Branding for Fathom
Connect with Context
Rx Networks has built a reputation for itself working directly with a handful of OEM clients in the mobile location awareness space for over a decade. But a recent breakthrough in the sensor array technology presented an opportunity to enter the emerging IoT (Internet of Things) space with a ‘SmartBeacon’ that would monitor and manage millions of Bluetooth-enabled devices for thousands of businesses and organizations worldwide.
In 2015, it seemed like new beacons appeared every day, flooding the market. Rx Networks knew their technology derived from years of research in the mobile positioning space was superior, but the first-mover advantage was gone. Their problem was: how do you enter a rapidly saturating market and command attention?
After conducting a thorough discovery process, Skyrocket’s answer — mystique.
A lighthouse in an ocean of data
Most B2B-oriented IoT products have literal, staccato-sounding names and try to appeal to businesses by listing all the functionality on cheerful packaging. Focusing on the value creation instead, we were eager to avoid being typecast in that way and set off to craft something that gradually unravels the depth of the new product.
The functionality of the new device was key to shaping its identity. Rx Networks set out to build a management platform for the IoT space, capable of tracking the precise location of everything, from Fitbits passing on the street to medical equipment being used on the seventh floor of the hospital. The new device would shed light on aspects of business that were dark or nebulous in the past.
Shooting for the stars
During our brainstorms, notions of intelligence and context kept reappearing time and time again. We were seeking a name that was able to cut through trillions of data points and make sense of the information. That led us to Fathom. Inherent in the name Fathom is the idea of illumination, which we further reinforced with the visual identity. Looking to create a sophisticated identity that stands out and alluding to the state of the IoT space before Fathom, we chose rich black as the background colour. The accent colour, named Fathom Blue, was meant to show enlightenment and is one of the brightest Pantone colours available for print.
The use of colours is well defined: the identity is dark, the information is light. Their interplay is apparent in the graphic device we’ve used throughout the identity, which is a constellation-like network of data points, piercing through darkness, resembling the illumination that Fathom brings. The creation of the hexagon symbol was informed by the proposed form factor requirements of the device with six antennae. Three lines of varying length inside the hexagon represent (besides forming an ‘F’) the pulsating, ever-changing nature of information.
Bringing intrigue to business products
From the hardware casing of the Fathom itself to the box it comes in, our emphasis was on presenting a product that intrigues at first sight and feels premium and sophisticated with every interaction. Fathom’s matte black casing, polished glass and sleek silhouette have more in common with B2C products — made not only to satisfy a need, but to elicit desire as well. Our goal was to merge form with function and provide a high-end product encased in an identity that is as groundbreaking as its performance.
A quest for validation
Rx Networks launched Fathom at Mobile World Congress 2016 in Barcelona. Juxtaposed with other products — which overwhelmingly rely on the same old technologies, a safe naming process and familiar colour schemes — Fathom stood out and immediately generated interest. Attendees remarked that its enigmatic name and dark theme were completely “unlike anything they’d ever seen”.
The product’s reception at MWC validated our brand direction. Armed with a product unlike any other on the market, Fathom’s potential seems truly unlimited — Fathom has a look that’s intriguing enough to turn heads and the performance to keep all eyes fixed on it. And seemingly it has already taken the first steps on its journey towards being a product of the future.
It is hard to create a brand that stands out in the crowded environment we all have to operate in. More than just creating a name, Skyrocket brought together the literal, physical and emotional elements of our Fathom brand. At our first trade show this resulted in what everyone hopes for: it made people want to stop and ask about our company. It didn’t baffle, it didn’t answer, it planted a seed of intrigue — the first step in engaging the customer on the sales journey. – Adrian Stimpson, Sr. Vice-President, Sales & Marketing at Rx Networks