The 5 W’s Behind Our Brand Refresh:
What: We partnered with a design + branding agency to revisit every element of the DX brand.
Why: With our 25 years in the cinema industry, we wanted to pause and reflect on our journey and whether our brand still reflected our values and vision. We felt it was time to ask the right questions and do a refresh.
When: In Q1 2023. This year is meaningful for DX as we’re accelerating our international expansion with our new cloud-based product.
Who: The project was led by the Marketing team and our CEO and included input from the entire management team and one of our product designers. We’ve worked with brand building and UX/UI design experts at Pony.
Where: 100% remote, as both DX and Pony are remote-first companies — something we care deeply about.
Brands, just like people, have their distinct personalities. And - just like people - those personalities change over time. They evolve under the weight of changing circumstances, evolving teams, and technological innovations. They get pressed and shaped, and polished into becoming better, bolder, and more unique.
The DX brand has been around for 25 years and has gone through major shifts in the last couple of years. We went from being a local Norwegian brand to an English-first and remote-first company. We went from a small electronic ticketing solution in 1997 to an innovative, cloud-based cinema management solution.
These significant shifts in the nature of our company called for a shift in our brand. And so, we embarked on our brand refresh journey, accompanied by the branding experts at Pony. agency.
The Purpose Behind Our Brand Refresh
With 25 years of existence, it was time for us to take a breath and ask ourselves the questions that have been lingering in the air for a while. Was our brand still in alignment with who we’ve become? Was it fully reflecting the DX personality? Was it still resonating with our core essence?
We discovered that the answer to these questions was “not entirely.” It became clear that our brand needed a refresh. We wanted to make sure that it represented us how we wanted to be represented, reflecting our values and vision in every ounce of our presence.
Our vision is to create great experiences and empower our cinema clients to do the same for their audiences. We want to build the experience of tomorrow by going beyond the ordinary.
Everything we do is fuelled by this vision, making DX a true adventure.
We felt like our brand wasn't entirely reflecting that - it needed a revamp to truly capture this spirit. We wanted our brand to convey the uniqueness and the magic of DX as a company and as a journey. We chose the first quarter of 2023 to conduct our brand refresh project. This year, as we’re accelerating our international expansion with our new cloud-based product, we wanted to do this pulse check before hitting the fast forward button.
This was also a great time for Jenny, our brilliant Head of Marketing, to lead such an initiative. One year after joining the DX brand, she gained a profound understanding of our brand and the direction we’re heading towards.
Meet The New DX Brand
To capture the essence of DX, we sought the help of Pony. agency to conduct a retrospective 360 of our brand. Pony. is a branding and design studio known for its expertise in brand building and UX/UI for tech companies.
As a remote-first company, we value the flexibility that comes with a remote work environment. That's why when it came to refreshing our brand, we wanted a partner who shared our remote-first mindset. Being a team spanning multiple cities, we thought Pony. was the perfect partner to help us with this process.
When choosing the right partner for our brand refresh project, we had certain expectations in mind. We needed to know how our partner would lead us through this project and what our collaboration would look like. This meant asking questions like:
- What is their process for a brand refresh project like ours?
- Which tools will be used for efficient remote collaboration?
- Can they provide examples of past workshops focused on brand building?
- Who will be involved in guiding us through each stage of the process?
By finding out the answers to these - and other - questions, we wanted to make sure that our chosen partner fully aligned with our expectations. And we made a great choice! By joining forces with the branding experts at Pony., we managed to make the DX brand more wholesome and reflective of our newfound values and identity. The process began with the main workshop, where we delved deep into the ins and outs of our brand identity.
During this 3-hour workshop, our entire management team, together with our product designer, Jackiel, and our content marketing manager, Alice (on her first day with us!), had to answer questions that defined our brand.
What are our brand values? What’s our brand personality? How can we better resonate with our target audience? What sets us apart from the rest?
After pondering these questions, we gained more clarity as to where we were headed with our brand refresh.
We didn't just want to refresh the look of our brand - we also wanted to define its soul. With the help of Pony., we discovered that we’re The Magician - a brand archetype that focuses on leading a transformation, making dreams come true, and revealing new possibilities. That’s exactly what defines us.
Thanks to Pony.’s guidance, we realised how much our brand values fall within this archetype. Guided by our desire to push the boundaries of innovation and go beyond what’s expected, we create solutions that make tomorrow a better place for cinemas. Like a true Magician, our brand values revolve around having fun, building connections, and making the impossible possible.
Once we gained more clarity on the identity of our brand, we needed visuals that would resonate with its soul. And so, with Pony's help, we set out to translate our newfound sense of identity into design.
To discover the perfect visual representation for our brand, the agency presented us with five creative concepts: Projection, Nordic Fraternity, Pop Culture, Cinemaverse, and The Magic of Now.
While all the concepts resonated with our brand DNA to some extent, it was the Magic of Now that truly encapsulated our identity and our North Star - the aspiration and direction we’re heading for.
The Magic of Now concept is inspired by the most magical moments in movies - the moments where something unexpected is about to happen, the moment full of anticipation and excitement. It’s characterised by intense, fluorescent colors, futuristic aesthetics, and 3D illustrations that pay tribute to the cinematographers’ ability to capture magical moments and evoke our passion for innovation.
With the Magic of Now chosen as our guiding concept, our improved brand identity began to take shape. Pony. created a style guide that perfectly summarised the nature of the DX brand, refreshed our colour palette and typography, and redesigned our homepage to match DX’s new visual identity.
After 3 months of creative collaboration, Pony. has breathed fresh air into our brand. We walked away from the process with clearly defined brand identity guidelines and brand strategy, a vibrant colour palette that reflects the mood of the DX brand, and every necessary brand asset, from illustrations to email signatures.
The result? The DX brand 2.0 - revitalised and wholesome. (As you can see right here, on our refreshed site and blog experiences)
Your Brand Defines Your Cinema
Now, more than ever, people care about building lasting connections with brands. Younger audiences are searching for brands that offer innovative, consumer-centric experiences rather than simply relying on brand reputation and familiarity.
Instead of shopping from generic brands, Gen Z audiences prefer to interact with brands they resonate with based on their personality, values, and beliefs.
This illustrates the direction that many brands are taking: creating immersive and memorable experiences that deeply engage their audiences and make them an integral part of the brand journey.
In this changing marketing landscape, cinema managers are also facing an exciting opportunity to captivate movie lovers to rediscover the magic of the big screen by creating immersive experiences - and having a unique and well-defined brand is a massive part of that.
As a cinema, creating a strong brand identity comes down to:
- Defining your brand values and doing everything in alignment with those values,
- Defining how you want your cinema to be perceived and the emotions you want to evoke in moviegoers when they visit your venue,
- Embracing storytelling and design to create a unique and immersive cinema experience,
- Cultivating a vibrant community of moviegoers on social media by sharing engaging and relevant content,
- And, most of all, making sure that your brand fully reflects how you want your cinema to be perceived.
That’s why we’re sharing our brand refresh process with you.
We want to lift the veil of behind-the-scenes secrecy and take you on the DX journey in the most transparent and honest way possible.
We hope that we’ve inspired you to take a look at your brand and ask yourself whether it truly represents the soul of your cinema. Maybe it needs a refresh?