Rebranding a firm is a challenge in its own right. Using your internal team adds another layer of complexity. So does conducting the process days after buying out a former partner. That three-fold predicament was where Amir Salehzadeh, CEO of the newly launched Kinetic Strategies, found himself last fall.
“The previous name of the firm [A+G Digital] was something we sort of slapped together [in 2019] to get an LLC up. It didn’t have much thought put into vision and mission,” Salehzadeh said.
Last year as Salehzadeh and his former partner decided to go in different directions, the need for a rebrand grew apparent. “It was a partnership, then an amenable parting of ways,” said Salehzadeh, who took over the company fully on Jan. 1, 2022.
For the creative, Salehzadeh formed an ad hoc staff committee that held weekly calls from January 2022 until launch day earlier this month. “We were grappling with who we were as a company, our culture, our values,” he said.
In addition to the calls, the seven-person staff team also held an extensive retreat off-site that yielded statements on the soon-to-be rebranded company’s culture and values. Salehzadeh called that a “useful exercise.”
“What came out of that retreat was a clear mission statement and three driving values,” he said. It also yielded some design cues for a new logo and style guide. “We definitely knew we wanted a gradient effect, and we wanted to play with blues,” he said.
The new firm’s color choices are intentional, purple to blue, blue to purple.
“It’s a gradient effect to symbolize that we want to work on races” in purple and blue districts in support of Democratic candidates. “We didn’t want any ambiguity around that,” said Salehzadeh, who landed on the firm’s new name himself.
Eventually, even clients and friends were involved in the process. “I’d show them mockups of the logo and get feedback and the feedback was incredibly positive. It captured what a digital firm should be and that was exciting,” he said.
The new website is meant to be a calling card for the firm, which has expanded from digital to include work on out-of-home advertising, giving clients pointers on mailers, and sometimes serving as GCs on races.
“It was completely built in-house, from the website to the branding. Everyone had skin in the game,” he said. “Because of that the brand is stronger.”