Ireland's largest self-storage company, Need More Space, invited us at We Make Design to pitch for the opportunity to rename and rebrand them. They'd been on an internal journey for some time before that workshopping and researching with strategist David O'Connor.
We don't normally pitch: we're a small agency and we've always wanted people to work with us because they liked what they saw, or had heard rather because we gave them a hard sell. Pitching is also a hugely time consuming lottery, so we are naturally wary of it.
However, we thought there was something fascinating and untapped at the heart of what they did. We also think that when it comes to naming, we have refined the process to the point where we're quite sharp at it.
With these factors in mind we thought okay, let's throw our hat in the ring. We found out partway through the process that the other companies pitching were four of Dublin's top studios, we thought about pulling out there and then. I'm glad we didn't because we won it!
David O'Connor took the time to share with us all the extensive internal work that they had been doing. They had uncovered that their staff went way beyond the call of duty when helping people: they were always honest and helpful and respected the part they played in looking after people's things.
What was also revealed was the sheer diversity of things people stored and how they used storage. There was the obvious moving home scenario, but there were also people who stored their wine collection, their art collection, their music collection, everything and anything under the sun.
There was also enormous variety in the reasons why people stored their belongings. Some had outgrown their homes, some were holding onto a deceased loved ones belongings, some were travelling and some were operating their small businesses from these spaces. There was even a recording studio: again the reasons were vast and individual.
Their staff felt they had a duty of care and that the things people stored with them were, for one reason or another, precious: not always valuable per se, but precious to those individuals.
So there we were, armed with all they uncovered. We toured all the facilities, which were vast and cold. We met the staff and they were warm and friendly: we felt that we needed to address somehow the coldness of the physical environments as well as conveying the potential of the service and how it was delivered.
The name 'Need More Space' had been in place for some time, descriptive and pragmatic. It wasn't well liked by staff, who felt it was more of a question than a name and a question with a yes or no answer.
It wasn't well liked by all of the users of Need More Space, as there were people who had their offices in the facilities and they didn't like it as their address. It also didn't stand out amongst their competition, who similarly had descriptive names.
Next page: more on how to completely rebrand a company...