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Rebranding one of the largest on-demand digital manufacturing platforms in North America
Fathom Manufacturing is a leader in advanced rapid prototyping and on-demand production services, with the ability to produce precise industrial components in as little as a day.
Fathom’s 3D manufacturing process is used by some of the largest Fortune 500 companies in the US. Fathom started as a single location just outside of Milwaukee, WI and now has 12 facilities offering more than 25 different production processes.
Fathom has extensive expertise in both additive and traditional manufacturing, enabling their agile, technology-agnostic platform to blend manufacturing technologies and processes to deliver hybridised solutions designed to meet the specific needs of their customers. Their flexible problem-solving approach accelerates product development cycles and reduces manufacturing lead times for low- to mid-volume production. Their differentiated strategy focuses on speed, problem solving, and adaptive technical responsiveness, shortening production cycles from months to days. In this way, Fathom is leading supply chain transformation.
The company has an impressive range of capabilities including 3D printing, injection moulding, sheet metal prototyping and CNC machining. It needed a cohesive brand to integrate its previous acquisitions while celebrating the identities of the company’s local branches.
Our design experts at Astro Studios, part of PA Consulting, brought branding, industrial design, and stakeholder management skills to this rebrand.
The new identity Fathom developed in tandem with our team supports its fast-paced growth trajectory, with the company officially going public on the New York Stock Exchange in December 2021.
Developed a new brand that integrated five newly acquired firms into one parent company
Created sub-branding to differentiate and celebrate local corporate branches
Conceived an identity that supported Fathom’s float on the New York Stock Exchange
The Fathom brand needed to evoke Fathom’s modern growth ambitions and diverse manufacturing capabilities while exemplifying its greatest asset: the skilled and experienced people that work here.
Digital manufacturing, which uses computer-based modelling and simulations to find the right manufacturing processes for each project, is poised for fast-paced growth from $270 billion in 2020 to $1.30 trillion by 2030. In addition, many US companies are seeking to relocate some elements of their supply chain closer to home. This “reshoring” effort allows them to increase their partners’ speed to market and strengthens their business continuity by bringing manufacturing capabilities and capacity closer to customers.
Fathom Manufacturing, a leader in advanced rapid prototyping and on-demand production services, wanted to capture more business by increasing its manufacturing capabilities tenfold. Fathom had grown its footprint to 12 facilities across the US which specialise in 25 different manufacturing processes. Skilled teams can turn around projects in as little as 24 hours to meet customers’ just-in-time manufacturing requirements for precision parts.
As the company expanded through acquisitions, Fathom’s leadership realised they needed to refresh the brand. This would be a way of welcoming its acquisitions and new staff into the fold, and of positioning the firm for continued growth by demonstrating the breadth of its offerings and capabilities.
As part of our process, we developed brand values, pillars that all employees should live by, and brand language, which everyone could use to communicate consistently about the company and its direction.
Our design experts at Astro Studios, part of PA Consulting, had worked with Fathom before, developing product prototypes. Astro Studios also built brands in-house previously, providing deep insight into the branding requirements of fast-growing companies.
The team brought branding, industrial design, and stakeholder management skills to this project. Because of the strategic nature of the initiative, we partnered directly with the board of directors, company co-founder and incoming C-suite of the companies involved. The process was extremely collaborative, with bi-weekly check-ins with leadership and supporting other needs, like developing a pitch deck for investors.
The joint team began by researching competitors, the market opportunity, and the company’s culture, current identity, and marketing tools. Part of this research was a tour of the company’s Oakland, California manufacturing plant to see its state-of-the-art machinery and the products staff produced.
Background research informed the team’s recommendations for how Fathom should position itself visually to communicate the company’s shared vision and expanded business model. Mood boards were used to gauge stakeholders’ feelings about possible directions for developing the company’s identity.
Once the direction was set, the team developed three options for the new identity: one built on the company’s current brand, and two with a ‘futuristic’ feel. The company’s leaders agreed that evolving the current brand would work best for the companies joining the Fathom family
The new brand included a series of word marks, symbols, icons, and a colour palette. Together with Fathom, we developed brand guidelines which demonstrated how the identity should be used across channels, including the company’s website, marketing posters, billboards, packaging, vehicle wraps and more.
To preserve a sense of the different sites’ individuality, Fathom created a series of icons that feature the Fathom brand and local landmarks. For example, the Oakland site’s badge showed the Golden Gate Bridge, the Seattle site featured redwood streets, and the Hartland, Wisconsin site’s badge showed a canoe.
As a final step, the team refreshed company assets to prepare for a brand launch. With Fathom leading, we created internal marketing materials, developed brand merchandise with the sites’ icons, and handed off the brand toolkit to the company’s design team to implement.
The new brand will support our company’s growth as we grow market share and integrate other companies from our pipeline of potential acquisitions.
Fathom has since experienced fast-paced growth and successfully went public at a $1.5 billion valuation via a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) merger. The company is leveraging its unified identity and brand language to communicate its vision with investors, the media, analysts, and other key audiences.