SIG appoint OC&S as their marketing agency in Liverpool to develop SIG Building Solutions brands.

SIG is a leading distributor of specialist building products in Europe, with strong positions in its three core product areas of Insulation and Interiors, Roofing and Exteriors and Air Handling. Operates from trading sites across the UK and Ireland and Mainland Europe SIG employs just over 9,000 people. The groups first half year revenue for 2018 is £1.4 billion.

Keep an eye out for case studies in the near future.

SIG Building Solutions

We are proud to announce that we are now working with the excellent mental health charity Mind, helping to promote mental health first aid in the workplace. The team at Wirral Mind approached OC&S having searched for a suitable agent to provide brochure design services in Liverpool. Case studies will be published in the near future.

Mind provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. Mind campaigns to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.

The main goal of your brand identity is to communicate who you are. Your logo (most of the time) includes a word or multiple words. A custom typeface can contribute toward communicating your brand name more effectively and in a way that is unique to your company.

Differentiation is the main benefit of a custom font although having the ability to design and craft beautiful letters inspired by the tone of voice, emotion and purpose of your brand creates an impact that is second to none and more engaging to your target audience. Your brand may have specific needs that simply cannot be met by conventional, off the shelf typefaces.

Your investment for the development of a custom font ensures that you are the only company or organisation using that typeface. It provides you with unlimited user licenses, unlimited usage types such as print, display, signage, web, app and broadcasting and much more. It can even have your name!

Whether your brand requires a display font or entire family with language support, a bespoke custom typeface aligns with your brand strategy and really does set you apart from your competition.

At the heart of any effective brand strategy are sound brand guidelines. They are a key tool for brand management and guardianship. Solid guidelines help maintain the strength of your brand as it builds equity, adding value to your business or organisation. Your brand is one of your most valuable assets and is often the first point of contact a client or prospect has with your company.

You invest substantial amounts of money in defining and creating your brand so why compromise it’s performance through misuse of your highly valuable brand identity?

Your brand guidelines are in essence a comprehensive manual for anyone who is responsible for using your brand identity’s elements. This may be for internal marketing such as presentations, policy documents, newsletters or for external use such as creative agencies, publishers, partners. It’s surprising how many people will be responsible for using your brand identity at some point in the future – printers, newspapers, signage companies, embroidery companies. The list goes on. Without sound guidelines your brand identity can quickly become fragmented and misused.

Everyone must understand the value of your brand and know how to use it at all times. Wolff Olins carried out a study in 2005 which found that brand guided companies outperform their competitors with improved profitability.

Across all marketing touch points it is crucial that your brand is consistently used. This reflects how your business or organisation operates. Your brand is a set of associations that a person or group of people have with a company or product. A consistent, well organised brand identity creates positive perception across all stakeholder groups. It shows that you care about finer details.

Brand Guidelines are for companies and organisations of all sizes

The size of your business or organisation determines how substantial your brand guidelines should be. Regardless of the size of your organisation there are basics which should always be included within the guidelines. These should include the visual language of the logo including size, positioning, type, colour (print and digital), incorrect use, correct file format for different purposes, straplines if applicable. A larger organisation may have multiple variations of their logo for use in different environments and at a multitude of sizes. They may include detailed information about literature and touch points. Vision, values and purpose are included within guidelines for large organisations in addition to information about language, photographic language and personality.  It is common for a large organisation to provide guidelines on how to dress, what fragrance to wear, what shoes to wear when meeting clients. Image is everything. First impressions last.

 

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Chew PR interviews our Creative Director, Andrew Squelch for an article in Designer Insider.

 

Q: How do you start work on a new brand?

The process starts with a detailed briefing session between the client and our directors. My role is to ask the right questions and ensure we have enough information to commence our internal briefing sessions with key strategists and creatives. The branding process follows briefings and comprises of four key stages prior to launch.

Stage one of our brand process is Insight. The objective is to gain a rapid overview of your organisation, your business strategy, your product, the needs of the various stakeholders, the market and the competitive landscape. Our approach is a collaborative analysis of ‘The 4 Cs’ namely, your Company, Customers, Competitors and Context within the real world. Deliverable outcome from this stage is a presentation to articulate our key findings, trends and insights that enables us to agree together on the best territory for positioning your brand.

Stage two is Brand Strategy (Positioning & Architecture) where the objective is to gain clear articulation of what we want the organisation to be famous for and agree naming strategy. Our approach to this stage includes analysis of our findings and key insights to decide the best way to articulate the brand’s ambition in a distinct, desirable, deliverable and durable way. A brand architecture document that clearly articulates our point of view, purpose, promise and personality is delivered.

Stage three is Brand Personality (Visual & Verbal) with an objective to develop a visual and verbal identity to bring the positioning and personality to life. Three potential brand personalities are developed, each reflecting the new positioning across a range of touch points, followed by refinement of the chosen route. A distinct visual and verbal identity is brought to life across various example applications including brand guidelines for a range of applications.

Stage four is Implementation & review. The objective is to ensure that the brand is delivered to the highest standard across all touch points. We work collaboratively to prioritise and ensure the identity is rolled out in the most effective and on-brand execution. Production ready files for both printed and digital applications are delivered to complete the pre-launch process.

Q: Why is visual brand so important?

A visual brand is very much the definition of an organisations attention to quality. It installs trust with external stakeholder and adds value to products or services.

Today it is common for the first touchpoint to be visual. It more than likely is web based either on your website or a social media platform. The potential customer first sees your brand visually and a judgement is made immediately based on the aesthetic.

Although a visual brand is very important, your brand is in fact a set of associations that a person or group of people make with your company, product, service, an individual or your whole organisation. If your brand results from a set of associations and perceptions which people make in their minds, then branding is your attempt to engage a customer, harness them, generate, influence and control these associations to help your business perform better, and more importantly increase revenue or awareness.

