IBM Launches Home Director Brand
IBM entered the home automation industry with the Home Director brand. Rick Thompson, President of Brand Periscope, worked at IBM at the time and led the business unit that launched the business. Rick used his brand naming methodology to create and develop brand naming candidates and to validate the names with market research.
After finalizing the Home Director brand name, Rick defined the brand identity objectives and engaged a leading branding agency to help develop the brand identity and packaging. Next, Rick and his team successfully launched Home Director first into the consumer market and later into the commercial home automation market. Behind the strength of the new IBM Home Director brand, IBM rapidly built a reputation as a leader in the home automation business. After several years as a business unit within IBM, the Home Director brand and business were successfully spun off and sold to an outside firm.
Brand Naming – the goal was to identify a strong, clear brand name worthy of being associated with the IBM brand. The name Home Director was created and validated as an excellent brand name that worked well with and complemented the IBM master brand.
Brand Identity Development – the Home Director brand identity needed to be separate and distinct from the IBM master brand, but also relate to the equity of the master brand in a meaningful way. The final brand identity leveraged the “IBM Blue” strategic color and also the “horizontal bars” found in the IBM logo. The name Home Director used two different colors, white and red, to be distinctive and memorable. These colors, when combined with the black and blue horizontal bars created an appealing, high impact, and professional image consistent with IBM’s brand equity.
Packaging – consumer and commercial packaging followed the brand identity design.
Graphic Design – the Home Director brand identity was used as the guideline for all graphic design.
Marketing Collateral – marketing and sales materials included pamphlets, brochures, print advertising, direct mail, and booth displays including the Home Automation Association and Habitech trade shows.