Distility Rebrands Global Software Provider NRX in Just 3 Meetings

The Company

Toronto-based NRX, a global provider of enterprise-level software solutions for building, standardizing and sustaining master data critical to companies in high-risk operations.

The Challenge

More than a decade after it started operations, NRX had become a market-leading provider of asset information management solutions, serving companies in high-risk operations that rely on data to ensure safety, improve uptime and extend asset life. But despite its success, the company was struggling with a lack of focus. Its leaders and team members had differing views on the NRX brand promise, which hampered their ability to define the company’s market position and map the way forward.

“We needed to clarify what we wanted and aspired to do, so we could really focus on that and not be quite as opportunistic as we had been in the past,” recalls Jeff Bonnell, vice president, marketing and product strategy at NRX. “Even our reps in the various regions had different views of who we were and how we communicated our value proposition. We needed to get everyone all on one page.”

The Solution: Distility 1day1brand

NRX decided that, in order to sharpen its focus, it needed to redraw and clarify its brand. In 2011, after screening several branding agencies, it chose Distility and signed on for the firm’s 1day1brand workshop.

“It felt like a bit of a risk – a leap of faith on our part,” recalls Bonnell. “Our CEO had worked with other agencies in the past, but what really stood out with Distility was their process.”

Branding with other agencies typically takes weeks, even months. With the Distility 1day1brand event, NRX needed to commit only a single day to branding. About a dozen members of the NRX team came for the event, which was held at the Design Exchange in downtown Toronto. Distility arrived armed with research about NRX, and ready to engage the team.

Exploration in the Morning

“With Distility, it was all about direct engagement,” says Bonnell. “Whereas another agency would have come in, interviewed our team, and then gone away for a few weeks to work on the branding.”

NRX spent the morning exploring ideas and debating the various facets of its brand, with Distility facilitating the entire process. By the afternoon, the NRX team had broken through with consensus on a new brand promise, personality and position, as well as a new brand category.

“The process that Axle and his team used was very unique and creative,” says Ian Locke, CEO of NRX. “It was a very positive experience.”

Commitment in the Afternoon

“The workshop is about exploration in the morning and commitment in the afternoon,” explains Distility CEO and brand technologist Axle Davids. “In the case of NRX they came in with a lot of different ideas and came out with a handful of super powerful ideas. It was very catalytic for them, because now they knew exactly how to position themselves and everyone was in agreement on that.”

To make it easy for NRX to immediately apply and share its breakthrough ideas with all of its employees, Davids captured the company’s new brand promise, personality and position into the Distility 1Page Brand Strategy. A copy of the single-page report was emailed to NRX team members as they were leaving the workshop.

“As an outcome of that day, we were immediately able to use our new brand position, personality and promise as anchor points for the work ahead of us,” says Bonnell. “We were very impressed.”

Shortly after the 1day1brand workshop, NRX asked Distility to execute a complete corporate rebranding, which included a complete brand visual system and communications collateral such as a new website, business cards and stationery. Distility also provided brand education, with included Axle spending time at NRX headquarters to present and explain the new brand and brand strategy to the entire company.

Two years after the NRX team huddled down for the Distility 1day1brand workshop, the company’s brand remains fresh, new and relevant, says Bonnell.
“We feel as though there’s still a great opportunity for us to build on it,” he says.

The Winning Concept

Within two weeks of the 1day1brand workshop, Distility presented NRX with four concepts for its brand visual system. The winning concept showed how, on high-risk client platforms such as oil rigs, eliminating master data nightmares – represented by the exclamation mark – and increasing wrench time were at the heart of the NRX brand.

A Cohesive Visual System

From business cards to stationery, Distility carried the new NRX brand through all communication collateral.