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RPO Unveils a Rejuvenated Look

January 26, 2009

Research, Survey, Branding Workshop, and Logo Focus RPO’s Direction

Rochester, NY – A transformed theatre = a transformed brand.  In the case of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, the upcoming transformation of the Eastman Theatre – and its ramifications for transforming the RPO’s concert experience – has provided the impetus for the RPO to embark on the task of re-branding itself.  A systematic and strategic branding effort, including research, an extensive survey, an intensive branding workshop, and the creation of the new “look” that reflects the brand was shared this afternoon at the RPO’s Annual Meeting.

The task of re-branding the RPO began with a branding survey sent electronically to 14,000 households in Greater Rochester.  With 900 respondents – a statistically significant response rate – the RPO learned that the Orchestra is "clearly a beloved and highly respected brand in this community, which enjoys a remarkably high level not just of audience satisfaction but of audience enthusiasm,” said RPO President and CEO Charlie Owens at the Meeting.  “At the same time, we learned a great deal from the views of infrequent ticketbuyers and non-attenders, and how our programming and our messaging can be refined to be more appealing to those populations.”

Following the survey, a brand workshop facilitated by the Advertising Council of Rochester merged the RPO’s vision and strategic plans with the community’s views of the Orchestra, and distilled this down to three key outputs, including the Brand Essence, Brand Promise, and Brand Personality.

Jay Advertising then translated the workshop results of these elements into a dynamic new “look” and logo for the RPO, which included a versatile and distinctive color palette.  Inspired by the 1922 Maxfield Parrish painting Interlude (The Lute Players), one of three Parrish paintings recommended by Eastman Theatre architect Lawrence Grant White and commissioned by George Eastman, the color palette includes the famous Parrish blues, lush golds and apricots, and warm browns of the painting.  In fact, according to George Eastman biographer Betsy Brayer, Interlude was Eastman’s favorite of the three, referring to it as a “peacherina,” a term he used to describe his favorite automobiles.  As Robert Nisson, the Creative Director at Jay Advertising said, “We wanted the logo to recognize the past and send the RPO forward.  To create a fusion between the dynamic and the lyrical.  We are happy to be a part of the rejuvenation of the RPO.” 

“We look at this as bold, solid, fresh, forward-leaning, and colorful – in the famous Parrish Blue – with a swoosh of creative flair,” said Owens at the Annual Meeting.  “And if you look closely, you’ll see added emphasis on the word Rochester – the name of the hometown we are so proud of – and the one word in our name which distinguishes us from every other Philharmonic and Symphony Orchestra in the world.”

The branding work will continue to progress.  “It’s all about ensuring that we ‘walk the talk,’” said RPO Marketing Director Nancy Goldsmith Zawacki.  “We have a rejuvenated look, but in order to guarantee the brightest future for the RPO, we need to live our brand essence, our brand promise, and our brand personality in everything we do.”

RPO_LOGO_3-color.jpgNote: Click here to download a high-res electronic version of the new logo.


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