Rescued from the administrator Deloitte in April 2013, by the capital investment company Hilco, HMV had a huge task on its hands. Despite being a much-loved heritage high street brand, negative perceptions and significant competition required a brand re-think.
We partnered with the new management teams at HMV Retail, HMV Digital and HMV Online to define the umbrella brand philosophy and its relationship to each business.
The brand re-launch titled “home of entertainment since 1921” re-ignited the brand in-store (including way-finding and POS) and online and launched a new digital download offer. The ATL campaign launched in the the UK was subsequently taken up in Ireland and Canada and reminded customers of its core offer.
This re-positioning enabled HMV to capitalise on its USP: physical location. Live events increase footfall by 7.5%. Focusing on this has seen a year-on year rise in sales of 9.2% (Q2/FY14). Physical album sales have increased by 12% compared to the sale of digital albums, which slumped 17% as the download market battles with streaming services such as Spotify.
Another brand made better by The Council, or in Paul McGowan’s words (Chairman, HMV). “This business is flying”
Conceived by James Patterson, author of more than 350 million book sales, Bookshots meets the modern reader’s desire for shorter-length ‘shots’ of action-packed entertainment that fit in with their busy lives, by offering them great stories in a more concise format. An entirely new way of reading.
BookShots is a truly revolutionary idea: potentially the greatest innovation in publishing since the mass-market paperback. With attention and time in decline and technology racing ahead of human behavior, the BookShots brand needed to capture this very essence and place the reader at the centre of this 21st century conundrum wherever, whenever and however they wanted to read.
A name, a strategy and an engaging brand identity was required for this ground-breaking peer-to-peer currency exchange app.
Designed upwards from the app button, with simple signifiers to create quick understanding and stand-out in the increasingly crowded app store.
With 84,000 employees and 32 million customers in 190 countries it is no surprise that this global healthcare brand had a wide variety of fragmented brand communications and needed our help to “clean up” their global on-screen expression and help them present themselves at their best.
We raised the bar creatively to create a coherent on-screen presence that minimises reinterpretation and reinvention. We thought beyond ‘end frames’ to create a cohesive ‘housestyle’ toolkit across all screens that is practical and flexible for all.
A brand strategy re-think and a new communications plan to facilitate the growth of this pioneering offer for real chocolate lovers.
The re-positioning led to a refreshed visual identity across all collateral including packaging, consumer communications and of course the website.
We created the original “Bone Daddies” restaurant brand - the iconic Daddysan – marking the offer from renowned chef Ross Shonahan communicating the positioning “if you don’t like ramen, you don’t like rock ‘n’ roll and you don’t like beer, you can f-off!” Our next task was to create a brand system for multiple venues.
Each venue has its own unique food concept and with that is the need for a unique brand identity, at the same time creating a portfolio that increased consumer awareness and investor interest. Using the Daddysan as the brand endorser, identities have been created for Flesh & Buns, Shakfyuyu, High St Kensington and Old Street.
Billed as ‘Europe’s first social ping pong club’, with no track record and investors requiring a return. The pressure on this innovative leisure destination was immense.
We took the team at Bounce on their journey from concept to reality. The venue launched to great success, topping the table of Time Out London’s top pastime picks and breaking all predictions on visitor numbers and revenue.
We were briefed to create a name, brand and microsite to target “young career starters”.
We challenged the brief with a bigger solution which BAFTA embraced. We have been retained since since 2010. During this time we have overhauled their brand architecture, their digital engagement strategy and delivered a full suite of clearly named, branded and targeted channels through effective UI and UX design. In the process we have migrated dot org to open CMS, we've increased their brand footprint and developed a full suite of brand guidelines for international affiliates whilst keeping a member and governance board involved and onside with some major communications changes.
Recent projects include the new brand and website for Bafta 195, the social media campaign to launch and promote Bafta Breakthrough Brits in association with Burberry and the internal comms campaign to announce the new building plans to open up and extend Bafta’s flagship premises.
With most M&A’s come brand hierarchy problems. This was no exception with RLJ Entertainment’s (itself A subsidiary of RLJ Inc.) acquisition of Acorn Productions, the proud owner of some of the world’s best known content brands including Agatha Christie.
With the 125th anniversary of Agatha Christies birth in 2015, it was time to solve the brand endorsement problems and create a new hierarchy for the organisation. With a multitude of stakeholders both UK and US, a broad range of products: B2B; TV end-boards; online; print; DVD and merchandise in different languages, a simple and elegant solution was required.
An elegant identity for this very British seasonal produce specialist
A brand new restaurant in the centre of ‘Noho’ asked The Council to deliver its identity.
