Viz-Fest Day 1 – Visual Branding and Identity #MRX #NewMR


Live note taking from Viz-Fest Day 1. Any errors are my own.

 

The future’s bright, The future’s branded by Lucy Davison, Keen as Mustard

  • Know what you are and what you do, follow through in every aspect of your organization
  • What are the three most valuable marketing activities? Branding and strategy, website, content marketing
  • Biggest marketing problems: Awareness, don’t get on pitch lists, don’t know who we are or what we do
  • Need to get your brand right first, relevant messaging and strategy
  • MRX companies underinvest in marketing – More than half spend less than 5% of revenue on marketing. Average for a B2B company is 10%
  • Things are stormy but far in horizon there is possibility,
  • Big data is freely available, why do MR anymore? It’s faster, cheaper. Don’t need methods controlled by agencies. Now we have robots and algorithms doing our jobs.
  • Other businesses are encroaching on our space – Google, amazon. [oh, it’s not ‘our’ space!]
  • What can we learn from other B2B industries? Advertising – Saatchi & Saatchi reinvented themselves. M&CSAATCHI – Brutal, simplicity of thought. Cut back to only essential concept. BarleBogleHegary changed to BBH with a black sheep – it’s about being very different, going against the grain
  • How do clients pick agencies? Obviously, good people they trust, clients follow good people. Good technology to support what they say they can do. Want a new perspective, always be growing, better intellectual capabilities, end benefits to their stakeholders, make it easy to buy.
  • Look at logos of top 30 MR companies – all the logos look the same – blue acronyms.
  • If you aren’t buying legacy, what are you buying?
  • Most MR organizations are grey or blue, dull, boring. Even though we are dynamic and colorful.
  • It’s what they say about themselves – world, global, intelligence, insights, research, provider, strategy, growth, customer, unpredictable, precision, analytics
  • Must live and breathe the brand, it’s different, it lets you charge more
  • It’s time to change – we have so much content and intellectual property, we need to charge for business solutions not processors, we need to stand up to apple and google and be branded like they are
  • It’s how you behave with clients not just what you look like
  • MR is like a giant IKEA warehouse of flat pack companies, no idea how they’re different
  • Find your secret sauce – what is it that you have that is distinctive? Find your philosophy, make it meaningful, what culture do you have to deliver that
  • WHY do you do what you do, tell your company story
  • How branding helps agencies – pique client interest to get that first conversation, makes repeat business easier, methodology is far easier to copy than philosophy, more latitude on cost when proposals aren’t directly comparable, provides basis for staff recruitment, loyalty, and retention
  • How does this help clients? They know what final product they will get. Makes the final product predictable and reproducible. Reduces the need for pitching. More likely to partner on new techniques. More obvious which agencies are a good cultural fit. Makes my life easier.

Out with the old: Internal branding and you by Virginia Monk, Network Research

  • Move from being information providers to knowledge providers to providers of wisdom, a three or four-year journey, need to do this internally and externally
  • Rebranding isn’t easy, must be all consuming, across all media, all interactions, staff, stakeholders, partners, clients; should impact everything you do not just cosmetic changes, must be sold to the business so they feel comfortable with it
  • New visual identity need to align to new positioning, which signal change internally, and positioned the company appropriate externally
  • Needed to work out SWOT, find their philosophy
  • Competitors are technology providers, data providers, analytics providers not just other MR companies
  • Old logo looked exactly like the generic logo Mustard had built, fifteen years ago it was cool and new but now clients and new employees didn’t know what the logo was network research old
  • Now the logo is a bright blue supported with orange for slight differentiation and a strapline, something to fit their identify around, tells customers who they are and what the benefit itnetwork research new
  • Needed to change colours/branding on more than just the logo
  • Asked a long-time client and a new client what they thought of the new logo with no prompting. They understood what was being said. Liked the three dots as a ‘watch this space’ more to follow
  • Invested money so people connected emotionally with the branding and how it impacted them personally, had to work with all employees not just client facing employees
  • Had a launch party for staff, not just a few drinks after work. Used an external location that related to the branding. Chose St. Paul’s in London. Strong, beautiful design, internal and external strength, and has a great view just like the strapline.
  • Needed a sensory impact too. See, hear, taste, and smell the branding. Redecorated the office over the weekend, new paint, new decorations, new kitchen appliances and dishes, new furniture.
  • Gave every employee branded gifts – cups, paper, water bottles, orange chocolate, oyster card holders, stress balls, new business cards and collateral
  • Felt cheesy but it made a different. People love the oyster card holder, non-employees want them too
  • Changed some job titles, changed email signatures, people were excited when this happened
  • Circulated a brand book to everyone, new set of key works and terms for report and proposals, new iconography as well, lots of training on how to talk about it in this new way, training on new story-telling, operationalized the values for non-client facing staff – have an opinion on everything they do
  • Use it in their appraisal forms and scorecards
  • Branding is flexible and permits brand extension
  • Must start with the business strategy, what are you and what do you want to be; staff engagement must come at the beginning; executing the brand is more important than the branding itself; more effective to have multiple strands to an internal rebranding strategy with constant repeats
  • Recognize different learning styles, some people want a book, some want to be told, some want to play with it
  • Bedding in the brand takes time and is a cumulative process
  • Senior employees must live the brand and believe it, act it, not just lip service
  • Business must be prepared to adapt for maximum impact – redecorating the office must have seemed excessive but it wasn’t
  • Consider how it affects proposals early
  • Create a handbook of terms and meaning for all staff
  • Training never ends

Branding your insights by Mathew Sell and Daniel Tralman at Northstar

  • Advertisers and public relations know how to sell themselves, hard for researchers to do the same
  • Research has become too commoditized, need to make it more interesting, actionable, easier to access, it has a PR problem, we forget basic branding for ourselves
  • Our research needs to stimulate creativity and inspire action, need to value individuality and creativity
  • Insight doesn’t cut through the noise, so much is jostling for attention
  • Insight Campaign Strategies – we need to practice what we preach, concepts not projects, interpretative visualization, disruption and dissonance
  • Concepts not projects – we create concepts and clubs that people want to be a part of
  • #20ExtraordinaryStories was the name of a new project, promoted storytelling not just research findings, gave it life, told clients that they were one of only 20 in the study
  • Needed people to want to be part of the club, put the logo on every piece of content
  • Font echoed a sports team, hashtag showed digital, color indicated luxury, club word was for unity and participation
  • Created an online portal and membership packs, keep respondents engaged in the project and part of the community, required the skill of a journalist to give real time information
  • Community allowed two-way communication, everyone had the same information at the same time, strengthened emotion engagement
  • Interpretive visualization
  • Design isn’t just logos and fonts, it’s symbolic representation not just design and not just direct, need to capture qualities of things
  • Client wanted to center around a single word in multiple EU markets “good”
  • Created a character around the word good, needed as few words as possible backed up with visuals
  • Same with the word sustainability – use colors and images to support the word, even use those things as the font
  • How light hearted does the style need to be to bring people along the journey, particularly when the image needs to be dark or negative
  • Don’t worry about communicating directly with life like imaging, avatars indicate characters without specific details, removing facial expressions means you concentrate on other attributes of an image
  • Disruption and dissonance
  • Insight is easy to file, it’s linear with a start and finish
  • Hand out booklets as people leave a presentation
  • Use teaser campaigns to highlight studies, hand out popcorn, make posters and mugs, use physical assets along with digital [people love free stuff!]
  • Performance is the next level of engagement
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