Honoring a Legacy
- Should we rebrand?
- Why should we rebrand?
- What is our legacy?
- What is our identity?
Knowing the answers to these questions is vital to stakeholder buy-in, brand consistency, and maintaining your customer base. This is even more critical when the organization is a 75-year-old community non-profit.
In 2020, we began the discussion with Scott Eddlemon, executive director of Kingsport, Tennessee-based Symphony of the Mountains. The Symphony was preparing to celebrate its 75th consecutive season and wanted to address a few challenges, namely, “How do we honor the legacy of 75 years, maintain our current base, and also appeal to a new generation of concert-goers?”
There is no shortage of opportunities to experience live music in the mountains of East Tennessee… outdoor festivals abound from May to October, live music venues operate year-round in the Tri-Cities and in nearby Asheville, NC, and Knoxville, and many restaurants and bars feature talented local musicians on weekends. The interest among 18-45-year-olds to experience live music is evident. We just needed to explore ways to bridge the gap between that audience and the Symphony, breaking the stigma of unattainable Saturday night black-tie affairs and promoting the Symphony’s mission of entertaining, educating, and enriching its audiences.
We embarked on the rebranding process knowing that it would take time… after all, the final approval would come from a committee, the board of directors. Our team conducted an open discussion with the board and stakeholders, asking questions that led to more questions. The goal was not to have the board tell us what they want, but rather explain to us what they feel… what emotions should the brand reflect, and what is the organization’s identity?
The first round of branding was focused on the younger generation, based on inclusivity and the collision of cultures, nationalities, and styles. But it didn’t appeal to the existing base.
The second round was focused on the existing base but didn’t appeal to a new generation of concert-goers.
It was time for another round of discussions with the stakeholders. We brought everything we had completed so far, all of our notes and designs, and met with the Symphony team again. We walked through the concepts and again discussed the who and why.
This led to round 3: a new logo that speaks to the existing identity but is also refreshed, and modernized while paying homage to the legacy of the 75-year-old Symphony of the Mountains.
Following the string of approvals, we were proud to roll out the new branding in conjunction with the announcement of the 2022/2023 season.
In the News
Scott Eddlemon, with Symphony of the Mountains, talks with Daytime Tri-Cities about their last performance of this season, and introduces us to the symphony’s new logo for next season!
With the rebrand for Symphony of the Mountains came a refresh of their website. The focus for the new website was the user experience to explore the season’s concerts and purchase tickets.