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In this episode of the B2Boring podcast, Chris spotlights Anna Eliot, CMO of pharosIQ's leadership, during the challenging yet rewarding rebranding journey of pharosIQ. Her experience offers valuable lessons and advice for marketers embarking on similar ventures.

Key Insights:

  • Vision is Key: Anna's approach was guided by a clear vision for the brand's future, essential for steering the rebranding process in the right direction.
  • The Importance of Naming: The thoughtful selection of 'pharosIQ' reflects the brand's mission and values. Anna's strategy underscores the importance of a name that resonates with the brand's essence and audience.
  • Clarity in Communication: The team prioritized straightforward and effective communication under Anna's guidance. This approach differentiated the brand and made its messaging more accessible to the target market.
  • Understanding the Market: Anna's strategies were deeply informed by her understanding of the customer base and market dynamics. Her emphasis on market-focused rebranding reminds us to always keep the end consumer in mind.
  • Utilizing External Resources: The rebranding journey often involves leveraging external expertise, as Anna did. This can include anything from design to digital marketing, highlighting the importance of external partnerships.


Read the full transcript below:

CHRIS RACK: Welcome, welcome to this week's episode of B2Boring, the podcast that is anything but boring for B2B marketers. Little bit different of an episode this week.

We're going to change it up a little bit and do a little self-indulgent. This week, as you probably noticed, the B2Boring podcast is coming to you from Pharos IQ, our brand new company brand.

New logos, new colors, new stuff. So we thought this week instead of diving into the usual beta boring flair, we would talk a little bit about rebranding, the process, how it's done, the pains, the joys, the wins, the losses, all of those fantastic things. And for that, I thought I would bring in our very own Anna Eliot, our CMO here at Pharos IQ to talk through the process.

So Anna, welcome to the show.

ANNA ELIOT: Thank you so much. I'm very nervous to be here today.

CHRIS RACK: We've been working together for 10 years.

ANNA ELIOT: The nervousness is around I never know what you're going to say. You're going to come out of left field at some point. I'm trying to be ready for it. I will keep your secret name to myself.

CHRIS RACK: I appreciate you. Let the masses know what's your secret. Bruce Wayne type name is behind the Batman of the CMO curtain. So let's jump in. Rebranding, I think it's something that all marketers think is fun, right? Like I think brand can be considered one of the more creative or fun parts of the job versus all of the attribution and the numbers and the budget to the Excel spreadsheets and all of that. But they can also be complex. So what are some of the key considerations and challenges that you faced during this rebrand for us?

ANNA ELIOT: Honestly, they were the pretty typical ones that you face when you're dealing with a rebrand. You're absolutely right. It's for me personally as a marketer getting to do a rebrand, getting to really dive in and assess what you want to be, what do you want to bring to the market is it's like my Superbowl.

I get really excited. I get jazzed. I don't sleep. I can't wait to work on it and start just powering through things. Some of the stuff though is a little more complex than I think a lot of people realize. It's not just what do we want to be? Who do we want to be? How do we want to look? What do we want to sound like?

It's what tech stack are we migrating over? What are we keeping? How are these things interconnected? What processes are we changing? How many Word document templates do we need to do? How many PowerPoint variations are we going to have? It's, it can get pretty complex and start delving into a lot of that administrative side of marketing.

But it's, this one has been somewhat, like I said, par for the course, except that I am now three and a half months on this job and so a lot of this was a bit of an onboarding experience for me as well. Luckily, I have a great team who knows where all the skeletons are at the company.

So we were able to identify a lot of stuff pretty quickly. But overall, it's been pretty great. People are excited. As we've been able to tell key individuals like this is happening, gotten really excited and wanted to contribute, which is always fun.

CHRIS RACK: Yeah. And Anna, I think it's fair to say that you had a pretty understanding and well-rounded marketing CEO to work with throughout the process that was, made it really smooth and efficient.

ANNA ELIOT: Marketing CEO?

CHRIS RACK: I found the biggest challenge throughout the rebrand process is we're taking out a new name as well, right? So it's not colors, font, logo, icons, all that. And that's fun, right? The naming process can be just so tedious.