Our simple, yet elegant solution focused on the core proposition “British food, using the best seasonal, specialist and wild produce from around the UK”. A traditional logotype, combined with a simple illustrative style and subtle colour palette is at the heart of this identity and is delivered consistently across all collateral including web, menus etc.
To refresh the off-air campaign brand and re-design the press and digital templates for BBC Worldwide’s Lifestyle channel broadcast across Europe, South Africa and Asia.
Our challenge was to find a level of regional harmony in the design whilst ensuring local appeal. This was of particular importance because the programming mix and local tastes are different, production capability varies, but the need for brand consistency was absolute.
Our approach involved a high degree of consultation with the regional teams and immersing ourselves with their particular challenges. This ensured all design templates, guides, press and digital applications met both regional and global needs.
A new contemporary dining experience from chef Mark Sargent required an equally contemporary identity.
From our brand positioning and name (inspired by the first cartographers of Soho) we created a visual identity that was both accessible and premium given its location on this vibrant and eclectic street, a stone’s throw from Leicester Square.
With more than 2m subscribers and a loyalty card scheme that had been “on hold” for almost a year, the path to success for the re-launch of purehmv was steep!
A revised logotype, a new positioning: “cool stuff that money can’t buy” and a seamless transition from the old card to the new (with previous earned loyalty being transferred) its become the card to carry.
Its re-launch success is adding more than 7,000 cards per week. At £3 each it offers you the pass to exclusive content. There were 27,000 cardholder applications for the recent 5SOS (5 Seconds of Summer) event alone when they launched their new album at the HMV flagship store at 363 Oxford Street.
A brand loved by many Londoners that needs to communicate across a broad range of consumer touch-points whilst allowing flexibility for partners and sponsors.
A right royal brand commemorating the 60th anniversary of the coronation
An iconic brand was required to celebrate this icons 60th anniversary of the coronation.
London’s first and finest American restaurant, brimming with history and character came to The Council to reinvigorate their brand identity for a younger more contemporary Covent Garden diner.
We were happy to oblige, creating a chic and glamorous American Art Deco inspired icon that brought three brand offers (Martini Bar, Dining Room and Club Room) together cohesively with a range of collateral that included way-finding, website, menus, uniforms and a cocktail shaker or two.
An ambitious new restaurant launch in the very heart of London
A large restaurant overlooking Trafalgar Square, offering all day-dining required a brand to match the ambition.
A brand refresh for this sympathetically restored original 19829 gin palace
After the authentic restoration of this original 1829 gin palace a sympathetic refresh of its brand identity was required.
As a young and growing start-up, it was time for Poncho No8 to re-evaluate their brand to ensure they were ready for significant expansion in the burgeoning Burrito market. They called The Council.
We re-calibrated the Poncho 8 design identity, making the logotype easier to understand and injected some all-important humour in the visual mix.
We developed a single-minded positioning and refreshed the visual languauge ensuring the brand stayed witty and engaging across all customer touch-points from signage and napkins to website and promotion.
Funded by four of the UK’s leading publishers including Penguin Random House and Harper Collins the objective of this consumer brand was to move Amazon book purchasers to a more trusted peer-endorsed supplier.
Using the book-club strategy, the functionality of this brand provided book-lovers with topics and groups of like-minded people to ensure any recommendations were real, valuable and not an algorithmic nuisance.
Having created the B2B brand for Camm & Hooper we now needed to create a brand system for the individual venue brands so they could exist independently but together combined to deliver a portfolio family of brands to attract investment and build brand equity.
Drawing on the heritage of each location, the solution delivers a unique consumer brand for each event space whilst allowing them to co-exist as a family for the investor brand and the corporate purchaser.
The first venue in the portfolio was a “tired” Bermondsey restaurant and live event space followed swiftly by the 300-year old Banking Hall, soon to open its doors is the Victorian Bath House. Watch this space for many more venues in 2016.
A fine-dining and cocktail bar for London’s glitterati set on an exquisitely restored London Routemaster. This bus needed a name, an identity and a customer experience that exceeded expectations.
From logotype to call-centre script and website to coasters, we delivered the end-to-end brand experience. If you are lucky enough to experience this it will stay with you forever.
A PR campaign for Wellcome Collection’s incredibly curious audience
Wellcome was making its collection more accessible to the public by building an amazing new spiral staircase to connect every floor and every gallery making access easier – the downside is the building will need to close for up to one year.
A positive message and a positive comms campaign was required not only for current visitors but for press and new visitors. Our intriguing design deployed the spiral schematic to emphasise the breadth and depth of the collection whilst remaining true to the “incredibly curious” positioning.