A PROJECT FROM A PREVIOUS LIFE
Problem: Naming and branding a new type of furniture store.
Merseystride is a pioneering social enterprise and furniture store with a difference. They buy furniture destined for landfill: returns, ex-display, damaged or discontinued flat pack furniture. They then help the homeless by not only giving them employment, but by teaching them valuable skills that enable them to start a new life in a place they can call their own. It’s both a furniture store and a lifeline.
A striking visual identity that was informative, sustainable and cost effective, and a name that was a small word that meant so much to the people involved and an even more obvious word to describe what their business was for...Home!
What was the problem they were facing?
In 2012 Take Solutions, an international business technology company with expertise in Life Sciences acquired WCI a leading patient safety and compliance adviser to the Life Sciences industry.
The new organization could now offer a global presence delivering domain and technological expertise to pharmaceutical, biotech, consumer health, medical device and dietary supplement organisations.
Over the next year, the 2 companies were merged to offer end to end solutions in the areas of regulatory, safety, clinical and technology.
One question remained and that was, should the new business be called Take Solutions or WCI or is a new name more suitable for the new brand?
Extensive international research was carried out using depth interviews with colleagues, board members, investors, customers, opinion formers and the media.
It was finally concluded that a new brand should be created – with new name, vision, positioning, and values.
How did we work with Navitas Life Sciences?
Take Solutions are headquartered in Chennai India, WCI are based in the US and UK.
Following the research conclusions the new company positioning was created as was their values and customer proposition. Naming sessions took place involving the lead brand consultancy Brand Vista, client leads and Conch Associates.
Brand name options, once generated were legally checked for availability in their international markets.
Final names were shortlisted and researched with key audiences along with the new positioning. The word Navitas was a Latin word meaning energy and also navigation. Given the new company’s role was to navigate the international regulatory minefield in the areas of clinical trials and drug safety; Navitas seemed to be the perfect choice. After all our brand essence was distilled down to 'Expert Navigators'.
Once Navitas Life Sciences was agreed the challenge was to develop a logo, a visual identity and be ready for a launch in 2014. Project management took place with weekly and eventually daily conference calls linking UK, USA and India based stakeholders. Responsibilities were allocated at each stage and the design and visual identity was developed and applied to all items ahead of the launch which was coordinated across 3 continents with investor presentations preceding staff and media.
All stationery, business cards, launch material etc. was prepared, printed and delivered to each market in time for the launch with only the core project team being aware of the new company creation. Animations were also prepared to compliment the CEO launch presentation.
The website was designed by Conch Associates and templates were provided to be then developed internally in Chennai by their digital team and held on a separate server until the launch.
Navitas was the agreed brand name. We then developed a choice of logo options and brand promise descriptors. Inform. Simplify. Enable.
Once agreed the logo and essence drove a new visual identity that included typography, colour palette, imagery and iconography. These spanned all material from stationery, business cards, digital signatures, brochures, word templates for the publishing of white paper opinion pieces, newsletters, presentation templates to website and animation.
Once created the rationale behind Navitas brand, it’s positioning, role and details of the visual identity were published internally in a brand masterfile designed by Conch Associates. The “go to” brand bible for all things Navitas.
What was the problem our client was facing?
European Robotics are a private/public partnership involving the leading players in Intelligent Robotics in Europe. They represent the public, private and academic sectors working alongside the EU Commission.
Their aim is to provide a single voice and to raise the profile of the class leading work being done in intelligent robotics across Europe.
The problem was their overall identity had an inconsistent voice, not helped by the fact that there is an association called euRobotics (see euRobotics case study here).
It had a one size fits all approach to its multiple sub-brands, events and initiatives that talked to multiple audiences, an unresponsive and confusing website that failed to capture the innovations and positive impact of Robotics in Europe.
Due to the plethora of multiple logo's and no structured brand architecture, there was no cohesion or defined roles across the family.
Having previously worked with euRobotics and the EU Commission in creating their SPARC brand (see case study here) we were set the challenge of reviewing and refreshing the existing brand family and architecture from top to bottom.
How did we work with European Robotics and the EU Commission
With a large number of stakeholders across Europe (most of whom have senior roles in the robotics industry), reaching a consensus could have been problematic. However, by creating a core brand team of senior euRobotics members and representatives from the EU Commission and facilitating regular meetings and updates, all timeframes, deadlines and budgets remained firmly on track.
