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Company anniversaries: A time to assess your legacy and your brand

Posted on Categories BrandonomicsTags

Anniversaries are a great time to take stock of company legacy and rethink the brand moving forward. Glenn Taylor, Chief Marketing Officer for the Houston Symphony, talks about why the centennial is the perfect time for their rebrand.

Robin: Hello and welcome to this edition of Brandonomics, an inside look at top brands and their marketing strategies. I’m Robin Tooms, Vice President of Strategy at Savage Brands. My guest today is Glen Taylor, Chief Marketing Officer at the Houston Symphony. So Glen, welcome to Brandonomics.

Glenn: Thank you, Robin. Great to be here.

Robin: Well it’s exciting you’re here because this is the year of the Houston Symphony’s centennial.

Glenn: That’s right.

Robin: Which, in addition to celebrating that, you’re also rebranding. So tell me, what prompted the idea of a rebrand right now?

Glenn: Well, I think there are only a few opportunities that a well-established arts organization feels that it’s right to rebrand, and we really felt that this was a great opportunity to capitalize on that. It’s our centennial. It’s a 100th-year anniversary. That’s a time when an organization kind of takes stock, looks internally and also looks to the future about what’s possible and how do we grow. So it was a mix of internally we felt like we had kind of moved beyond our previous brand identity, but also externally we knew that in our financial plan, we needed to grow by leaps and bounds to sort of propel the symphony into a more sustainable model moving forward. So we thought, this is the perfect opportunity. This will really help maximize the centennial.

Also we needed to be more aspirational. The previous brand was kind of in the past. So to stretch the organization forward, we wanted to really kind of take advantage of that.

Robin: Yeah, and it’s good because it sounds like they were really – you were really taking the long term view of this, how to make the next 100 years successful. But there’s also probably some short-term changes you needed to convey at the same time. So what were some of those?

Glenn: Yeah, in addition to the centennial we knew that we were going to be having some new artistic leadership. Our previous music director who was basically the head conductor of the symphony had been with the symphony here for 12 years, which is kind of a long time actually for a standard music director. His moving on to the next thing was kind of timed around the centennial so that we could kind of have a kind of three-tier strategy: the last season of our current music director, then our centennial season kind of in the middle, and then the next season being the first of a new music director. Not only looking into the next century, but also with new artistic leadership; we wanted to adjust the brand to incorporate that piece.

Robin: Okay. Well, thank you for sharing that brand strategy with us.

Glenn: You’re welcome.

Robin: This has been another edition of Brandonomics, an inside look at top brands and their marketing strategies.


The mission of the Houston Symphony is to inspire and to enrich the lives of Houston’s diverse citizenry through outstanding symphonic music performed by our great orchestra. For 100 years, The Houston Symphony has upheld this mission.

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