Just given the, it's aligning with the domain, aligning with the available domain, aligning with the domain that you could afford. Is it in budget? Is it used as a trademark? Are there 17, 432 other companies with similar or whatnot names, right? How do you, how did you tackle it? I know how I did, and it was quite collaborative and just random, but, did you have, do you have a process in attacking the name?

Do you go backwards to forwards? Do you go topical to specific, what's your thought process around, either company and or product naming?

ANNA ELIOT: For both of them for company and product naming. I tend to go towards very practical and visionary at the same time. I want to have that dichotomy going on in my brain and in the team's brain.

And then like your brain, right? When we were going through a lot of the naming options, there were some that you were thrown out there that were like literal Kind of things and then some that were incredibly aspirational or conceptual that we'd have to really lean into design to have to make sense.

So I like to go down both paths because a lot of times you'll find something in the middle. You'll discover something that. Already has a brand about it that you can lean into and borrow from. And I think in our situation, we we found the perfect thing for us to take a look at from history and go, Hey, this is an interesting concept.

It aligns with our vision for this company. Let's see how we can use this. But. Taking that two-sided approach, you can come up with a ton of options, which means when you go to your legal team and you're like, Hey how much trademarking is, this is going on here at a global level. You have more options to pick from of course.

And it's not just trademarking like our companies that haven't trademarked currently using domains that are your preferred domains. Have they had that domain for 20 years? Can you find the domain, but then you go look at what your options are for social media and other branded. Digital footprint areas, and you find that some comedian has named themselves that which I've had to happen in the past.

I like to keep my options open, right? Because it gets pretty complex.

CHRIS RACK: Yeah, and it's and that's why I'm convinced so many companies just have the randomness names that make no sense. He's trying to connect, your brand with what your product does, which again, it's. It's so difficult to accomplish that goal, but also, have all of those stars aligned to make it available, right?

That's why there's so many like purple bananas and just random names for software and storage and SAS companies that have zero correlation to what they actually do, because I think someone just gave up and someone just threw out a random thing and said, we're just going to be this. And then there we go.

And the rest is history. So what aspects of. Okay. Our new company's identity, right? Do you feel are unique as it sets us apart from our competitors as we're jumping deeper into our new brand?

ANNA ELIOT: I think we worked really hard from a visual perspective and from a messaging perspective to hype up our new company USPs.

We're going to be disruptive in the market. We're bringing something wholly new and interesting to market. We're bringing some capabilities that are going to be amazing and really be powerful for marketing and sales teams. And so we wanted to look that way too. So from a visual perspective, we didn't want to go with what everybody else looks like right now.

We didn't want to use the same design styles. We wanted to, hat tip to some colors that are predominant in our industry, but we also wanted to break free of those and stretch in new directions from a visual perspective. We really, regardless of how much I like to talk. As you have pointed out multiple times and explain myself, we really embrace the why use 400 words when four will suffice.

We're trying to be a little punchier, clearer, more direct less flowery marketing language across the website within our materials. When we present about the brand, things like that we just really want to be clear, make a connection with people through an interesting and new way to communicate.

CHRIS RACK: Got it. So the general language strategy by your team was opposite of Anna.

ANNA ELIOT: Yes, the opposite of Anna talking.

CHRIS RACK: I dig it. I think especially in B2B. Hence the name of the podcast. There's just so much boring. It all looks the same. So many buzzwords, so many lines, so many things like precision and future and growth and long, like 12 sentences homepage things that talk about either have some sort of word of transformation, or something of that nature.

And I, I think people are starting to read through it and you know the market in itself but the buyers especially in b2b as the general as it's generationally shifting are starting to push back a little bit more right so i'm pumped that our brand is i think a bit forward facing in that sense right saying what needs to be said quickly and efficiently you know in quote unquote snapchat version or twitter version right because no one wants to read long paragraphs of copy anymore.

Nobody has time anymore. We are very busy, especially marketers. You guys are always so busy. There's little bad hashtag, no bandwidth hashtag working late. Hashtag the hard stop.

ANNA ELIOT: Yeah. Hashtag got to go next meeting. I appreciate I feel seen right now, Chris.

