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Rebranding: How did DISTRICT M become district m?

By Sandrine Tessier,
Content Strategist
August 14th 2017

Saying that rebranding takes time is an understatement. Because it’s not just about finding a cool looking logo and picking some funky colours to go with it. It’s about creating an identity, about showing what position your company holds and what its aspirations are. And that takes hours of brainstorming. Countless genius ideas that are “the one” but which you end up scrapping. Screaming matches. Trial and error, doubts and epiphanies, frustration and excitement. Those are all part of the story. This story is just as crucial. Here’s ours:

A part of our evolution

Rebranding came to district m as the company was taking a major turn in its stage of evolution: over the past year, we have grown exponentially in all senses of the word. Our team has doubled, new offices were opened and new partnerships were created. In the midst of all that, our marketing team was created and their first initiative was to revisit the identity of the company. It was not just about thinking how we were different from what the company was 4 years ago but about projecting where the company would be in the next years to come.

So our marketing team sat down and questions started flying: what is district m? Who is district m? Do we want to keep the same name? What is our place in the industry right now? What does our image say about us? Of course, this was just the tip of the iceberg. As time went by, we started digging into the very core of the company and even questioned the colors, the curve in the “m” and the dot on the “i”. Believe us, it’s was all necessary.

A story of connections

So where did all that questioning and introspection lead us to? It’s a story of connections. District m’s mission has always been to create an environment for both programmatic parties, publishers and advertisers, to connect easily. If you look carefully, you will find that our logo is actually made from the two arches that form the “m” and resembles a link. That’s what our hours of brainstorming and introspection led us to realise: district m is a link, the entity that joins the publishers and the advertisers of the programmatic industry. Our slogan was built along the same lines. “The Fabric of Advertising” was all about putting our identity into words and becoming our mission statement and our promise. As the “fabric”, we want to be what composes the industry and mends all parties, to create an open and transparent ecosystem.

A new vision

Rebranding is about your company standing the test of time. Yes, it will create turmoil. Yes, you will need to question everything you hold true about the essence of your company. And yes, you will face resistance. But change is never a bad thing. At the risk of sounding cliché, it is how we approach change that makes the difference.

District m could have faced a lot of resistance, especially internally. But remember when we said that the story was crucial? Well that is what made the difference. Had we thrown the new logo into the company with no explanation, it would have certainly generated questioning, disappointment and doubts - very rightfully so. But we had a story, and more than that, we have a vision for where this company is going. Now, we also have our team standing behind it and driving it to the next level.

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