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Celebrating a 100-Year Remarkable Legacy

Arkay partnered with History Factory to transform its brand identity, capture its family history and chart the way for the next century of business. We delivered:

  • An oral history program capturing the company’s institutional memory from three generations of family leadership
  • A visual identity rooted in the founder’s signature, reinforcing the company’s heritage and its personal approach to customer relationships
  • A full video suite featuring an award-winning video commemorating the company’s 100-year history

Arkay, a third-generation family-owned and -operated high-end printing and packaging manufacturer, was approaching a century in business. Mitchell Kaneff, the company’s CEO and grandson of its founder, knew that its website and brand needed an update. He wanted an opportunity to leverage the company’s anniversary to launch a new brand identity that would allow for future growth into other areas of business. He also wanted to memorialize the legacy of his father, Howard Kaneff, as a testament to the latter’s leadership. The goal was to use Arkay’s anniversary as a platform for the next generation of family leadership and a way to inspire stakeholders regarding the future of the business.

Launching a New Brand for a New Century

Arkay had long wanted to launch a brand refresh, including its brand positioning and value proposition, as well as a logo and website redesign befitting a high-end luxury goods packaging company. As its centennial approached, Arkay began its anniversary and rebranding journey with History Factory at The Anniversary Marketing Summit, an annual History Factory–sponsored event for executives planning and executing upcoming company or brand milestones. There, members of Arkay’s executive team heard about how some of the world’s leading brands had used their anniversaries as springboards to launch new initiatives—similar to what Arkay hoped to do with its centennial.

Arkay set out to rebuild its brand and identity from the ground up. The branding exercise began with an in-depth market analysis. Our research team deployed a multipronged analysis, including a competitive landscape analysis and stakeholder interviews of employees, longtime partners, suppliers and clients, to get a feel for the company’s operations. Our creative and design teams conducted visual branding exercises and archival research into Arkay’s history and iconography to look for authentic visual expressions that we could adapt and bring forward in the brand’s new identity.

The resulting rebrand was transformative for Arkay. Its new positioning, ”Remarkably Different,” was accompanied by a new company name—shortened from Arkay Packaging to simply “Arkay.” This subtle yet important name change reflected the possibility of expanding beyond packaging in the future. We created a new logo for the organization based on the signature of Arkay founder Max Kaneff, the current CEO’s grandfather, a unique and nostalgic representation of the brand and its family history alike.

This logo became the cornerstone of Arkay’s newly designed website, featuring high-color, high-resolution, eye-catching photography of the company’s work. The site also includes a new company history and timeline telling the 100-year story of the family business and leveraging multimedia elements in a visually rich and engaging way—just one of the benefits of a dedicated anniversary website.

With the rebrand in place, Arkay could now leverage the new identity and feature it in the suite of content supporting its anniversary.

Storytelling for the Centennial

Telling Arkay’s story required a series of video projects that captured a multidimensional perspective of the company’s 100 years in business. Appealing to the perspectives of Arkay’s clients, employees, family members and company leadership, History Factory and Arkay started this process by creating core content pillars focused on the company’s people, clients, and communities.

CEO Mitchell Kaneff wanted to capture the wisdom of his father, longtime company leader Howard Kaneff, in order to preserve the latter’s memories of the company and institutional knowledge. An oral history program including sessions with Howard Kaneff and Mitchell Kaneff’s sons rounded out four generations of the family-run business—past, present and future.

In addition to the oral history sessions, we recorded on-location B-roll and interviews with employees and customers. This footage formed the basis for a suite of videos highlighting the company’s vision, mission and values, as well as its two locations in Hauppauge, New York, and Roanoke, Virginia. These videos now appear on Arkay’s website to tell the story of how it differentiates itself from competitors.

The second component of the storytelling work was a documentary-style film centered on CEO Mitchell Kaneff writing a letter to his grandfather. Narrated by Mitchell Kaneff as if he was writing the letter in real time, the video—featuring a mixture of high-end animation, archival assets and purpose-shot footage—highlights the history of the family and company while charting a trajectory for the future. The emotional homage to the company’s history won Silver Honors from the Baltimore Addys in several categories and was featured in the company’s 100th anniversary gala at the iconic Rainbow Room at the top of Rockefeller Center in New York.

The final video series was a roundtable discussion series featuring leaders from the organization. Telling Arkay’s story from the perspectives of those most involved in the company’s growth, each episode approaches a different topic of relevance to the organization’s history. These interviews and subsequent videos served as a way to pay homage to and record the living memory of longtime Arkay principals, reinforcing the bonds formed during decades of work together.

A Remarkable Legacy

All of these efforts—the rebrand, website, new logo and video series—took on additional significance following the passing of Howard Kaneff just a few months after the premiere of the documentary-style video. Following the anniversary, Arkay took on a new sense of shared purpose and identity. Throughout the filming process, the company engaged and featured its staff, bringing a sense of pride to the organization and the family that runs it. Arkay finished its centennial year on stronger footing, able to communicate the Arkay difference more effectively to existing and potential partners and clients.

“Becoming involved with the History Factory was one of the most fortunate—and smartest—decisions I ever made.”

— Mitchell Kaneff, CEO

Bringing things full circle, Mitchell Kaneff presented learnings from Arkay’s anniversary journey to The Anniversary Marketing Summit following the conclusion of the company’s anniversary year. There, he shared insights from the multiyear engagement with other organizations about to embark on their own anniversary journeys.

Want to use your organization’s major milestone to kick off a new identity or era—or highlight the legacy of past leadership as you begin the next chapter of your journey? Drop us a line, and let’s make history together.