chipped in.

“I want to get out of this caravan”.

Coltrane slowly turned his head to look at Jo. The impending rotation of a tank’s gun turret.

“And there it is, gents. Truth”, Coltrane’s voice was now a warm, deep rumble of plaid. “All we need to do now is discover your brand’s inner caravan”. With a decisively administered fist he popped open the window, allowing the cool February air to reclaim the room.

We were left speechless, awed and emotionally spent. The chemical toilet gurgled its amen.

Featured image Photo Credit: BasiliskSam via Compfight cc

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