Transforming the Face and Future of Avista

For Avista a shift in the technology landscape meant a shift in business objectives, and ultimately, a shift in brand. A partnership with Olive was exactly what they’d need to carve out their position as industry insiders.

For more than a decade, Avista Communications has led the way in the telecom space, providing carrier services for some of the largest companies in Minneapolis and throughout the U.S. Throughout this time their team and the company as a whole has cultivated key relationships with major players in the space, but as that space changed, Avista began to evolve along with it. The leadership team developed a strategic vision in an effort to carve out a larger piece of the technology solutions marketplace. Inside of the year, they were ready to expand their offering. Now, Avista’s team acts as trusted advisors as organizations seek voice, data connectivity, data center, and cloud computing services.

Challenge: A Brand to Match a Vision

With a new strategic vision in place, Avista Communications knew their current brand—from name to logo to voice to website—needed a revamp that would bring them into the cutting-edge technology sphere. This was no ordinary rebrand. Because Avista’s broader array of services would mean building partnerships with companies like Microsoft and other serious tech leaders, their branding would have to rise to a whole new level.

Though the current branding played well in the dated realm of telecommunications, the Olive team understood the expanded technology offering would demand a much more sophisticated, modern look paired with fresh messaging if Avista was going to stand out among the competitive set while enticing innovative partners. We also understood this was more than an overarching brand identity and voice refresh, every choice we made would trickle down to impact even the smallest elements of the brand from the service names to the process through which these services were delivered.

One final consideration that would come into play was how much of the Avista brand was rooted in the current leadership team. The expertise and connections that would set their offering apart were closely tied to individuals within Avista rather than Avista as a separate entity. As part of the rebrand, Olive would need to find a way to transfer the trust associated with the leadership team to the overarching Avista brand.

Solution: Radical Rebrand

Olive’s approach to solving brand issues for our clients is very similar to the way Avista solves technology problems for their own, so despite the challenges ahead of us, we could see a clear, successful path from the first meeting. We sat down with their team to really understand what their goals were for the rebrand, but also their new strategic direction.

Once we internalized Avista’s own objectives, Olive began the work of understanding how the external stakeholders and clients perceived Avista as they stood today and what they would need to do to expand into a larger sphere. The insights gleaned from these internal and external conversations along with a review of the competitive space were distilled into a key insights report. This summary informed a brand messaging platform that would serve as the launch pad for the brand identity overhaul.

Through the customer interviews, we realized a complete rename would not only be unnecessary, but it would undercut the equity Avista had built in the marketplace over the past ten years. We recommended dropping “communications” from the name. This simple change would modernize Avista while pushing them beyond the telecommunications space. A tagline was added to bring further clarity to their offering.

Along with the name refinement and tagline, we developed key messaging, brand attributes, positioning, value proposition, voice and tone guidelines, and elevator pitch language that would inspire a new logo and visual brand elements that would become the backbone of not only their brand identity, but also the website design.

With the key brand components in place, Olive set to work bringing the new brand identity and voice to the web. Parallax details and engaging animations elevated the brand even further throughout. Custom iconography and new product, service and process names told a larger story about everything Avista offers. Messaging throughout the site built upon the trust the Avista leadership team had already established while setting Avista itself apart as an autonomous brand.

By the end of the the project, Avista had everything they needed to move forward with their current strategic direction. A website, logo, stationery, and messaging were just the tools they needed to start conversations within the competitive technology landscape while the brand platform and guidelines would help the Avista team guard their sophisticated new brand.

Results: Glowing Reviews

Olive’s work has been met with universal approval from everyone on the Avista team. Leadership feels the new brand identity and website have put them on the path to becoming a premium player in the technology space, solidifying confidence in their vision. Beyond these core pieces, the partnership forged throughout this process will continue to serve Avista as they build out their suite of marketing and sales collateral to meet the demand of their expanded offering.

“At Avista, our clients are at the heart of everything we do and our focus is first and foremost on them. Working with the team at Olive, it was clear to us throughout the entire process that they share that value. By 2015 our business had grown and evolved such that we needed an extensive brand refresh and an entirely new website. At our meet-and-greet, Olive wowed us with their presentation not only because of their clarity, professionalism, and responsiveness, but also because as they listened to us they began to anticipate our future needs and make helpful suggestions for future marketing growth.

Throughout the discovery process, Olive really got to know our business and then as the brand development progressed found creative and straightforward ways to express who we are and what we do. Working with Olive as a strategic partner, we have been able to set our brand a part. Our website is stunning, professional, and just a little playful – it represents us so well. We look forward to continuing our relationship with Olive as Avista grows, and enthusiastically recommend them.”

–Rob Mendel, COO, Avista

“We just feel like [Olive] really gets what we want. They’ve taken our feedback and comments and made everything better than what we imagined. They have truly become an extension of our marketing team; it feels like a true partnership.”

–Amy Ariel, Corporate Programming Manager, Avista