As with Dole, the W.M. Barr company in Memphis,
Tenn., came to a crossroads as the audience changed
for its lines of paint thinners, specialty cleaners,
strippers, and solvents. This was a gradual shift,
from a specialized group of building contractors
toward a broader audience of hobbyists and DIYers.
Before this realization, W.M. Barr’s products had
evolved without a strong relationship between categories.
There was also no real hierarchy of product
information on the package, which meant that the
packages could drive away home improvement novices
trying to educate themselves.
Proteus developed a
new brand architecture for Barr’s product lines that
visually connects the three lines while categorizing
them according to their purposes.
It’s not easy for companies to admit that what
they’ve been doing is simply not working. When they
do face facts, though, they open the door to the possibility
of tossing out much of their equity in favor of
a radical new approach.