IBS-STL: sort-of rebranded at last

It’s been a slow train coming since we first heard it rumbling along the tracks back in March, but it looks as though the IBS-STL rebranding loco is at last rolling in towards the station with official announcements released to the press last month. A brief report appeared in the Church Times, 24 July, 2009, and a longer report in this month’s Christian Marketplace, where Keith Danby explains:

“After nine months we ended up with over thirty possible names and we decided to go with Biblica. That will be the global name – Biblica USA, Biblica UK, Biblica Africa etc.”

Danby also said that it had not been finally decided what to do with the subsidiary brands adding, “For the time being we’ll still carry on as STL Distribution, Authentic Media and Wesley Owen in the UK and OM Books in India.”

The story behind the new name reads, unfortunately, rather like a rehash of the software shenanigans we experienced from STL last year, with a team of consultants brought in to help the organisation get to grips with its identity crisis:

Biblica’s Global Chief Executive, Keith Danby, told Christian Marketplace, “When we started looking at the rebranding, in 2008, we brought together an internal cross-company, cross-cultural, crossfunction and cross-gender group to work with a professional firm of branding consultants. The brief was very simple: the name could not be International Bible Society nor could it be Send the Light and it must be something that refers to the Bible or to Scripture.

“Three months later they came back recommending the name should be: 1) A one-word name (if you have something that is multi-worded it gets squeezed down to an acronym), 2) A created word, a made-up name; i.e. Google or Yahoo or Ikea are now global brands, 3) The name should have B-I-B-L as the first four letters. 4) A word which works crossculturally – easily pronounceable around the world.

One hopes that the end result of using a borrowed name was negotiated under license by the branding consultants and is not due to someone forgetting to do their homework…

Published since 1920 by the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome, Biblica is a research journal and appears four times a year. It is dedicated to biblical studies on the Old and New Testament, and intertestamentary literature, and covers fields of reseach [sic], such as exegesis, philology, and history.