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Dash to Davos for comms forum
Written by Brittany Golob   
Friday, 20 December 2013 10:20

davos.jpegDavos, most days of the year, is a small, alpine skiing resort in German-speaking Switzerland. It ranks as the highest city in Europe and has a large population of foreign nationals. It is also home to the World Communication Forum.

The two-day event is a non-stop parade of the world’s leading minds in public relations and communications. The event is punctuated by the awarding of the Communications for Future (C4F) prize which honours the most progressive communicators from around the world.

We are bought
Written by Brittany Golob   
Wednesday, 18 December 2013 11:57

wearesocial.jpgSocial media agency We Are Social has been acquired by Chinese PR group BlueFocus for $34m. The social media agency, founded five years ago by Nathan McDonald and Robin Grant in London, now employs 400 in eight countries. It’s turnover last year was $57m.

BlueFocus, a listed company on the Shenzhen exchange, was born in 1996 and has been at the forefront of economic growth in China over the last few years. We Are Social should continue to operate as an independent brand with its existing management in place. However, the acquisition will allow it access to BlueFocus’ massive network of clients and access throughout China.

Tail spin for tail fin branding?
Written by Brittany Golob   
Tuesday, 17 December 2013 16:30

aa2.jpgBack in January the design and communications world was in an uproar about the latest work from Futureband – a radically redesigned American Airlines brand and livery to coincide with its acquisition of US Airways.

If that wasn’t enough up in the air, as it were, the new CEO of American Airlines Group, Doug Parker, is now putting it to an internal vote. All employees will be asked if they want to go ahead with the new tail livery or to keep the beloved 1968 designs.

Daniel Kay, marketing executive, Endpoint

On the face of it, involving employees in the redesign of the new tail fin makes perfect sense. The airplane is, after all, American Airlines’ most recognisable brand asset and their employees are the living embodiment of the brand. However, asking all the employees to make a decision on which one they prefer is stepping into the murky waters of ‘design by committee’ and, in this case, it could be fraught with danger.

A redesign of the tail fin needs to be based on solid brands values and positioning, it needs to communicate exactly what the brand stands for and this design needs to be incorporated throughout all brand identity carriers. The big question is do the employees who are voting understand what the different designs represent or are they just basing it on which one they think looks the nicest? If it’s the later it could be meet with a similar response from its customers as Margaret Thatcher’s famous reaction when British Airways redesigned its tail fin.

The big consideration for American Airlines is how this new design will be communicated to its audience and how will it be applied to other brand assets? Will it be incorporated throughout its website, its uniforms and its check-in desks? I would hope that AA has thought about this and the answer is yes; but do the employees know this too? Only by consistently applying the design across all of their brand assets will it achieve impact and communicate the correct values and message to its customers. If not, there could be disparity between the new design and the old logo, which has the potential to confuse the audience.

This is a great way to engage employees in the big decisions of the company, but only if they understand what each design represents and it is applied consistently across all brand carriers.

New everything for Awe
Monday, 16 December 2013 17:09

awe.jpgAwe ditches its scribbles and embraces curves.

Awe Europe Ltd, the distributor of audio visual, home automation, lighting and networking products, has changed its website, look and location.

How to win awards
Monday, 16 December 2013 13:17

how to win an award_1.jpgAward entries can be stressful, often businesses have ideas for an entry without knowledge on how to execute them. Because Communicate runs many awards including the Digital Impact and the Transform Awards, we have recently uploaded a set of short videos consisting of expertise from OnPointe Marketing consultant, Stef Brown, to assist businesses with applying for awards.

Filmed by world- wide video services, Clear Blue Productions, each video focuses on significant queries business may encounter, such as: the pros and cons of entering for an award, how to choose the right award brand and category, what to avoid, how to most adequately prepare, and how to market a win effectively.

Brown comments, ‘‘Although it is difficult to know if the awards directly translates into increased revenue or profitability for a business. They are a really important marketing stream of activity in terms of raising your profile. It starts the ball rolling with business development. There are a lot of other benefits... ’’

Another series of knowledge will be uploaded next month. To get access to the current series on awards click here.

Old history, new image
Tuesday, 10 December 2013 15:56

Lloyd’s Register (LR), the global engineering, technical and business services organisation, has refreshed its 253- year- old brand identity.lloyd_register.jpg

LR has officially replaced the previous plain blue text of its name between two horizontal lines with an emblem of its shaded white initials infused together inside a blue square. This new logo was inspired by the ‘LR stamp of approval’, which dates back to 1884.

