As a marketing and branding agency that’s been serving the Southeast and Midwest for the past decade, the Greenville-based company formerly known as Crawford Strategy has decided it’s time for a revaluation.
That’s includes a more streamlined name: Crawford.
“After 10 years, we realized we don’t really need to say the word ‘strategy’ anymore,” said Crawford president Andy Windham.
With a growing trend of ubiquitous brands simplifying their names — Kentucky Fried Chicken becoming KFC, Dairy Queen now DQ, and (perhaps most controversially) Dunkin’ Donuts becoming Dunkin’ — it could be argued that Crawford’s move to pare down its name reflects a greater confidence in its own recognition.
While that’s not necessarily untrue, the actual rationale behind the rebranding was a desire to better reflect the company as it is today, according to founder and CEO Marion Crawford.
“When I started the company 10 years ago, it was me and two other employees,” Crawford said. “We’re a totally different company now — a team of more than 30 people delivering not only strategy, but also creative and digital and execution, so it made sense to take advantage of this 10-year mark to let people know we are, in fact, a different company than we once were.”
Ranked the 11th Best Place to Work in South Carolina by the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, Crawford has grown since its founding in 2010 into a full-service team of writers, graphic and web designers, digital strategists, media planners, account managers and PR professionals. Crawford has also focused on community outreach, having recently established the Courage in Communications Annual Scholarship at University of South Carolina-Upstate.
But it’s not just the company that’s grown with age; so have its leaders.
“Say what you will about aging, but there’s one great benefit to getting older, and that’s experience,” Windham said. “I’ve worked with clients through 9/11, through hurricanes, economic crises, you name it. When times are good, you have to be creative, but when times are tough, you really have to be creative.”
Even in good times, one out of five businesses fail within the first two years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. By the 10-year mark, those odds get even worse, with two out of three businesses closing their doors.
Beating the odds and making it to the decade mark is one thing, but for that year to be 2020 (hardly a celebratory moment for most businesses) means the team at Crawford hasn’t had much time for nostalgic navel-gazing.
But in that regard, something as simple as removing a word from the company’s name can have its symbolism, too — a refresh of sorts, a way of starting again, streamlined, in whatever this new business climate might be in the coming years.
“Even before the unexpected events of 2020, our team has consistently demonstrated courage when faced with challenges,” Windham said. “We’re proud to build upon that foundation for our next decade.”