In This Together Media (ITTM) is a progressive media company that champions stories for children, teens and young adults featuring diverse characters. They create books and films that represent all people, including characters that are gay, black, female, and/or transgender. Beyond just featuring them as characters, In This Together Media wants them to be the stars of the stories, inspiring others who relate to them to truly be who they are – with confidence and power.

Founded in 2012, In This Together Media gained attention quickly for its unique approach to storytelling and for successfully self-funding their first books. Since then, they’ve produced 24 books, sold foreign rights for a number of them, have two movie adaptations in production, and several concepts currently in development.

As more opportunities began to unfold for them, In This Together Media realized they needed to upgrade the company’s look to better represent their brand persona. Their previous brand didn’t quite capture the influence and relevance they have in today’s publishing market (a market worth $15 billion and growing). It didn’t convey their ability to bring blank pages to life with lively tales of layered, complex characters with unique personalities and interesting perspectives.

In December 2015, Brandekko started our engagement with In This Together Media and over several months, we developed an identity for this innovative media client that now matches their personality. Here’s how we did it:

Phase 1: Strategy

Step One: Thought Provokers

We have all clients complete our proprietary Thought Provokers exercise. It’s a series of questions that allow us to collect a client’s feedback on what their brand is today and thoughts about what it could and should be in the future.

Step Two: Strategic Planning

Using the information from the Thought Provokers exercise, we began to develop a strategy for reshaping ITTM’s brand to better represent their values and goals. In this case, we needed to find a way to be all of these things: simple, bold, confident, strong, positive, inclusive, creative and innovative. And we needed to make sure we took into account their opinion of what “good” looks like, the way they are currently perceived in the market, their traction within that market, and the potential to expand their traction and penetrate new markets.

Phase 2: Design

At the client’s request, we began by trying to simply modernize their existing logo by updating the typography. We quickly realized that we needed to take a more transformative approach. We came up with the boxed-in, typography-based logo because it’s simple (black and white — an homage to their original passion of ink on paper), stamp-like (they can literally put their mark on all of their unique books and films entering the market), and it’s powerful without being overwhelming.

To complement the simple, black-and-white logo, we created a color palette that includes different shades, temperatures, and boldness — because people vary in those ways, too. We carefully selected imagery that features real, diverse, interesting, natural people — like those you will find in their books and films. To round out the brand, we developed messaging that is honest, casual and conversational. The tone is smart and witty, but approachable and inclusive.

Old logo, alternate concepts and final logo design

“The stars of these books swear, struggle, and generally act like real teens. In This Together Media aims to offer stories with more diverse and realistic representation of kids, especially girls.”

– FAST COMPANY
Reaction to the brand

While the client is “over the moon” with what we created, what’s more rewarding is that their audience has reacted well to the rebrand and resulting materials.

“This is most beautiful investor deck we’ve ever seen.”

– Potential Investor

“Your new website makes you seem like a new and massively improved company.”

– Web Visitor
social engagement

We created a series of thought-provoking messages to drive awareness and dialog about social issues.

Phase 3: Execution

With a brand fully developed, we needed to get some materials into ITTM’s hands. We started with business cards, carrying their logo, colors, typography and symbols throughout the design. Next, we created a comprehensive investor deck with compelling quantitative and qualitative data that illustrate the lack of diversity in media and the need for In This Together Media. Take a look at some of the staggering facts:

  • 11% OF CHARACTERS Of the 3,000 books released in 2014, only 330 featured minority characters
  • 86% OF SPENDING Multicultural consumers will drive the majority of spending growth
  • 9% GROWTH Children and young adult is the largest growing category

When we approached their new website, we wanted to bring together all the elements through a dynamic and engaging interface. We incorporated the story elements of the market today and why ITTM is desperately needed in the industry. Balanced by their diverse writers and contributors, the new website showcases their mantra: every story counts.

Phase 4: Awareness

In this thing called life, where we need to advocate for equality, we are #inthistogether. We created a social campaign that addresses relevant social issues where equality and diversity are lacking. As ITTM works to develop representation in media for all types of skin color, ethnicity, sexual orientation, economic status and gender, they lead the charge by speaking up on their behalf.

View of the new website design
Slides from In This Together Media’s Investor Deck

“Brandekko transformed our brand in a matter of weeks. From logo, to tagline, to investment deck, they did it fast, creatively and with a terrific sense of humor. The icing on top – they did it within budget. We’d sing Brandekko’s praises from every mountaintop!”

Saira RaoCo-Founder

Tangible Results

The #inthistogether equality campaign drives high engagement with fans and followers of their social channels, and has even been shared by celebrities and other known advocates. Over 35% of their web traffic is from social engagement, so we ensure their messaging is consistent across channels.

Since the launch of the new site, ITTM has consistently received steady web traffic, with more than 80% coming from unique, first time visitors. Nearly 35% of their web traffic is derived from organic search, meaning Google’s bots are picking up relevant content from the site to match what their audience is looking for. And, because 40% of visitors viewing the site on their phone or tablet, we optimized the site for performance across various devices.