A Trip Down Memory Lane: Evolving Brand Identity

A Trip Down Memory Lane: Evolving Brand Identity Image

At the heart of a good brand strategy lies a strong visual identity. Whether represented by a wordmark or logo, it represents the “Who” (and sometimes “What”) of an organization. As companies evolve over time, so do its visual elements. Whether an updated overhaul to a logo, or simply small tweaks, a logo often reflects an evolution of brand identity and the company.


For Kaptivate, we’ve done both an overhaul and small updates along the way staying true to our business goals. I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing the transformation of this company for many years. In August 2009, as a freelance designer, I created the first Kaptivate logo. I still have my notes and sketches, capturing important ideals and integrating them into various design elements (“grow businesses, innovative product development, linking people and ideas, engagement, measurable success” and so on). The final logo encompassed the 3-tiers of relevance to their company: innovate, engage, measure. Remarkably, they are still core elements, 12 years later.

As Kaptivate continued to grow over the next few years, CEO Ron Vassallo, visualized a logo design that captured Kaptivate’s success navigating clients through troubled waters, and setting them on a journey to success. In 2015, he hired designer Link Nicoll, envisioning the "K Sail" logo, a nod to  the “K” in Kaptivate, and “sails” representing “navigation, energy, and movement.”

A few years later, as luck would have it, I joined Kaptivate as a full time employee. Fast forward to 2019, when Kaptivate entered its 10th anniversary. Ten years was a true testament to navigating difficult waters--the Great Recession, government shutdowns, and the battles to save the local creative economy--and helping our clients sail to blue oceans. Once again, I took the helm, cultivating our brand identity using mature style elements like the sleek silver sails. I added the 10th anniversary tagline, as well as the “what” of our company at that point: Marketing & Communications for Strategic ChangeTM.

Surviving in business through a two-year pandemic is not easy, but thriving? Yes, we’ve done that too. During these tough times, we realized our success comes from hard work and even harder thinking to enable us to pivot when necessary. In 2021, we’ve dedicated ourselves to make our clients more resilient through digital transformations, crowdsourced innovation, and purposeful community building. Building a relevant value proposition for clients managing a hyperconnected world provides a new opportunity to modernize our brand, and set our sails again. We’ve grown substantially during the pandemic, challenged ourselves to embrace new perspectives, and greeted this new chapter with a new logo design by Marni Hotchkiss. Marni modernized the existing logo by creating a bubble logo adding “Chart a new course” as a marketplace challenge, and included Kaptivate’s recently minted tagline: Pivot and ThriveTM.

New Kaptivate Logo

Brand evolution is part of any smart branding strategy, reflecting modernization, maturation, and answering “Who” and “What” for an organization. What’s your brand story? What does it tell the marketplace about your value proposition?


To read some more of our thinking on brands and branding, go to Grapes of Brand.