What’s in a Name? Branding with Charles Stone and Keith Bradshaw

by | Jul 7, 2023 | News

Charles Stone of FMS and Keith Bradshaw of Spears Major

IALD’s Enlighten Europe Conference proved to be an incredibly valuable experience, packed with enriching content. Simply attending one of the sessions alone would have justified the cost of attendance. I always find great enjoyment in the presentations at this conference, and this year was no exception.  

However, it’s during the Q&A sessions where I often learn the most. Attendees pose thought-provoking questions resulting in on-the-spot thinking and candid responses. The real treasure trove of insight comes after the formal presentations, when attendees approach the podium with individual questions. In this format, speakers tend to share more freely, allowing a deeper understanding of what truly goes on behind the scenes.  

After Keith Bradshaw’s presentation, Charles Stone approached him, and the two engaged in an informal conversation. Charles kindly allowed me to jot down a few notes from their discussion.  

The conversation began with the topic of branding, with Charles inquiring about the new name of the firm Speirs Major and the absence of the plus sign in their former name, Speirs + Major. He further questioned whether Keith Bradshaw’s name would ever be incorporated into the firm’s name. Keith explained that they removed the plus sign because the firm had evolved beyond being associated with just two professionals. He emphasized that they dedicated considerable time to studying their branding, even considering various fonts. Keith commented, “We have a brand and name that is in the top 5, and there is no reason to incorporate someone else’s name into it.” He continued that not having his last name in the firm’s name acknowledges the significance of the brand they have diligently built. 

The discussion then turned to Fisher Marantz Stone, with Charles sharing he had worked with Jules Fisher and Paul Marantz for 40 years. Charles explained that they had undertaken a branding exercise and are gradually phasing out the name Fisher Marantz Stone, replacing with FMS.  

Both Keith and Charles agreed that prioritizing what is best for the brand and the overall business holds greater importance than having their names prominently displayed on the door.