Before pencil hit sketchpad a full review of the existing sub-brands was undertaken, investigating their roles, hierarchy, associations and relationships with one another and their key audiences.
With the design strategy approved and in place creative concepts were refined and agreed in a very short space of time. Without the strategic deeper understanding of the brand this would have been a protracted process.
A new, flexible, dynamic and coherent identity system that ensured relevance with audiences, initiatives and events. In all instances, the brand debates that had preoccupied members were resolved on seeing the birth of their new identity.
The family of brands were demonstrated across all platforms from physical to digital and a full digital brand book was created to enable suppliers across Europe maintain brand integrity in a simple visual language.
A PROJECT FROM A PREVIOUS LIFE
Problem: How do we attract students to our university?
Manchester Metropolitan University faced a new challenge. In the wake of the introduction of tuition fees students the market had become much more competitive.
Everything that makes Manchester unique mixed with facts, figures and facilities. The end result was an eclectic mix of them all and definitely stood out from the crowd.
The quantitative research carried out showed that it prompted 94% of the recipients to open days to find out more.
A wedding invite for my biggest client at that time. No pressure! Venue? Rome.
Solution? A boxed invite with typography carved into limestone doubling as a guide to not only the trip but the venue. The result? One incredibly happy client.
What was the problem they were facing?
Freedom Finance were strongly associated with the negativity of payday lenders. Their identity and advertising only helped to compound this problem with its look being seen as “too chavvy” and TV advertising being “too busy and confusing”.
Freedom Finance are a credit broker offering access to a wide range of loan providers at very competitive APR rates. This wasn’t clear to consumers. Instead, they were seen as a loan provider in the Wonga mould.
How we worked with Freedom Finance.
Qualitative research was conducted and this highlighted the brand image deficiencies and advertising confusion.
We agreed that Freedom Finance should pursue a position of 'loan broker - doing the loan search work for you so you don’t have to'. From this, new positioning creative routes were developed delivering new branding, visual identities and TV commercial options.
From the options workshop, one route was chosen and developed in more detail.
A new visual metaphor epitomising freedom and that Freedom Finance take the hard work out of finding a loan.
A logo that symbolised freedom and the circular search journey undertaken on behalf of a customer.
A visual identity that gave a much more established look, and finally a new, more confident TV commercial that was gentle, supportive, reassuring, and dare we say, trustworthy. The very antithesis of pay-day loan land.
The identity was carried through all other customer touchpoints from website, brochures, application packs, to social media tags and all stationery and presentation templates.
In line with this a revised colour palette, image bank and iconography were created and applied across all collateral.
Anecdotal feedback from loan partners was very positive. Freedom Finance looked more like a serious player. This was very important as recruiting new loan partners to their lender panel is a continuous process.
The new TV commercial was aired in November 2015 and continues to be on air every month at the same weight as 2014 with the exception of a January media upweight. Web visits were up 90% yr on yr with brand search up 111% and these figures have continued to build ahead of the previous year.
Jan to May 2016 “loan applications started” are now up 50% yr on yr and “loan completions” are also up 50% yr on yr.
Within this, homeowner loan applications are up 40% and tenant applications are up 65% year on year.
The advertising effect continues to build with carry over effect continuing in none advertising weeks.
The only real variable in the mix was the new identity, positioning and particularly new TV. Clearly, we are seeing the benefits of this new work.
"This agency is passionate about delivering the client brief and vision, they constantly go above and beyond and the attention to detail is phenomenal. They are very engaging and have lots of exciting fresh ideas. The result was way beyond my expectations and my team were presented with a fantastic design which delivered across every single aspect of the brief within the given timescales and on budget. I have no doubt that Conch will now be my first port of call for all future projects within their field. They listen and communicate extremely well and completely involved themselves in our business, which can be somewhat rare in today's fast paced business world. I would highly recommend this agency, it's a pleasure to work with them".
Alison Houghton-Corfield - Freedom Finance
A PROJECT FROM A PREVIOUS LIFE
A collaboration with architects to transform M&S Money to M&S Bank.
Europe's largest public and private partnership in Intelligent Robotics, namely, SPARC has the ambition to positively impact the lives of all Europe's citizens by 2020.
SPARC has a contractual partnership with the EU and the European Robotics community and combine with 180+ member organisations to strategically position European intelligent robotics globally and ensure it brings benefits to the European economy.
Conch Associates (in partnership with Brand Vista) were tasked with the positioning and naming of the new brand. Once this high profile European organisation was christened, creative concepts were developed, refined, and rolled out into an ever evolving logo and flexible visual identity.
