Rebranding Your SME? Brian O’Reilly of Fusion Events Shares His Experience


Are you considering rebranding your SME? Events company MD Brian O’Reilly explains why he took his established, popular, successful firm – and completely rebranded it.

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Brian O’Reilly has been organising entertainment and events across Ireland and Europe for nearly 20 years. In that time his company secured a long and impressive list of satisfied customers including Primark, Aviva, Standard Life, Allergan and Microsoft.

But despite such high-profile clients, a well-known name and broadening out his excellent reputation into event management, O’Reilly recently took the decision to completely rebrand his Dublin-based company with a new name and bright logo.

But a rebrand is about more than names and colours, as he explains. We asked him what it involved, why did he do it – and why now?

What is the new brand – and what does it stand for?

“We are now Fusion Events, and our mission is to create extraordinary experiences! We wanted something that reflects us as a full-service events company, that represents all the services we provide and integrates them to give our clients amazing experiences.

“The name Fusion represents the way we combine our expertise and service. A colourful logo was important to us – we wanted each colour to reflect a positive and fun experience. They represent these on their own – blue is event management, red is the entertainment division, purple is team-building, orange is activation, yellow venue management and green conference management – but put together, the whole is more than the sum of the parts.”

Why did you rebrand now?

“Quite simply, we’d outgrown the old brand. We originally established as an entertainments supplier, which is still one of our core competencies, but responding to client requirements quickly moved us into full event management, team-building, activations, venue and destination management, and conferencing. Our previous identity didn’t reflect that.

“We took the decision very seriously. Our previous brand was unique and recognisable so the first challenge was asking ourselves, ‘Why change?’ We had a solid, 20-year reputation and wanted to protect our heritage. But this isn’t just names and colours, but an opportunity to take a step back and look at the whole business. As an owner-manager of an SME, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day activities of the business, so I regularly set aside time to look at the direction of the organisation and where I want it to go.

“Change can be healthy for a business, but it has to be planned right. We were looking at ways to improve our clients’ journey with us – how we could make our operations more efficient to make their experience easier – so it seemed the right time to rebrand. It was an excellent strategy development exercise to look at our direction of travel and our values – and we needed a brand that reflected where we are and where we’re going.”

Recommended reading: Why Preparation is Key When Building a Brand

What did the process involve?

“It actually began a few years ago when we tested the water by implementing a soft rebrand – I’d started the business in 2000 as Monte Carlo Entertainment and we changed our name to a more contemporary MCE, which went very well. But this was always a stepping stone, and its success motivated us to go for the full rebrand.

“We brought in a branding agency, The Smart Group, and undertook a lot of research, externally with our clients and the public, but also internally – it’s vital that you bring everyone with you.”

Changing a brand identity can be very costly – how do you justify that cost? What makes it worth the money?

“Our rebrand was indeed costly, both financially and in the time we took to do it – we spent a huge number of hours on the process. And of course there’s never time in a busy SME, so we had to make time. But it was vital we did – and vital to get it exactly right.

“The benefit is a colourful, vibrant brand, and the name Fusion truly reflects our integrated services. Our clients have reacted really positively, and hopefully the vibrancy and energy of it will attract lot of new business.

“We learned so much about ourselves, and gained so many insights that improved our business… All of this makes the rebrand worth considerably more than all the time and money spent on it”

Brian O’Reilly, managing director, Fusion Events

“But you don’t value a rebrand with just a direct link to the bottom line. By approaching it as a strategy overhaul, the whole process involved a number of hugely valuable business exercises – strategy development, operational and system improvements, technological updates. We learned so much about ourselves, and gained so many insights that improved our business – not reinventing ourselves, but building on the things we’ve done well.

“But more than that, examining our own business and a company such as ours pulling our socks up even more helps to raise standards in the industry as a whole. All of this makes the rebrand worth considerably more than all the time and money spent on it.”

What advice would you give to other SME businesses considering a rebrand?

“Don’t rush – a rebrand is a major change and needs careful consideration. Do your research – look at the landscape outside your own business and how you fit into it, and then research internally, and consult honestly and openly. Your team are your brand’s ambassadors.

“You also need to be prepared to ‘kill your darlings’. You’ve worked so hard developing your current brand, but you may need to let some of it go. Make this an opportunity to really examine and dissect your business – and future-proof it.

“Don’t be afraid to get external help – but, ultimately, you know your business inside out, and go with your gut. Above all, don’t settle, or say ‘That will do’. Keep going until you get it right. It may take a while, but the end result is worth it. Then you can, like us, nail your new colours to the mast!”

Recommended reading: Why Businesses Need A Strong Brand Strategy

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