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Client Case Study: Brightformat


After eight years of growth, this digital print and data management company reinvents itself with a new brand positioning and corporate identity as their foundation for a brighter future.

Brightformat is a leading digital print and data management services company headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Originally known as Diversified Data Services, the company had grown far beyond its original data and mailing services roots to become one of West Michigan’s premier providers of digital printing, wide format printing and direct marketing services.

The Challenge
The printing industry is a commodity business where customers have abundant choice of providers and most printing companies compete for business solely on price. The company, which had an excellent reputation for customer service, had moved the core of its original mail house services business to new technologies in on-demand printing, large format printing and direct marketing support services.

Company executives realized in order to grow to the next level, the business name was no longer relevant and expressive of the type of business the company had become. Executive leadership recognized that a name change and complete shift in the way the company marketed its services was necessary.

Brand Innovation
Consulting with the company’s executive management team over a six month period, we facilitated a series of brand strategy and positioning workshops designed to guide the client’s executive and business development team to refocus and recalibrate their value proposition to a more discerning customer segment. This target customer segment highly valued the specialized expertise of digital on demand print services, and represented a customer group at the premium end of the West Michigan market.

Beyond the functional benefits associated with the specialized expertise their customer’s enjoyed, we learned that this customer segment valued a distinctive level of personalized service expressed through proactive problem solving innovation. The client’s reputation for creativity, innovation and ingenuity coupled with a vibrant, stress free customer experience was the source of differentiation and “oneliness” that enabled the client to build their new brand positioning around the idea of focusing on the customer’s marketing success, rather than simply delivering a print job.

To bring this positioning to life, we guided the client’s executive team through a rigorous naming process that mandated the new trade name be highly evocative supporting the client’s innovative approach to collaborating with their customer’s to create marketing success.

Brightformat was the perfect name to embody the idea of illumination, innovation and vibrant customer experiences. We then designed the new corporate identity system that included a new logotype, symbol, color system and visual design standards for all marketing and communications.

Brightformat Logotype




“From the very beginning of the workshops with Thomson and through the implementation of our name and visual expression, he was thoughtful, collaborative, and was clearly committed to our success. Thomson’s experience, guidance, and creativity helped guide two very different shareholders toward a result that we simply could not be happier with. He didn’t tell us who we should be or where we should go–he guided us along a path that helped us discover that our direction and purpose had been there all along, we just needed the expertise to help us reveal it.”

Pete Houlihan
Brightformat Inc.

If your organization is thinking about transforming your brand for the next level of growth, please send me an email.

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