The identity was demonstrated across all member, customer and public facing touchpoints – from digital to printed collateral, events, plus internal and external presentation templating.
The "go to" masterfile document developed by Conch Associates for all things SPARC contained every aspect of the brand; from positioning, values, and ambition, to route maps by audience and the full expression of the identity across all collateral, digital and physical.
SPARC is now the official adviser to the EU for the robotics community and recommends funding areas in-line with the ambitions of 'Horizon 2020'.
All at Conch are very proud of our work with SPARC. Even more so given that we had only been in business two years before we received the amazing brief and creating the new identity.
We continue to work with the members on new and continuing projects and continue to be excited at a future with intelligent robotics working for all our benefit.
What began as a website redesign soon evolved into a tool for patients, friends and families as we walked their journey to MerseyCare’s mental health treatment. Understanding carer needs, the needs of those suffering from mental health problems, often long before any diagnosis, led us to design a responsive site that provides help, advice, symptom recognition and support to MerseyCare “customers” with the capacity to evolve into an individualised tool with personal login for bespoke content.
Examples show: Responsive website, poster application, leaflets and selected PowerPoint template slides.
Who, why and what.
euRobotics is an association for all stakeholders in European robotics.
It's aim is to boost European robotics research, development and innovation and to work with the EU in constructing a road map for that in-line with the 'Horizon 2020 programme'. In 2014 they agreed a Public Private Partnership with the EU in order to strengthen the position of European robotics globally.
That partnership was named SPARC and was launched by the deputy EU Commissioner in 2014. Coincidently, the SPARC brand identity, brand bible was created by Conch Associates and you can see it here.
As a result of that work euRobotics approached us again to revisit their identity to future proof it and make it more reflective of the forward facing, energy fuelled organisation.
Working with euRobotics
Based in Brussels, but with stakeholders across Europe we created a lean project team to progress the identity more efficiently. Weekly status calls and meetings took place to not only progress this brief but also further SPARC driven initiatives, brand architecture and sub brand identities creation we were running in tandem.
All identities needed to tip their hat to each other whilst holding their own individuality. Challenging!
A bold, explosive and energetic marque capturing the ambition and dynamism of the Association. A marque that has flex to create individuality for linked initiatives and sub-brands. In addition, a visual identity that mirrored this forever moving and changing industry.
This was demonstrated across both print and digital collateral and culminated in extensive brand implementation guidelines and templates to ensure 'one voice' communication throughout Europe.
A PROJECT FROM A PREVIOUS LIFE
Problem: We’re invisible to customers
M&S Money had the difficult task to sell its financial products in a competitive retail environment. Despite being a trusted household name, the financial arm of M&S was suffering from very low awareness, even amongst the most loyal of customers. Poor visibility and positioning in stores meant that a new approach was needed to give a strong retail presence, giving real standout.
Solution: Think RETAIL, not finance!
A vibrant new look with imagery that created a more human approach to money. Some products were packaged, shelved and marketed so you could as easily pick up your travel insurance as your groceries. Plus, by taking the customer journey from car park to till and beyond we could identify key touch points, drive people to strategically positioned products in relevant areas, and more importantly create talking points and advocacy.
What was the problem the client was facing?
Brand Vista are an internationally renowned brand consultancy working with clients such as AstraZenenca, Asda and Merlin Entertainments to name but a few.
They had spent strategic time looking at refining their client offer; repositioning themselves to deliver end to end customer experiences that are aligned to brand fundamentals. As a result, they wanted to rewrite their whole brand presence, content and visual identity.
How did we work with client?
Having discussed their positioning we created several design options, showing applications on key web pages, mobile, and all stationery.
Having agreed one direction we developed the design and created visual identity across all collateral.
A web build partner was sourced to build and test the website. Conch Associates liaised with the web development team daily and at all stages of the build. We supplied layered files for all pages including desktop, tablet and mobile. We also worked with an SEO specialist to ensure keyword search was optimized.
The visual identity progressed in parallel to the web development and was applied to all communication touchpoints.
A new simplified, business-like logo and a vibrant, easy to implement visual identity were rolled out and applied to all elements. This included a much simpler and responsive website, social media handles, all stationery, electronic signatures, invoices, pitch documents and presentation templates.
Old website vs new website saw significantly improved engagement yr on yr. with much-improved dwell time and an enhanced user experience.