CEO of LR Richard Sadler comments, ‘‘We wanted to refresh our brand identity to reflect these changes to the market, our clients and all our stakeholders – with a logo that works in the digital age.”

Despite this change, the company’s name will remain the same. Sadler adds, ‘‘we will continue to be called Lloyd’s Register, recognising the value that the Lloyd’s name has around the world as a mark of quality.” 

Transforming traditional company news management
Tuesday, 10 December 2013 12:40

Newsbetter, a new software platform to improve companies’ distribution of internal news, has been released. newsbetter _1.jpg

The main challenges Newsbetter aims to tackle include: improving the efficiency of news delivery to stakeholders, make content more focused, encourage employee engagement, be more organised in terms of gauging topic popularity, and make news more accessible.

Refurbishing hospitals can cure aggression?
Tuesday, 10 December 2013 09:45

Pearson Lloyd design company has been entrusted by the Design Council and the Department for Health to revamp the appearance of A & E departments.hospital_1.jpg

This multi facet design project aims to particularly include elements to improve patient awareness on hospitals’ system. For instance, coherent signage will be displayed explaining to patients what they should expect to happen from the point they check in to the hospital to their assessment and treatment stage. Also, screens will be fitted to give patients up-to-date understanding on the amount of cases the hospital is dealing with.

Pearson Lloyd co-founder Tom Lloyd says, ‘‘Research suggested that this damaging culture of interaction between staff and patients was often stimulated simply by patients’ lack of knowledge and understanding of how the system works, and what is likely to happen to them when in that system. Thus, improving people’s experiences of services helps to make them less violent or aggressive.’’

So far the results of Pearson Lloyd’s design work, which has been trialled within a Southampton and London trust proved promising. In fact research revealed that aggressive patient conduct had reduced by half. In addition, three- quarters of patients surveyed felt less frustrated whilst waiting to be examined following the redesign. Thus reflecting the importance communication through design can have on human behaviour toward services.

Sindoh realigns their visual depiction
Monday, 09 December 2013 14:48

Design companies Tangerine and DWHD team up once again to produce a new brand framework for Korean printer manufacturer, Sindohsindoh.jpg

Sindoh’s latest corporate identity will be represented by a dark blue, green and light blue triangular emblem. The colours respectively symbolise the manufacturer’s core brand attributes: ‘expertise’, ‘thoughtfulness’ and ‘design- led’. In addition, ‘unmistakable’ will be the company’s new caption.

Tangerine’s strategic brand consultant, Michael Thomson says, ‘‘Every level and division within the company including the owner of the business, Dr Woo, had a voice in the process to ensure clarity and understanding to formulate the correct final brand identity and proposition.”

DWHD partner Will Pocknell comments, “At the outset we suspected that the previous identity simply wasn’t properly reflecting Sindoh’s achievements and ambitions. There was a very real intention and desire within the business to change. The new identity will help Sindoh to achieve its ambition to rank in the top six within this industry globally, without losing sight of their roots and what sets them apart from their competitors.”

Banking on brand experience
Written by Brittany Golob   
Wednesday, 04 December 2013 11:24

industry.pngIt is no secret that loyalty to banks and trust in banking institutions have both decreased since 2008. In the years since, traditional banks have been fighting alongside newcomers and other entrants into the sector, like supermarkets, to regain consumer trust and brand advantage.

Industry, a City-based design firm launched the Industry Benchmark of UK banks this November. The research found that brand experience was the root of customer satisfaction, loyalty and recommendation. Within that, factors like customer service and name recognition are relevant as well.

Much more than a chipmunk struggle
Tuesday, 03 December 2013 17:26

Exploding chipmunks to convey a serious safety message.chipmunk.jpg

UK charity Electrical Safety Council, with assistance from digital agency Code Computerlove, has launched a new approach to communicate its message of deterring the use of malfunctioning electrical goods. An ironic short film about a member of an adult- sized chipmunk community (costumed of course) becoming victim of faulty electrical equipment has been developed, and will be promoted via a number of viral social media channels.

The campaign’s objective is to reach the unconcerned wider audiences and stand out from the excessive amount of consumer messages.

