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Why Does an Agency Change Its Name After 19 Years?

Here’s what I know for certain: I love building things.

For example: When we moved our company into our current office building about three years ago — a building, I should mention humbly, that I helped design and construct — there was a big blank space in the kitchen area. It needed a table. And yes, sure, we could’ve gone to IKEA and plucked out something simple and hip.

But why buy when you can build? So instead, the next weekend, I built a table.

It’s a metal behemoth with a glass top, under which I patterned our business cards in diagonal stripes:

We needed a table for our new offices. So I built it.

Yep, I love building stuff.

TradeMark Media is, without a doubt, the greatest thing I’ve ever built. 

TradeMark Media is, without a doubt, the greatest thing I’ve ever built.

I started this company when I was a college student in 1999. I’d learned some basic HTML code and started helping family friends create websites for their businesses. Nothing fancy. Just a few “brochure” sites. (My first paying client was “Wet Willie Waterslides.”) 

HTML was just another way to build something.

Soon, it became clear that this little side business had real momentum. The Internet was exploding in all directions at once, and everyone — from Fortune 100 companies to stay-at-home bloggers — needed a great presence online. Web design and development offered a creative, strategic, fulfilling, and potentially lucrative opportunity.

So I jumped in, feet first. It was time to make this company official.

Where did the name “TradeMark Media” come from?

Around 2002, when I turned my apartment-based operation into a brick-and-mortar company and officially incorporated, I needed a name.

“Media” was a popular term for describing almost anything on the Internet. (Remember, this was in the heyday of Napster and AudioGalaxy, when “media” literally meant media.)

The word “TradeMark” seemed cool, somehow. I remember being pleased with myself for its double-meaning — i.e., “If you hire me, you’ll really make your mark.” And capitalizing the “M” smack dab in the middle of the word? That was just cool.

I was the sole full-time employee. I was the CEO, the sales team, the HR guy, and the PR agency — all wrapped up into a newly-graduated entrepreneur.

Fast forward about 15 years. TradeMark Media has grown in countless ways: two dozen staff, long-term clients, big accounts, awards won, weddings, babies, etc.

Suffice to say, the first 19 years of our company have unfolded almost perfectly.

So I’ve decided to shake things up a bit.

The old carpenter’s canard of “measure twice, cut once” is true, and I’ve always enjoyed getting things right the first time. But despite our rapid growth and expanding portfolio (or maybe because of it), I decided in 2016 that TradeMark Media needed an injection of creativity. We built amazing websites, we just needed to make sure we filled those websites with compelling designs, messages, words, and images.

So in 2016, we acquired Creative Suitcase — one of Austin’s hippest, savviest creative agencies. Our services expanded instantly. We went from being, more-or-less, a “digital agency” to becoming a team of professional communicators who can help any organization think and talk about themselves anew.

We’re brand strategists. We’re website designers. We’re illustrators and researchers and online marketing weirdos. Simply put, over the last two years, TradeMark Media has transformed from a web shop into a full-scale branding and marketing agency.

That kind of transformation demands a name change.

I’m thrilled to introduce you to our new name and brand:

Why this name?

1. Because we love the notion of “mighty.” It’s a Texas-y word, isn’t it? It suggests something bursting with potential. Mighty people are strong, brave, aspirational. In a world of infinite distractions and challenges, the mighty can achieve greatness.

2. We are citizens. You, me, all of us. We live in a neighborhood, a community, a state, a country. We have duties — to ourselves, our families, our neighbors. We are connected to the world in countless ways. Citizens connect. Citizens feel. Citizens empathize. Citizens build.

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The combination of these two words — Mighty Citizen — encapsulates everything this company has ever been about. 

We are mighty. Our clients are mighty. We are citizens. Our clients are citizens.

A focus on mission-driven organizations

As Mighty Citizen, our focus will be on branding and digital transformation for mission-driven organizations — including nonprofits, higher education, associations, and government agencies.

This focus is a natural next step for our company. For many years now, the majority of our clients have hailed from these four key audiences. After working with hundreds of mission-focused organizations, we’ve developed a real expertise. We know the uniqueness of their purpose, the subtle dynamics of the challenges they face, and what separates a great mission-driven organization from one struggling to stay relevant.

Our expertise in mission-focused branding, marketing, and technology means our clients receive smart solutions without the hassle of “breaking in” a new agency. We hit the ground running.

So, I’m happy to present not just a new name, but a new identity.

But ultimately, this isn’t really about us at all. It’s about you. It’s about the world you hope to help create. Over the coming months and years, we will prove just how much we believe in you — your potential, your goals, your passion. 

Your might is our mission.
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