Life Science Technology Company
PROJECT: Rename a life science technology company that builds tools to enable spatial omics.
REBUS: A representation of words or syllables by pictures of objects or by symbols whose names resemble the intended words or syllables in sound; also: a riddle made up of such pictures or symbols. A puzzle in which words are represented by combinations of pictures and individual letters; for instance, “apex” might be represented by a picture of an ape followed by a letter X. In linguistics, the rebus principle “is the use of existing symbols, such as pictograms, purely for their sounds regardless of their meaning, to represent new words. Many ancient writing systems used the rebus principle to represent abstract words, which otherwise would be hard to represent with pictograms. An example that illustrates the Rebus principle is the representation of the sentence ‘I can see you’ by using the pictographs of ‘eye—can—sea—ewe.'”
BRAND POSITIONING: Realizing the outdated and unexceptional nature of their existing name, Optical Biosystems came to us to rename both the company and their flagship integrated spatial omics platform. “Omics” refers to any of several biochemical or genetic subfields that aim to identify the totality of a certain type of biological molecule, such as genomics for genes or proteomics for proteins. According to the company, “To understand biology, you need to understand cells. And to truly understand cells you need to understand their positional context across time and space.” Thus, spatial omics, which the company’s flagship product delivers through a combination of optics, chemistry, and data analytics, reinventing what “imaging” means in the nano world of microbiology.
The name we created for the company, Rebus, works on multiple levels and maps to the idea of creating “big picture” meaning, from the anatomical to the molecular, out of images and data collected by their advanced spatial omics technology. In early civilizations, the rebus served as a bridge between the first pictographic writing systems and the modern, alphabetic writing systems and languages we use to this day. Thus, in the context of microbiological imaging, Rebus works as a great metaphor for deriving advanced meaning from images and their spatial context.
Rebus is an unusual, distinctive, and intriguing name for a company that helps researchers to imagine, analyze, and derive meaning from the cryptic “puzzle” of biological data.
Rebus | Spatial omics without compromise.
“We’ve had a great reaction from the stakeholders we’ve dealt with so far. We’ve received really positive feedback from our CEO and board of directors. Potential new investors thought it was a really cool name too. The name is evocative enough that people have asked about it. We put out a press release and one of the reporters I spoke with specifically asked what our name meant. I was able to explain how we chose our name because we worked with Zinzin. That question also gave us an opportunity to explain our vision for the company, which was a really great win for us.”
—Erin Davis, Director of Marketing, Rebus Biosystems
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