We don’t often get an opportunity to create an new brand from scratch, so we were thrilled when Principia (formerly Farrar Property Management), a prominent London residential block management company, asked us to help them create a new name and brand for the business.
Over almost forty years, Farrar Property Management (FPM) had built an enviable reputation for excellence in block management within some of the most desirable areas of West London. However, the Farrar PM brand was inextricably linked to the company’s residential sales and lettings business, which was strongly associated with the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea. FPM wanted to reach beyond the confines of the royal borough, and had come to the conclusion that a new name and brand identity design were needed to support that effort.
The first phase of the project was to select a new name. Choosing a new name for a business is never easy as there are so many factors that come into play. It can be difficult to find a name that all the primary stakeholders like, is legally available, has no apparent negative connotations, and can be protected.
The first task was to learn more about the company. As mentioned elsewhere on this site, a brand is much more than a logo or name, it is everything people think and feel about the company, so we wanted to know what people felt about FPM. We surveyed, then interviewed, all Farrar’s employees and directors, we then examined what the company’s clients said about it in testimonials and customer surveys.
Out of that research we identified five words or concepts around which to generate names — Trust, Security, Service, Efficiency, and Unacknowledged — then drew on subjects such as the history of London, architectural and construction terms, ancient and modern languages, and mythology to produce a list of 160 possible names.
Once aspects like availability, possible conflicts, domain name options, and connotations and associations were considered, the list was reduced to twenty-two. Discussions with the directors led to a shortlist of four names that were presented to the company’s staff for a vote (employee engagement was an important part of our process). The overwhelming favourite was Principia —a name inspired by the work of former Kensington resident Sir Isaac Newton — and Principia Estate and Asset Management was born.
With the new name in place we applied our tried and tested brand identity design process to develop a brand identity system that referenced mathematical and architectural drawings, whilst also creating a single P brand mark that will over time become an easily recognisable symbol for the company.
The identity is clean, crisp and precise, and although modern, it has a timeless characteristic — attributes that reinforce the quality of Principia’s service, and will support the company’s growth for many years to come. By the project’s conclusion the new brand identity had been applied to stationery and signage, key fobs, building plaques, digital communications, brochures, and even umbrellas and black taxis.