Interim becomes Spherion to reflect shift in services

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It was a year in the making, but on July 7, Interim Services becomes Spherion, thanks to some internal soul searching and a little help from the company's marketing partners: Crispin Porter & Bogusky and Landor Associates.

Last year, then-named Interim teamed up with Miami-based Crispin and New York-based Landor to create a new identity, Web site and marketing message. The goal: Show consumers that the once traditional staffing organization had transitioned to a global business organization with diverse offerings.


"These guys are a classic example of a company that outgrows their brand," said Crispin Chairman Chuck Porter.

The company's former name, Interim Services, pegged it as just a temporary services organization, said Spherion VP-Marketing Jose Aragon. In fact, only half of the company's $3.8 billion in revenue results from its commercial staffing practice, he said. The other revenue comes from services such as technology infrastructure and consulting.

Interim has been a client of Crispin's since 1991. But last summer, it approached the agency about working on the rebranding effort. Crispin began shooting the new campaign last week, with newspaper ads and cable TV spots slated to break in July. The $5 million to $10 million effort will carry the theme "Workforce architects."

The company also has a new tagline: "We are Spherion. Building talent, technology and outsourcing solutions."

"This brand change is to reflect what we've been doing as an organization for some time," Mr. Aragon said. "It's to better express to the world -- both [job] candidates and clients -- that we're much more than a commercial staffing company."

The former name "entombed them" with one brand identity, he explained, while the new name, Spherion, is much more open-ended.

Landor was pulled into the process last fall to help create the new brand identity. The company generated more than 900 possible monikers, and after checking through legal and translation obstacles, the list was whittled down to fewer than 10 candidates.


Since the company has 1,000 offices in more than 12 countries, possible names also had to be checked and rechecked through both internal and external research to determine possible negative translations or meanings. In addition, the final selection had to make it past executives' individual opinions. "It's like naming a kid," Mr. Porter said. "It becomes a subjective thing."

Separately, Crispin will also create new online work to promote Spherion's Internet job site ( That advertising carries the theme: "There are 20 million jobs out there but just one CareerZone."

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