Rebranding the oldest company listed on NYSE.

4/06/2014 Unknown 0 Comments

Sotheby's auction house is the oldest company listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The company was founded in 1744, and if it doesn't have a brand by now . . . well, what's a branding firm to do?  Well, whatever it does, it better do it well.

Pentagram Design
Since 2011, Pentagram has been working with Sotheby's "to bring stronger coherence to the full spectrum of the company's identity and communications."  If it were only so simple that the company sold stuff, at auction.  But Sotheby's is arguably one of the leading organizations / voices for significant changes in global culture. Sotheby's customers are among the most influential -- and richest -- consumers and  patrons of global culture.

Sotheby's credibility is grounded in its claim to unerring judgment of the potential value about cultural artifacts -- the final cash value of objects is, of course, up to the buyers.  But Sotheby's is the very definition of a "global market maker" -- and needs to be at home, credible, and trusted in New York, London, Paris, Zurich, Milan, Geneva, Beijing, Hong Kong, Doha, Moscow, and . . . . anywhere that power and money invest in culture.

Pentagram's work for Sotheby's is an insightful case study in branding conceptualization and fulfillment in a high-stakes, high-profile environment. This is not the branding story of a start-up; this is the branding story of an organization over one quarter of a millennium old -- not much competition in that frame of reference.