Code’s creative director Stefan Shaw said: “This is a completely new approach for the Electrical Safety Council, who wanted to be able to reach as many consumers as possible, cost-effectively, in social media channels. The video, as a disruptive marketing tool, delivers greater standout for important, but often ignored, safety messages.”

Emma Apter, the Electrical Safety Council’s Head of Communications, says: “We knew if we wanted to get people to sit up and take notice in social channels we had to do something that suited the medium. The video quite clearly shows the consequences of buying knock off goods and we hope it can actually save lives this year.”

Code will also create a new website for the charity to open next year. Thus highlighting the growing importance of having digital skills is in the creative and marketing industry.

Crisis management impacts trust and reputation
Written by Brittany Golob   
Tuesday, 03 December 2013 16:38

openroad.pngAs 2013 comes to a close, a look back at the past 24 months shows a good deal of crises with which business had to contend. Open Road has examined the impact crisis has had on trust and reputation in 2013.

Four of the companies that were judged to have had the best response to a crisis were involved in the horsemeat scandal. Tesco ranked first as its CEO kept consumers updated and aware of what was going on throughout the scandal. Asda, Aldi and Iceland also rank highly with BBC’s management of the Savile crisis also drawing notice.

Agency realigns brand proposition
Tuesday, 03 December 2013 16:17

Crown.pngCrown, in a move to consolidate its business, has launched a new website and brand proposition. It will also officially go by simply Crown, losing the wordy Crown Business Communications moniker.

The website, launched recently, features a clean design with an interesting approach to case studies. Each case is presented in black and white, prompting the user to click for more info. The completely responsive design allows for a similar user experience across mobile and desktop.

In-house creative crisis
Tuesday, 03 December 2013 14:46

Power has been re-distributed away from European marketers’ favour.charthouse.jpg

Charterhouse, a marketing services production company, recent study reveals a lacklustre effort amongst European marketers to embrace creativity. Instead, half of the senior marketing professional interviewees from Europe’s top 500 companies, admitted to transferring creativity tasks to outside agencies.

Online brand safety still insecure
Tuesday, 03 December 2013 14:38

Brands remain encircled by damaging black holes in the vast cosmic of the internet.PROJECT_SUNBLOCK.jpg

Project Sunblock, a leading brand protection solution, proposes to tighten their online content authentication tools to protect business’ brand reputation. This initiative to step up defences comes in light of new research endorsed by the ‘online brand patrols’.

Trade mission goes east
Tuesday, 03 December 2013 14:26

moscow.jpgLast month in Communicate, we covered the VTB Capital annual investment forum and the Russian and British Business Barometer. Both of which document enthusiasm, but latent wariness on the part of both Russian and British businessmen about investments in the other’s country.

On 11 November, business secretary Vince Cable led a trade mission with the UKTI to Moscow. Of the 31 businesses that took part, several were SMEs. The mission’s focus was on SME opportunities in the years and months leading up to the World Cup and Olympics as well as large-scale investment in public and private projects. Investors often remain wary of investment due to reports in the media and other communications about the sustainability of the economy, either in Russia or the UK.

Art school tears a new visual identity
Monday, 02 December 2013 15:41

An old institution embraces a full-scale contemporary rebrand.croydon_art_school.jpg

Croydon School of Art, with assistance from Blast design agency, has revamped its visual identity completely from its emblem to interior walls.

A new common identity
Monday, 02 December 2013 12:16

A new journey has been mapped out for a travel agent association.travel_partnership_.jpg

Advantage Travel Centres has recently altered its name to Advantage Travel Partnership to represent its amalgamation of corporate and leisure members more effectively. 

Video production company re- edits brand DNA
Friday, 29 November 2013 13:51

Age does not necessarily equate to static change, but rather a stronger impetus for adaptation. rossiter_image.jpg

Rossiter & Co., the leading and longest running corporate video studios in UK, mark their 25th anniversary with a completely new visual identity. 

Reshape and look for Efes
Tuesday, 26 November 2013 15:45

A beer brand adopts the same colour but different shapes. efes.jpg

Efes, a leading beer product in Turkey, has revamped its visual identity.The design task, assigned to Interbrand, aimed to forge a ‘‘contemporary, dynamic and authentic’’ rebrand to put Efes, as Görkem Özer, marketing director of Efes Turkey, says, ‘‘well- positioned for ongoing success in Turkey and beyond.’’

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