Suppose a bot took over your brand, threatening to destroy everything your company stood for. Turns out, that’s not necessarily a bad thing – as long as you have a strategy for dealing with it.

Recently, Chromium was contacted by an Edtech company called FATV, because they were facing just such a challenge. And the bot in question? They had created it themselves.

You see, FATV had gotten their start providing videos to college financial aid offices that showed students how to apply for financial aid. Hence the name, which stood for Financial Aid TV. More recently the company had moved into Artificial Intelligence and natural-language chatbot technology in a big way, and the new product suite was a runaway success. Students loved the chatbot for its anytime/anywhere accessibility, while administrators loved it for the staff time it saved. They both loved it for the vital information it provided.

But approaching prospective customers was a challenge, because the brand name and identity did not give any hint about the remarkable technology and capabilities of the company. In fact, the brand was hindering the sales team in a significant .

The brand name and accompanying logo, apart from looking dated, sent the message that the company was focused on old technology (TV) instead of the AI and advanced chatbot functionality in their current product suite. On top of that, not many people knew what “fa” stood for (financial aid), and even if they did, that also gave short shrift to the broader applications (admissions, counseling, etc.) the company’s products had within higher education institutions. This was a brand that no longer fit the company it represented.

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We worked with key stakeholders of the client team to facilitate their authoring of a customized Chromium BrandArmature®, the proprietary framework we’ve developed that helps companies build a more effective brand strategy in a more efficient way. The resulting Mission, Vision, Values, Targeting, Brand Essence, Persona, Positioning, Brand Evidence, and Narrative contained within the BrandArmature will drive all expressions of brand and culture for the company going forward.

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The new name, Ocelot, suggests a much higher degree of nimbleness, speed, and intelligence [Full Disclosure: This was already a final name candidate developed by the company prior to our engagement. We took the extra step of vetting it against the strategy before giving it our blessing].

For the new logo, we retained the green from the previous mark to provide a visual link to the legacy company, but otherwise used type and the “speech bubble” mark to craft a very modern, friendly, and accessible logo that more accurately expressed the strategy and positioning of the brand.

To see examples of how the brand guidelines, positioning, and messaging Chromium developed for Ocelot have taken form in the real world, have a look at Ocelot’s website What you’ll see is a brand – and a bot – that is now ready to go out and change the world of higher education for the better.


Tony Wessling is the Managing Partner of Chromium, a strategic consulting firm that works with ambitious, visionary companies, acting as the catalyst for brand success. You can follow him on Twitter @twessling. More about the firm’s strategy, creative, communications, and coaching can be found at


Photo used under a Creative Commons License Courtesy Marco Verch (trendingtopics) via Flickr

This article originally appeared on LinkedIn