CHRIS RACK: I do what I can. So we were also unique as well that our rebrand is, following a merger or the combination of two companies.

So we actually had two brands that have merged into our new singular brand, pharosIQ. Does that present any unique challenges from just a singular brand rebrand?

ANNA ELIOT: It really did. While our merger was, is, it just, it was like two puzzle pieces coming together. They're perfect for each other. It made sense. Our data story grew stronger. Our solutions capabilities are full funnel, like there's just so many things that were to the benefit that you would think it would be a little bit simpler, but there was a lot of learning a lot of. Fast, deep dive learning. I feel like I owe a lot of people of apologies because I hopped into interim meetings with them and said, I don't have time to meet you and learn about everything I need to know X, Y and Z right now.

So it did present its own challenges and also anywhere that there's product overlap within a merger. It's which messaging, which look and feel has maybe been more successful, which tactic has been more successful and how do we weigh that quickly? And bring it together for the best solution, the best foot forward.

CHRIS RACK: We’re a small team, nimble, small, but mighty, how did you find, how were you able to navigate such a big project, with such a small team,

ANNA ELIOT: Number one, having a small, amazing team. So Michael McGoldrick just knows everything about the industry is agile and things that he can jump into and manage and own and finish.

And Meg Houston is just fantastic with building up strategies for everything from tactical campaigns and really nuanced things that we want to have as an undercurrent of the brand to the larger lead and demand generation programs but bringing their brains together and those two regards and saying, okay, we need to know X, Y and Z and they just sprint.

Right, and can come back and report and be on point was key and then having a marketing operations individual who is willing to dive in and learn wholly new platforms, right? Because we're not only building a new brand and taking to market and merging the products and merging the stories and figuring out our new selves were also.

Integrating all of this technology stack and all of these workflows and, leads come in this way. Where do they route? How do we manage these? How do we set up the sales team for success? Without them, it would have been impossible.

CHRIS RACK: I know they're an amazing team, but I really just wanted to give you a chance to brag about how amazing they are with it. But did you use contractors at all? Were there any outsourced resources? I'm reading a lot of fractional, the fractional and consultant vibe is going around the B2B space right now. Everybody wants to be fractional. Did we leverage any of that or were we able to do most of the heavy lifting internally?

ANNA ELIOT: We were doing most of the heavy lifting internally where it does come to website development and design assistance. Yeah, we had to reach out and work with some vendors and some contractors, right? There's especially with design and sometimes with content, which we were fortunate to be able to power through ourselves.

This time around. But with design, this internal team is small and mighty, but we have full plates. So we worked with an amazing contractor to help us with a lot of our foundational design elements. And then our website development vendor has just been key in translating. The strategy and the positioning and the messaging and the look and feel that we were building right in our internal discussions and translating that into a website that is wholly unique, and has images that have never been used before and provided us with a skill set and a product that I feel I'm pretty excited about.

CHRIS RACK: So let's dive into some of the details, right? Tell us, why pharosIQ.

ANNA ELIOT: Why pharosIQ? It is one of the names that came out of conceptual brainstorming. I can't remember where that came from.

Do you?

CHRIS RACK: Good ideas always come from the most unique places.

ANNA ELIOT: Yes our marketing CEO, if anybody is wondering has great ideas all the time. But as a team, we did net through a lot of variations. We did inspect a lot of options around the concept of being a beacon of providing a guide of really helping to direct people in times of challenge.

Pharos, it's the lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the seven ancient wonders of the world. It has a strong and fascinating history, and it's withstood the test of time. We, it's still something that people are interested in and learn about.

And there's a lot of time, great reading material and stuff about that online and movies and so much stuff, but it just really translated well into our vision of what we want to become, which is we have this, Amazing information that helps us more efficiently and more precisely provide people with a solution, right?

And it translated so, so effortlessly for us that taking this. historical figure, so to speak, of a building and saying, we can apply that to us. We want to be, one of the seven wonders of the industry. We want to be disruptive. And it just worked, when the name came up and we figured out how to massage it so we could get a URL so we could figure out social media so we can figure out our branding.

It just felt right.