Quadrupled the number of pages viewed per website visit
Tripled dwell time duration
Bounce rate halved – the number of people who quit a session without progressing from the home page.
And to date, the figures continue to improve!
In addition, although not as measurable, existing clients were vocal in their praise of the new look and felt it perfectly reflected the revised Brand Vista positioning.
“ Conch Associatesdid a great job and we loved working with them. They get what we’re about, got under our skin and we were spoilt for creative choice. The development was project managed perfectly with no surprises or delays. The design was inspiringand exciting. Everything went as planned……. it was uncanny, like having them sat alongside us at every stage”
Funny the way a simple fold can turn a positive into a (bah humbug) negative.
In this case, what appears to be a bit of a grumpy greeting transforms into a gift and simple recipe for a relaxing and indulgent festive period. All carried on a cook's apron.
We hope it protected those Xmas jumpers.
TutorFuture provide one to one tuition for all levels and needs from primary to A level. They pride themselves in offering a tailored approach to learning rather than a broad brush approach. The problem was, they had a name but no visual identity.
So, as ever, we took the journey, listened to parents and their children. It was clear that there was a lot of anxiety surrounding the whole are. Parents wanting what's best and pupils wanting a boost in confidence and self esteem. It was clear that the the existing competition and options available had a set approach.
The solution was vibrant and fun visual identity that carried a reassuring tone of voice and gave focus to 'learning solutions as unique as your child.'
The logo was designed to not only hint at the wise owl but also one to one dialogue
What was the problem they were facing?
The Lending Wizard was a web portal for use by financial brokers and intermediaries. It used the same web platform as it’s parent company Freedom Finance to source loans from a panel of leading lenders. It’s closed to public use and is a tool for financial professionals only.
Following the financial crash there has been a clampdown on high street lending with tightened credit criteria. As a result there’s been a steady growth in credit provision organized through financial intermediaries. Financial intermediaries use loan sourcing portals to search loans for their clients. The market is very competitive with new entrants and incentives offered every month.
The Lending Wizard was Freedom Finance’s presence in this market.
Unfortunately The Lending Wizard site was seen as dated, had irrelevant imagery andweak loan tracking information. It also failed to deliver additional information beyond the loan application itself.
Also, with over 50% of loan searchestaking place on mobile the existing site suffered because it wasn’t responsive.
How did we work with Freedom Finance?
Our first act was to interrogate the customers themselves. Brokers and intermediaries were interviewed against a pre agreed discussion guide and depth interviews took place across the country. Interviews were run by Conch Associates with a cross section of users, non users and rejectors sourced by Freedom Finance’s intermediary team.
Understanding their customer journey was the essential pre-requisite to initial designs. The findings had implications beyond website re-design and impacted team contact strategies, loan application updates, speed of response, transparency, compliance support and additional help to enhance the brokers role as advisors.
The research was debriefed with initial home page design options based on the research learnings. These were expressed across desktop, tablet and mobile platforms.
From the design options presented, one route was chosen and further design was progressed. This was based on a site map developed from the research findings and the existing site’s application process.
Tight lines and teamwork were the order of the day with client generating copy and each landing and sub pages being designed in the agreed style.
Finally layered files for all pages and platforms were supplied to their in-house web development team for final build.
What was the solution?
Not just a new site driven by their intermediary customer requirements but it also prompted a review of Freedom Finance brand architecture and gave rise to a new name for the loan portal – Freedom for Intermediaries.
All functionality was built mobile up and whilst loan application speed remained paramount we built in much greater transparency, near misses, sms case progress updates, criteria guides, quick quotes and even cpd help.
A full visual identity sprang from the site design which encompassed typography and logotype, colour palette, image library and iconography. This was applied to all brochures, application packs, stationery, digital signatures, business cards, presentation templates, promotional items and exhibition stands.
Turning a specialist web and app company's existing website into a responsive, product rich sales support tool.
NHS London approached us to help them with their ongoing "Get to know Cancer" campaign and their ongoing problem. "How can we start conversations and raise awareness about cancer with a hard to reach audience? Tell them the importance of getting to know their own bodies and most importantly, knowing the symptoms of the early onset of cancer."
A recent campaign where a pop-up shop was opened for a limited period had some success but there still seemed to be a barrier.
So, we spoke to clinicians, cancer activists and people in recovery to try and get an understanding and gain insight and it was clear that if we wanted to get the message out we'd need to literally take the message to them. We did this through mobile pop-up market stalls at strategic locations throughout London.
