Our Work / Romo Durable Graphics



Our friends at Romo Durable Graphics were about to celebrate their 60th anniversary, a pretty significant feat to say the least. But even as they planned the celebration, there was something eating at Jon Darling, Romo’s President. Jon’s a strong proponent of the concepts found in Simon Sinek’s book Start With Why, most notably the idea that people don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it.

But that was the problem. Every member of Romo’s leadership team had a sense of their purpose, their WHY. But they just couldn’t articulate it. It was frustrating and distracting. Romo has an amazing customer focus built into its DNA, but the team was struggling to talk about it in an emotionally engaging way.

That’s when opportunity knocked on the door of our bunker.

I had, coincidentally, asked to have lunch with Jon right about that same time, which was shortly after we launched Detonator. I knew he was a progressive thinker, and we had a lot in common philosophically. I wanted to pick his brain about our positioning as storytellers, and whether what we were cooking up had value to businesses. I think we had barely ordered before we started talking about the importance of being able to communicate your WHY, and how we might be able to help Romo articulate what they were all feeling. It was a great opportunity to put our positioning to the test, starting with strategy and working our way down to an emotionally engaging brand story. We jumped at it.

Over the next several weeks, we had the opportunity to interview members of the Romo staff to pick their brains about Romo’s culture, its people, its products, and most importantly, its purpose. We unearthed some strong themes that were repeated in all the interviews. Romo employees are driven to discover new options, and they want their discoveries to make a positive impact on their customers’ businesses. They were focused on relationships, striving to be seen as trusted guides to uncovering new ways of creating positive outcomes. After several interviews and some serious dot connecting, we presented our take on their WHY to Jon, and it resonated immediately.

“Romo Durable Graphics guides others on voyages of discovery.”

That statement became a solid foundation on which to build Romo’s brand story. We set to work crafting an emotionally engaging manifesto that communicates Romo’s purpose, tying the company’s rich history together with its forward-looking use of technology and materials. The end result is a narrative that paints a vivid picture of Romo’s ability to leverage knowledge, technology, and natural curiosity to help guide customers safely “off the map” and into undiscovered territory. That’s where Romo does its best work, actually.

Once we had the narrative, we spent an entire day in Romo’s plant capturing the essence of what they do. We grabbed a ton of footage that illustrates Romo putting its WHY into action. By the way, we’d like to formally thank everyone on the plant floor for tolerating all of our questions and our propensity to climb onto stuff to get shots. The brand story video we created from that footage clearly positions Romo Durable Graphics as the category leader, looking past parts and price points to bigger challenges that uncover larger opportunities for their customers.


We’re extremely proud of this work, and we had an absolute blast partnering with such a smart and passionate group of people. We’d like to thank Jon and his team for the opportunity, and here’s to the discoveries that still lie ahead.