A History of Black Box
We have had a few of our customers, new and existing are asking why we had changed our name or in fact, if we were a renamed Black Box and not a whole new company. Because of this we have decided to issue a press release covering this very topic. You may come across it in the local press and if you're passing by our shop you'll also see it in our wall frame outside. It's interesting to read because it not only covers why we had to change our name but is also a potted history of the company which is now in its 18th year of existence.
THE BEAR IS OUT OF THE BOX! - PRESS RELEASE - SPRING 2014
Last year saw a major change to a well known and respected business in Lancaster. Black Box Computers, established in 1996 and trading from their Norfolk Street store in Skerton for 15 years, have changed their name. Black Box has been a brand which many will have thought of when buying a new computer or repairing an old one. In fact the national awards they’ve won over the years show that it wasn’t only the local community that thought so highly of them!
In 2008 Black Box acquired an IT Support company, enabling them to grow their Business IT Solutions division. This growth allowed for additional staff to be employed in the local area and over the last 6 years Black Box has offered many additional services, including bespoke software development, website design and hosted services. This is great news for a business that started from the back room of Marc Burrow’s house nearly 18 years ago! However it led to the company being confused with an international IT business also trading as Black Box Computers. When the business sales team took a call from the London Stock Exchange, they realised they had grown to a national level and the time had come to think of a new name.
But how to change a name of a well known business, especially in a recession, without damaging the business? Managing Director Richard Alford explains: “With the growth of the internet the world has become so much smaller and a new name had to be unique not only in Lancaster and the UK but also worldwide. There are many IT companies out there so this was a massive challenge for us.”
After nearly a year of deliberation Black Box changed to Black Bear. At the same time the company took the decision to set up two independent companies, Black Bear Computers Ltd and Black Bear IT Solutions Ltd, in July 2013. Richard continues: “We are proud to say the name Black Bear is now a registered trademark so our name will never be changing again!”
With the new name came new branding. But rather than a completely new look, the company was able to create a new image that incorporates readily identifiable elements of the original branding, leaving customers in little doubt about the heritage of the business. Cleverly, the Black Bear Computers logo even features a bear (black, of course) climbing out of a box!
The name change was phased in gradually over 2013 with internal and web changes first and then their signs and fleet of vehicles. Richard Alford says: “Black Bear have been asked many times ‘Why the name change?’ and ‘Has Black Box been taken over by Black Bear?’ Well we can confirm that Black Bear is a thriving and growing group of companies with 16 staff across the group and that the only change is the name. Black Bear is still the same company as the Black Box that everyone knows and trusts.”
So there you have it. a brief history of us and a clear statement that despite eventful times we are here and here to stay.