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Extending Reach & Relevance through Brand Focus
With the goal of exposing younger audiences to one of the world’s greatest symphony orchestras, The San Francisco Symphony’s auxiliary created Symphonix in 1991. The group raises money to support The Symphony by attracting corporate sponsors, hosting high-profile social events as well as selling group performance packages to its members.

Other major cultural and artistic organizations including The San Francisco Ballet, San Francisco Opera, Museum of Modern Art, and Asian Arts Museum, among others, followed suit in recognition of the value of this important audience. These new groups created ever more competition to attract and retain members, not to mention garner sponsorships and partnerships.

As a three-term board member, brandadvisors President Charles Rashall observed that Symphonix faced many challenges. Among the issues identified were a lack of awareness and understanding of whatmade the group special and distinct, a misperceptionabout expectations that members needed to be versant in music and the symphony, a misperception that the group’s activities were linked only to symphonic music, a lack of clear and concise messaging that defined the group’s value proposition, and a highly fragmented look and feel that failed to build a relevant and distinctive personality and brand. Given that the group’s board was all-volunteer and transitioned each year, Rashall believed that it was all the more important to define and codify the Symphonix positioning and identity.

brandadvisors undertook an aggressive but comprehensive study to understand member needs, competitive group positioning and value propositions, and Symphonix’ value distinctions. A key finding was that Symphonix members valued the group’s friendly and unpretentious members and perceived the group to provide a broader range of value including the ability to meet new friends, network to develop professional relationships, extend their cultural knowledge and provide a means to give back.

brandadvisors positioned Symphonix as the friendly, inviting and accessible group that facilitates interchange for the betterment of personal, professional, cultural and philanthropicpossibilities. This positioning had broad appeal by welcoming people from diverse backgrounds and varied musical knowledge
and by offering and representing so much more than just the symphony and music.

brandadvisors developed the group’s positioning theme, “Symphonix connects you to more” and crafted the core message that “Symphonix provides an inviting forum to expand and enrich your personal, professional, cultural and philanthropic possibilities.” A new identity system was developed that reflected the friendly yet sophisticated positioning through a lower case logo and “diamond interchange” icon formed by highlighting the intersection of the “x.” It also leveraged the power of the SF Symphony logo by linking Symphonix to its powerful keyboard icon.

The identity system was extended to everything from the group’s website and e-mail template to business cards / name-tags for board members to better welcome sponsors and members at events, welcome placards for event check-in, to letterhead and forms.