It’s goodbye to TAB – and hello to Geopath – a new name and brand for the Traffic Audit Bureau.
Kym Frank announced the new name and the background and reasoning behind it as the highlight of her inaugural speech as president of the organization at the 2016 TAB/OAAA Conference and Expo this morning in Boca Raton, Florida.
Frank was officially named president during last year’s event in San Diego.
Referring earlier in her speech to the fact that she had said, during her initial interview for her position, that Traffic Audit Bureau was a really awful name that made her think of a guy with a clicker, standing in front of a billboard counting cars (and considered herself as having flubbed being hired until the interviewer laughed), she added that the name change was not the first work that she and the team tackled during the year. (See separate article here.)
However, she said, “When I first joined TAB, there were lots of people of the opinion that the TAB name was holding us back, that the brand was tarnished, that there was negative baggage, that we needed a fresh start.
“A brand is an idea in the mind of your target audience. What your target thinks of you and associates with you. The pictures and images they have in their head, and the good or bad experiences they’ve had with you.
“You can either try to reshape and renovate those associations, pictures, and images, represented by your name and your brand identity, or you can start again with something more relevant, more contemporary, more believable, more sustainable, and more fun.
“In December, the TAB Board of Directors decided that the TAB needed a fresh start. So, we would rebrand and reposition our organization.”
For step one, an eight-person ‘ brand council’ was established and an experienced brand consultant familiar with the industry was hired to help guide the group through the process.
“We thought long and hard about our mission, our role in the OOH industry, our competitors, what space we wanted to own, who we wanted to be, who we didn’t want to be, and what we wanted to stand for,” said Frank.
“The first thing our group did was craft a vision statement for our rebranding, to change the perception of TAB from an old-school billboard ratings bureau, to a dynamic leader in OOH audience location measurement, insights, and market research innovation. In order to do this, we knew we needed an entirely new name, an entirely new brand promise, and an entirely new logo, to signal the marketplace that change was coming.”
A ‘brand attribute pyramid’ was then developed. This included, at the top, what defines and differentiates the brand.
“This was that we will be an agile, fast-moving organization that is the OOH measurement industry standard and the audience location experts,” said Frank.
Also included were other attributes, such as that the brand “informs our strategy, our communications, and our decision-making, and it’s our manifesto that rallies stakeholders around a single vision.“
Frank said, “Our new brand positioning is: We are the industry standard that powers a smarter OOH marketplace – through state-of-the art audience location measurement, insights, and market research innovation. And as important as our positioning is, so is our culture, and that is represented by our brand’s tone and personality.
“We have taken a good, hard look at who we are, and we have decided to stay true to that, and embrace our ‘inner geek’. Our culture will celebrate this, and hopefully our brand will feel more like an Ad Tech or data start-up, than like an old-fashioned ratings bureau. Our personality will be brave, energized, driven and resourceful. And we will be passionate about what we do and have fun doing it.”
Choosing the actual name, she said, was part art and part science.
Geopath “telegraphs what we do, is fresh and contemporary, is suggestive of what we do, is memorable, forward-looking, and, with adding the new descriptor ‘Audience Location Measurement’ reinforces that we’ll track the geo-location of audiences when they’re away from home and engaging with OOH advertising.“
Frank showed several illustrations of the new name and said that the ‘O’ serves as a unifying branding device in the brand identity system. Geopath will be rolled out and activated during Sept/16.
Sitting on the brand council were: Dan Levi, chief marketing officer, Clear Channel Outdoor, North America; Andrea MacDonald, CEO, MacDonald Media; Jennifer Seickel, president, OOH Pitch; Jeff Tan, vice-president strategy, Posterscope; Tommy Teeple, chief marketing officer, Lamar Advertising; Jodi Senese, chief marketing officer, OUTFRONT Media; David Krupp, CEO, Kinetic; Matt Leible, chief marketing officer, Billups.