a Branding Agency

Part I: How Updating Our Brand After 10 Years was Evolutionary

In the fall of 2009, our founders Mitch Lewis and Theresa Long dreamt of all the things they wanted for the agency they were planning to launch. They set out to build an agency that combined the best of their own personal experiences working in the marketing and advertising industry for decades with new thinking and business concepts that they felt were missing. They went through 100 different possible names for what they’d call the agency, and even more brand concepts, because after all, branding a “branding” agency was no small task.

After much deliberation, Focal Point Marketing & Multimedia was born at the start of 2010.

Our agency launched during a time where new technology was emerging, and the industry standard was evolving. Cameras, lighting, desktop publishing and editing software—all the tools of the trade were advancing—hence the “multimedia” part of our name. The problem was (as we’d come to find out) that multimedia was a term that no one really understood. It was too broad, and maybe a little too old school.

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FP Originals

Mitch, Theresa and Tom in 2010

FPM staff 2010 - Rebranding a Branding Agency: Part I
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Business Partners

That’s it. But we still share the love (pre-social distancing photo op).


It was time to put our own imprint on the brand, while staying true to what made our company a fixture of the Tri-Cities.

Fast forward to 2019, when new owners Derek Nelson and I were looking to lead Focal Point into the next decade. Our agency had changed a lot over that time. Multimedia was a term that just wasn’t sufficient anymore. Digital advertising and marketing, including the behemoth that is social media, has become part of the industry standard. It was clear that part of our vision for the future, among other things, would include a subtle name change. FOCAL POINT was here to stay, but we knew that it was time to put our own personality and imprint on the brand, while staying true to what made our company a creative fixture of the Tri-Cities community.

The Name

So, there we were, ready to retool our name and visual identity to better reflect where we were at this point in our careers and as a modern agency. At first, it was a little awkward and uncomfortable. We questioned traditions and pushed the boundaries of what we’d spent the last decade building. How would we meld the old and the new? Sitting across the proverbial table, treating ourselves as the “client” as we went through our branding process, with ourselves, was challenging but also invigorating.

Going round and round with our team, we kept coming back to what makes Focal Point, Focal Point? First and foremost, we’d built a reputation on our creative prowess, so we knew CREATIVE needed to be a major part moving forward. It was also the defining characteristic of what both Derek and I brought to the company. Then, operating as a full-service agency, we realized everything (and we mean EVERYTHING) came down to enhancing our clients’ brand: brand development, brand identity, brand collateral, brand story, and so on. Separately, digital services had become one of our core offerings that was a category unto itself.


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FP team 10years 5x7 - Rebranding a Branding Agency: Part I
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The Team

Celebrating our 10th anniversary. 

As we fleshed out these details, the picture was becoming clearer and our hard work had revealed the answer to what made Focal Point, Focal Point. We dropped the marketing and multimedia and, for puns’ sake, focused on brand, digital and creative—our pillars for doing what we do. We still provide marketing services, in one way or another. We still work with a variety of media. But BRAND, DIGITAL and CREATIVE told a much better story for the agency we had become and strive to be.

All that remained was FOCAL POINT. And for us, that was enough.


Coming Soon: Part II!

Check back for details




Thomas Manley has been crafting successful brands for over fifteen years, specializing in art direction, brand development and strategy, copywriting, and graphic and web design. He combines strategy, creativity, and design savvy to provide high-impact solutions that meet client objectives. His work has been known to have clients high-fiving and chest-bumping when all was said and done.