CHRIS RACK: For those who are wondering if these things are scripted, I can personally vouch that none of the questions that we've talked about were the ones that Anna sent me to ask for this. So I, which is, for me, probably the most exciting part about it, wrapping it up in a, in a unbeatable ring way, right? You know what's to come, right? What's to come from the pharosIQ brand going forward that our listeners other be to be marketers or those in the space can, be excited about from an unboring perspective.

ANNA ELIOT: We're. This is just a launch, Uh, we're. This is just a launch, right? This is, this is, we're breaking out into the market. We are really getting to start. Let me take a step back. Sorry. I'm going to try not to be too wordy.


ANNA ELIOT: Don't edit me. I can ramble. I don't care. I enjoy them.

CHRIS RACK: You're editing yourself.

ANNA ELIOT: I am editing myself. I'm going to leave all of this in. We were, we find ourselves in a really, I think, great position, right?

We're taking two great companies. We've merged them together. We are pulling together all of this great technology, all of these great solutions, all of these amazing teams, right? To make, to bring this to life. And now we have a brand that is wholly unique on the market. That has got a different voice.

It's got a different look, feel, taste. Right. It's going to behave differently. We are different than what B2B marketers and some B2B salespeople have typically encountered when working with it with a company that they think is like us. This has given us an opportunity to really tear everything down. To dive into everything that has that we've been doing individually as companies and and what we would potentially carry forward and say What is worth our time?

What where do we really need to be paying attention? What is our strategy that is going to help us communicate more efficiently and more beneficially for our target market? Uh that maybe we tested with maybe we did years ago. Maybe we've never done before and um Really start going to market with, I think a unique approach, right?

We've got these amazing bespoke events that we're going to be taking to market where we're not coming in to, you know, pitch you our products or, you know, provide you a meal while we talk at you, we're, we're coming to market with events that are truly captivating, that are insightful for, The attendees in our market that are, they're not just talking to sellers or marketers are talking to people who have their jobs or have the jobs they need to be connecting with to learn more about what makes them tick, what they care about, what they don't care about.

Right? So that event approach is something that is starting to permeate a lot of our go to market and that how can we care less about selling? How can we care more about helping? Guiding. How, how can our solutions make your life better, make you meet your goals, help you do more and better and free up your time?

Right. How can our messaging and our social media and our beat a boring podcast and brands provide value to you in your daily life, whether it be learning a new tip or trick, a new strategy, or learning about a solution you do want to buy, because I got to plug that right. Or, you know, just making fun of Anna Elliott talking too much.

CHRIS RACK: Right. It's across the board here. I mean, if that's the plan, I'm here for it every day of it. And I think, you know, we could do, we could probably create a secondary podcast where we, we talk and I ask you questions and make you talk too much. And then you get uncomfortable about talking too much. And then, um, and then I talk too much more and then you make fun of me.

And then it'll be, I mean, I think this is a win. Right. I really think we could take this next level going forward.

ANNA ELIOT: I don't think anybody is going to be interested in that. Uh, they're going to get real tired of me after the first 30 seconds.

CHRIS RACK: Well, I'm 10 years plus in, and I'm still hanging out, so kudos to you for that, but awesome.

Well, Anna, thank you so much for joining, um, you know, for our special self indulgent, interesting and exciting episode of B2Boring, where we're talking about, you know, not only our new brand, Ferris IQ, which we're massively pumped about and, and really looking forward to connecting that brand with all of the B2B marketing decision makers.

Across the globe, but also just talking a little bit about, you know, some of the nuances of one of the bigger projects that be to be marketers come across. So hopefully, um, we were able to, you know, I guess you would say open some of the, you know, the doors of like, how things happen and what you can expect and the problems that we had are the solutions, the things that we were going for.

So thank you all for joining us as usual. You can reach us at You can reach us on social media at pharosIQ. For all of you listening on your favorite podcast platform, whether it be Spotify, Apple Music, et cetera, um, you can find this at Be The Boring. Make sure to like, subscribe, um, check all those wonderful social media boxes that help people find us more frequently.

So I'm Christopher Rack. You can reach me at LinkedIn at Christopher Rack or find me at as well. We look forward to next week. Where we dive into more B2Boring. Thank you so much.

Thanks, Anna.