The Problem:

Convoluted story
Sounded like the competition

Stem is solving a massive problem. Power plants and the grids they supply are hugely inefficient: they waste 60% of the world’s electricity. Stem is reducing that number. They give companies more control over the way they use (very expensive) peak power. It’s good for the environment. And it’s good for bottom lines.

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The Fix:

Bridge the natural and industrial worlds
Show they’re green, don’t say it

We talked to the guy who ran the California grid. We talked to old power electronics guys with tattoos and great stories. We catalogued the company’s assets. We learned about electricity. We studied green tech. We tackled the naming with a conviction that it had to be as simple as Powergetics was complicated. And although the company was all about the color green, we didn’t want to look or sound like every other company in cleantech.

“The team at A Hundred Monkeys has a remarkable ability to peel away the veneer and get to the heart of your brand.”

— Drew Stevens, Director of Strategic Projects

Stem said “green” in a way that helped us avoid all the clichés. It was there, but it came across without any effort or self-consciousness. The name also has an industrial side: propellers and watches have stems, too, so it bridged the natural world and the man-made. When it came time to create a visual context for the brand, we got in touch with our friends at Boon Design. They chose a direction that they called Industrial Organic. It employed a bold stencil motif softened by a graceful approach to type.


“The task was to take something very complex and make it simple. At the same time we wanted to imbue it with spirit and life and give it a soul.”

— Brian Thompson, CEO

We began the writing process concurrently. Extensive sessions with the client refined the story and allowed us to develop the messaging for their press launch. That put us in a good position to write the website and launch the brand.



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