Houston Technology Center sends clearer message with site rebrand Read more: Houston Technology Center sends clearer message with site rebrand | Houston Business Journal
Even though 80 percent of client and partner companies know what the Houston Technology Center does, it was still not good enough for Walter Ulrich.
HTC on Friday unveiled its new brand and website, which will go live Dec. 6.
The current website at www.houstontech.org features the organization’s building at the top with information areas down the left side. The new website will include information areas at the top and emphasis on the five areas of HTC’s focus: energy, life sciences, aerospace, nanotechnology and information technology.
Instead of the HTC building, the top of the site will feature the organization’s new tagline: “Houston Technology Center: The Entrepreneurial Capital.”
“We recognize that the key part to what we do is to prepare companies to raise capital — both monetary and intellectual,” says Ulrich, president and chief executive officer of HTC. “We want to be a capital for both.”
The nonprofit organization is the largest technology business incubator in Texas and has the goal of advancing the commercialization of emerging tech companies for the purpose of creating jobs and promoting economic development.
In plain English, that means the organization works with early-stage technology companies to help them raise money. Ulrich says that after 10 years, that was the motivation he needed to do a “refresh” of the organization’s brand.
“The brand has worked for us for 10 years, but in the high-tech world, 10 years is more like 70 years,” he says.
Ulrich didn’t realize how time consuming the rebrand would be. The journey began 18 months ago.
The existing website, created by Houston-based Schipul — The Web Marketing Co., still works well, Ulrich says. But, with social media and more communication networks, HTC needed to refocus its attention on what it really is about — entrepreneurship and innovation.
Schipul and Houston creative agency BrandExtract LLC are helping revamp the HTC image.
Jonathan Fisher, chairman and chief operating officer for BrandExtract, says his group surveyed existing client and partner companies to find out if HTC’s brand needed to change or if the market was changing it for the organization. He found that it was some of both.
“One of the things is the new tagline that better supports what they do,” he says. “Also, the marketplace pointed out that nowhere in its current mission and vision statement does ‘entrepreneurship’ appear.”
BrandExtract also surveyed people outside HTC, many of whom thought the organization was, among other things, a research lab, a data center or a place to get their computer repaired.
The prominence of the HTC building on the website was one of the problems, Schipul CEO Ed Schipul says.
“It prompted some to believe that HTC is just a physical facility rather than a powerful organization,” he says. “While the HTC building is still part of the design, it is not the focal point.”
Meanwhile, Ulrich is excited for the next step in HTC’s future.
“What we are doing is not new, we are just identifying ourselves better,” he says. “This is going to give HTC more energy and enthusiasm.”
SOURCE: Houston Business Journal - http://bizjournals.com/houston/
BY: Christine Hall
DATE: December 5, 2010