The Power of Our Brand

By Will Roberts
Chief Commercial Officer

The Foss Boathouse in Tacoma in 1918

In a crowded marketplace, it pays to stand out, especially when you are the best at what you do.

With that in mind, it’s time to talk about the Foss Maritime brand. A brand, after all, is a promise — a promise to our customers and to our stakeholders that we are truly committed to standing behind our principles and to delivering safe, reliable service.

This focus on branding is nothing new; Thea Foss knew how important perception was when she painted her very first rowboat green. And as Thea and Andrew’s business grew, they knew that the power behind the Foss name, and their slogan, “Always Ready,” drew new customers to their boathouse.

(Incidentally, “Always Ready” was also understood to mean that Thea always had a hot pot of coffee ready for visitors.)

So, that brings us to today’s brand.

Our current brand guidelines have been around for more than 10 years now — long enough for the logo to find its way onto most of our boats. The logo tells a story about our brand and about our history.

Note, first, the colors — two shades of green, including the iconic Foss green, which has graced our boats foralmost 130 years. But if you look a little closer, there are some other details:

The little shape to the left of the name is meant to look like a tow link.

If you look a little closer, you’ll also see that the tow link shape comprises two interconnected lower-case “F”s, which stand for “Foss” (this is why we take care to display the logo properly; if the logo is reversed or distorted for some reason, you lose that “F”).

It was also designed to suggest a tugboat in forward motion — according to the brand guidelines, the logo can “give the perception of a vessel, with the dark green “F” the vessel moving forward, and the light green “F” a silhouette of the vessel below the waterline.” (I have to squint a little to make this one work for me, but it’s there.)

And, of course, the way we paint our boats has also been a reflection of our brand since the beginning. When mariners see the clean green and white boats coming their way in any of the waterways in which we do business, they know they can expect a high level of professionalism and care. Our colors are a visible reflection of the goodwill we have been building on for more than a century. That is what gives our brand meaning.

It is something to take pride in.