After 172 years representing the Maltese business community, The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry launched its rebranded visual identity last June, ushering it straight into the new decade and with an eye on the future.
As the architects behind the new branding, BPC International understood from the get-go the goals of The Malta Chamber’s rebranding. “The key requirement was to communicate that, with all its strengths as well as its notable and resilient history, the Chamber is nevertheless a forward-looking organisation that can take bold steps, modernise, and update its vision,” Managing Director David Brockdorff says, who orchestrated the work with his senior executive, Adam Brockdorff.
“In terms of a strategy, as the Chamber’s identity has always been synonymous with the classical winged figure of the ‘messenger of the gods’, we felt that Hermes should feature in the new identity,” the MD continues, adding that the visuals’ “tone of voice” – communicated through the colour palette and design language – was also of central importance.
Once the initial deliberations, and the preparatory phase, were concluded, the agency generated a number of “viable design routes”, which were discussed in detail with The Malta Chamber, and which “underwent a rigorous and objective assessment by key stakeholders.” Once the preferred choice was identified, the agency proceeded to refine and develop the identity, “till we arrived at the core visual DNA”, the Senior Executive continues. “With this in place, we then developed a set of comprehensive brand guidelines as a basis for all future development and application.”
The deadlines for the project were demanding, both insist, with “high client expectations, so the bar was set pretty high”. But, the principal challenge, they both say, was “developing a design which strikes the right balance between ‘established’ and ‘forward-looking’, as befitting an organisation that traces its roots back to 1848 and yet has its eyes firmly fixed on the future. The end result hopefully demonstrates we rose up to this.”
The new visual identity, according to the pair, sends an “unequivocal signal that, not only is The Malta Chamber here to stay, but it has also embarked on an ambitious process of transformation to ensure its ongoing relevance in a rapidly evolving world and business environment.”
To this end, it will further serve, in BPC’s view, to help The Malta Chamber attract new members and audiences, as well as consolidate its position in the very heart of Malta’s business community. “The Malta Chamber is now hopefully able to speak with a stronger and more strident voice at a time when this is very much needed,” the Managing Director underlines.
On the operational side of The Malta Chamber’s rebranding exercise, Chris Vassallo Cesareo and Liz Barbaro Sant – both members of the organisation’s Board of Management which formed part of the committee overseeing the new visual identity – underline the hard work which went into achieving a result which will, in Mr Vassallo Cesareo’s words, “stand the test of time.”
For while the project, Mr Vassallo Cesareo says, took a number of weeks to be successfully delivered, it “fulfilled all the ambitions of our organisation” and was updated with an eye to ensure the continued relevance of the entity to Malta’s business community. “Throughout the process we were sensitive to respect, and not overlook, the 172-year history of the organisation, which sets it apart from others in Malta. At the same time, we also made sure to update the visual identity to something which is relatable to new audiences. The end result did just that,” he says.
On her end, Ms Barbaro Sant concurs, saying that the rebranding was necessary “to modernise our brand to better communicate our relevance in the current digital world and attract new businesses to our community – but not at the expense of our existing members.” In line with this philosophy, a logo was created to work on both social media and traditional channels, with the overall look designed to further reflect the members’ sense of professionalism.
“From the positive feedback I have received, this has been achieved. We needed to ensure that we communicate our independence, and our belief in that we are stronger together in a business community rather than in isolation and that we are not a governmental body. Our Chamber is the voice of business,” she affirms.