The pop up stalls and retail interiors were designed and produced specifically to 'normalise' cancer along with literature, signage and interactive items.
Initially they ran in Islington and home games at White Hart Lane and then rolled out across London locations.
“The NHS England’s Get To Know Cancer Campaign is very effective but this activity really accelerates conversations. In the first week in Islington we’ve had over 2000 consultations at one site.” Lynn Paulo – NHS England
The Cholmondeley Pageant of Power is a yearly event held at Cholmondeley Castle to showcase all that is high octane on land sea and air.
They wanted to branch out to a wider audience than the faithful petrol heads but without alienating them. Also, as a brand they also didn't want to turn their back on their existing logo which was synonymous with the estate.
So, we built up a family. All with the heritage of the brand at it's core, literally.
The marque for the estate was refined, a more corporate logo was created for drivers and business entertainment and finally a more consumer facing logo was implemented to show the true diversity and explosiveness of the event in a visual way.
Why a family? Well, Cholmondeley hosts a whole host of events from horse trials to triathlons and wanted to promote them in their own right but in a cohesive (not matching luggage) way to reflect the estate brand.
Supporting collateral also tipped its hat to the high octane activities on show with chevrons at their core. The examples shown use the corporate marque for more driver/petrol head specific publications.
A branding and visual identity project for international exhibiting consultancy, The Exhibiting Agency.
They’re establishing an Academy to deliver best practice courses for exhibitors at international exhibitions. They have a rigorous approach to targeting, footfall, story-telling and guarantee ROI.
The new marque for the Academy of Exhibiting Excellence was inspired by an aerial view of an exhibiting hall and needed to flex for individual market needs, whether in London, Dubai or Kuala Lumpur.
BPP University is one of the UK's leading private universities dedicated to business and professions. Offering 'through life' study programmes.
They were in a transition period with a new team who were eager to steer away from their current visual identity that was very corporate and unable to flex to the different information and platform requirements along the customer journey.
As ever, there was a But. Not a big one and to be fair a sensible one. Equity had been built up in their Law programmes which had built up a strong reputation. So being sensitive folk we did a touchpoint and creative audit, evaluated what needed to be done and devised a few ways to there; from a gentle evolving of the identity to a radical overhaul.
The end result was more of an interim gentle nudge with a flexible architecture and structure that enabled them to take everything forward (in house) across a multitude of platforms.
Loggia was an Italian inspired name given to a game changing product for extending a living space. Somewhere between a conservatory and an extension the Loggia marries phenomenal thermal properties with classical good looks, making it a great year round addition to the home. The logo and sales brochure captured the quality and heritage of the revolutionary new Loggia.
Energy Alliance is the customer facing brand of Acrobat Carbon Services and specialises in identifying and upgrading the energy efficiency and energy usage of hard to heat homes in the UK. They approached us to undertake a research and insight project.
We ran deep dive insight research to fully understand their customer journeys and identify any concerns they may have. This then informed creative development, call centre behaviour, appointment setting and after sales activity. It was clear that many people are unaware of the energy saving schemes and how much they can save; or feel that because they are on low incomes they can’t fund the energy improvements.
The insights and creative development identified key concerns to overcome, improved contact strategies and behaviours that will ultimately benefit 000s of families in the UK.
A PROJECT FROM A PREVIOUS LIFE
A place to grow. A rural living experience in the heart of Milton Keynes.
360 acres, 12,00 trees and shrubs, bridges over brooks, ponds brimming with wildlife and 200 beautifully designed homes.
An organic logo with a relaxing tone of voice.
A PROJECT FROM A PREVIOUS LIFE
Working as part of a team of architects and interior specialists to create a unique space.
A PROJECT FROM A PREVIOUS LIFE
A development of distinction
Over 200 homes built to a high specification to sit comfortably with it’s surrounding community.
Calligraphic swirls, illustrations and considered photography interact to give an all round sumptuous feel.
A PROJECT FROM A PREVIOUS LIFE
The Co-operative Bank launched this campaign to raise public awareness, to put up-to-date, objective research into the hands of international decision makers and to secure international agreement that countries using these weapons should take responsibility for subsequent clear-up operations and for protecting innocent civilians. It also raised money through Customers Who Care to fund organisations involved in clearing explosive weapons in former war zones.
This mailing was designed to shock. By using a bit of paper engineering and an elastic band of all things, we created a piece of mail that literally jumped out of the envelope!