Q: What process did you take Teal through to achieve the right brand strategy for them? 

A series of detailed briefing sessions and brainstorming meetings were followed by a positioning workshop which includes members of Teal’s sales team, Managing Director and Sara Jane.

We also participated in an interesting workshop which included Sara Jane, OC&S and Jeanette Percival from Rees Interiors. The thorough exploration of a proposed brand position led to a selection of products for launch, cleverly styled by Jeanette using hers and Sara Jane’s vast knowledge of design for both care and hospitality sectors. Sketches, cuttings, photographs and a sea of notes all contributed to a set of mood boards which became the foundations of hero photography.

Q: The message ‘design-led’ became part of the brief but how did you translate that?

Brand identity, language and tone of voice became the key drivers of this message. We created an elegant brand identity accompanied by a secondary marque to add a stamp of quality to marketing literature. The marque is structured using a set of four hearts representing care. Fashion inspired typography plays a key part in achieving the required visual standard for a brand which reflects both design and quality.

Copy sections with literature are cleverly headed with titles combining adjectives and nouns such as ‘Affordable Luxury’. The adjectives use Gill Sans, a modern classic sans serif typeface and nouns use the elegant italicised serif font Essonnes.

A range of design-led products were selected and dressed specifically for hero photography to be showcased within the launch literature. A series of creative compositions and simple product shots with a decaying mill backdrop provided us with a library of stunning launch photography for use both full page and with generous borders.

A series of luxurious patterns were designed to be used as supporting graphics for large areas literature and exhibition stands.

Q:  The Care and Dementia Show was a huge deadline for you, what did you complete for the deadline and in what timescales? 

It was imperative that the brand and all launch materials were ready for the Care and Dementia Show as this event was to double as the launch for Teal Living.

Initial discussions and brainstorming commenced in March 2016 (followed by the birth of my first child, Max on the 26th!). The first workshop was carried out at Teal’s head office on 26 April. This gave us roughly 5 months to complete everything.

During the five months we designed, developed and produced the brand, location photography and post production, launch brochures, teaser campaign including press, social and html platforms, pre launch campaigns also including press, social and html platforms, exhibition graphics, set designs, promotional gifts, bags and more.

Q: This is a high quality brand identity, how will it improve customer experience?

The brand is designed to promote a feeling of luxury and comfort. It was our goal to make the customer feel special by purchasing quality products. We want the customer to feel that they are creating luxury for their clients, giving them the feeling they are staying in a five star hotel.

A positive customer experience makes you return to the place you made your purchase. You want to go back. You enjoy the experience. This is reinforced with a good product. Teal Living provides excellent, design-led products.

Q: You put your research into the market, in your opinion why does the Teal Living branding set them apart from their competitors?

To my knowledge there are no brands truly like Teal Living. Teal Living’s products are built to a very high standard, especially since coming from a group of companies with such pedigree. The identity gives the appearance of a fashion brand or luxurious boutique hotel. Photography uniquely contrasts the feel of a British stately home with the urban decay of an old mill. Combine these elements with the vast amount of skill and experience and you have a unique challenger brand for the Care Home Furniture market.

We have just completed the creation of the new brand for Teal Living, part of The Senator Group. The group’s new offering introduces a range of design led products specifically aimed at the residential care market, offering classic styles with a twist plus fashionable, contemporary pieces all complemented with a range of hand crafted cabinets.

The brand will be launched officially at Care and Dementia Show, 11-12 October, 2016, NEC Birmingham. Visitors to the show will experience the brand through stand design and display graphics plus giveaways and will receive a new brochure introducing the brand and displaying stunning product photography with sets designed and built to be shot at a specific location.

This has to be one the simplest design projects, yet most challenging photographic briefs we have been presented as an agency. The brief was to create a sales brochure for a chair which is offered in a range of colours and finishes. “But… we only have one product sample in one fabric, in one colour”. Naturally our response was “no problem!”. We honestly believe that it is possible to create pages and pages of engaging literature using an array of imagery for any single product if you are creative. Abstract crops, slick lighting and a skilful photo manipulation is all you need to complete such a task.

The product

Roku® is a durable, rotationally moulded chair and matching table collection with contemporary styling designed for multi-environment use including challenging behaviour – bedroom, lounge, reception, dining, high security and outdoor. It was created for Teal Furniture Ltd by London based product designer Ben Grafton and adds to extensive list of groundbreaking, award winning healthcare seating designs.

‘Roku’, the Japanese numeral for ‘six’ refers to its feature set, from the six sided hexagonal shape to the six applicable environments – bedroom, lounge, reception, dining, high security and outdoor.

The shoot

Our sample chair was a fully upholstered version using a Panaz Aston Magenta which provided a good tonal range for colour manipulation, allowing us to post-produce a catalogue of coloured product images and abstract crops.

A series of sketched visuals were created for the main product shots and as a guide for art direction on-set. The sketches were created based around a series of hand drawn visuals which had been created for the brochure layout. This was very much a creative shoot where angles were also to be explored on the day.

The product was shot firstly on a slightly diffused, reflective white surface giving us the cleaner images for catalogues, brochures and web. We then shot the chair using a variety of angles giving us plenty of library options.

The second part of the shoot involved using a neutral, mid toned backdrop to reduce light bounce. The product was then shot using a variety of angles and crops similar to those on the reflective surface and provided a library of images which could then be colourised to a range of finishes.

The result

The image library provided us stock for the initial brochure, catalogues, advertising and web. Abstract, colourised crops became the backgrounds for Roku®’s fluid brand identity.

Since the success of the product launch additional samples have been produced and photographed using mixed fabrics and non upholstered plastics for outdoor use. View some of our Roku® work examples here.