A Step Change for Progress

Has it ever been more critical for organisations to create places that propagate culture, stimulate innovation and contribute to an employee’s sense of belonging and well-being?

After a prolonged post-pandemic era, many of our clients at GLIMMA are now responding to the needs of their internal customers with the same verve as they have done with their own customers’ needs. They’ve embraced that great people – supported by dynamic and engaging workplaces – are the driving forces behind progress. In an era of incredible change within the work sector, some of the world’s top brands are nurturing excellence in their own environments like never before.

Home Sweet Headquarters

Multi-use social spaces are now being purposefully designed for modern-day workplaces. From bars, fully operational kitchens, quiet rooms, libraries, yoga studios and even mini-hotel rooms, brands are championing unique solutions to employee satisfaction and retention.

With city living costs increasing, workplaces need to function as traditional office spaces and surpass the comforts of home. Looking at the new Apple U.K. headquarters in London’s Battersea Power Station: the carbon-neutral epicentre for employee engagement and enlightenment, the old adage ‘there’s no place like home’ may need a refresh to include the office.

Culture Powers Performance

Ultimately, culture can power performance, foster camaraderie and elevate employee well-being. Still, culture is always best sampled in the same place, room and space. So, whether you’re a hybrid organisation or a dedicated 5-day-a-week homestead, it’s incumbent on you to create the best environment possible to enable a collaborative culture to do its thing. Stephen Bartlett cites the culture at his company DOAC as the primer of performance and why they have had nearly 100% team attendance at their office for the last two years.

So, what’s the starting point for creating workplaces that matter?

Brand. It’s how you establish an emotional connection with your external customer, so it should matter equally to connecting with your internal customer: your workforce. Your purpose, mission, vision and values should permeate your design thinking and immerse your teams in why you do what you do, for whom and how. But it’s not just about aesthetics. Your spaces must be functional, ergonomically efficient and foster honest interaction, breaking down barriers in communication between teams. Great design can purposefully encourage conscious inclusion across your company and create a sense of employee belonging and ownership. Design must deliver more than just comfort.

Innovation from the Inside-Out

With brand and ergonomics noted and prepared for, where do we go next? To the internal customer: our employees.

Most projects we work on for major organisations have all-inclusive collaboration teams from every part of the company to help inform and see workplace design through their eyes, work experiences and day-to-day needs. You must ensure everyone’s voices are heard and their ideas are valued. Teams are more likely to engage in open communication and add value to the spaces you design specifically to generate innovation and ideas if they are consulted and listened to.

If all this sounds daunting, especially as you need to concentrate on managing and winning business and innovating more effectively than your competitors can, it needn’t. Here’s why:

Global Workplace Branding Made Simple

We know that workplace projects can envelop teams and easily become derailed, which is ironic because they are incredibly important to an organisation’s future. So, to make things more purposeful, efficient, and engaging, we created BrandEye, for workplace creation teams.

BrandEye is a digital platform that connects your entire team to the design process – allowing them to comment and feedback at any stage. Designs can be shared as plans, films, CGIs and even AI, enabling your designers to express your new workplace visually for everyone to review and provide feedback.

It also lets finance teams keep their fingers on the pulse through its comprehensive cost tender summaries and end-to-end financial management plans and controls.

BrandEye‘s features allow us to expedite market entry, facilitating swift access to localized installation and manufacturing services, thereby minimizing travel-related costs and environmental impact. This approach also enables increased investment in local suppliers, aligning with your commitment to both local and global ESG strategies.

With BrandEye, you can invest more time in innovation, leadership, success and attracting top talent who seek the best workplace in town.

GLIMMA are currently delivering global workplace and physical brand visibility programmes for two Fortune 500 companies with BrandEye, enabling them to create new futures and maintain their leadership position.

From Edinburgh to EMEA

Hailing from the stunning Edinburgh, Ross Haxton, MD of GLIMMA EMEA, began his brand and design journey courtesy of a first-class honour’s degree from the Edinburgh College of Art.

Landor then provided him with his first role in design, which proved to be a baptism by concept design fire.

“I started my professional career at Landor in the brand environments concept team, arguably the best introduction a designer could wish for. One minute, we’d be designing a brand environment concept for a luxury retailer, and the next, designing details on food counters for a global fast-food chain.”

Global Brand Discovery

After stints at top London agencies, Ross spent a year in Sweden, immersing himself in what many consider the epicentre of contemporary design. 

“I took a lot from my time in Stockholm. Here, I was able to merge personal immersive experiences of understanding with how to translate a brand beautifully into an effortlessly elegant environment. Surprisingly, I spent much of my time designing for Systembolaget: Sweden’s government-owned alcohol retailer!”

Returning to London’s gritty hustle and bustle, Ross worked across multiple brands, formats and scaled projects within his design practice, heading up large brand and environment design teams.

“This was the ‘Airmiles’ phase of my career. From designing banks in Canada to supermarkets in Hong Kong, shopping malls in Jeddah and workplaces for multi-national consultancies everywhere, I was literally intercontinental. At this point, I developed a unique appreciation for the importance of airport design, which has served me well since we [GLIMMA] now work for one of the world’s largest airlines.”

The Super-Brand Era

With significant international branding and environment design expertise (and a million air miles!), Ross then set up his own practice, giving him the freedom many designers yearn for and an opportunity to flex his design skills.

“This was definitely my ‘global super-brand era’, in which I worked for brands such as Adidas, David Beckham Academy, Chelsea FC and Newcastle FC, designing flagship stores, concept exhibitions and designer outlet concept stores. The ‘fingertip’ future-proofing of brands such as these, where consumers and brands both drive accelerated change, means that you’re designing a generation ahead on every store element. It’s an exhilarating and incredibly satisfying experience being able to design futures.”

City Making, Brand Shaping

After travelling internationally designing banks, workplaces, value and luxury retail spaces, supermarket chains, premium eateries and global fast-food chains: where does one go from here? 

“Well, the obvious graduation for me was to look at where these places of work, play and learning cluster. So, I started to take a helicopter view and focus on cities, towns and real estate, looking at how I could translate the detail of my designs for super-brands into creating super-places.”

Head-hunted to be MD of a small Southwest London design practice, Ross grew the agency into a specialist multi-disciplinary practice. Here, Ross and his team delivered brand and environmental design, architectural services, marketing and project management for billion-dollar real estate developments featuring workplaces, universities, retail, leisure, and residential homes for new cities in booming economies.

“I worked across Central Europe and the Middle East for a decade, creating city, town and neighbourhood masterplans and developing a massive range of content for retail spaces, workplace and leisure brands and a host of inspiring start-ups. This was my ‘seven-to-eleven era’ – not a reference to the convenience store, but more so the scale of investment. It was a heady mix of conveyor belt concept design – quickly restoring all my skills from my Landor days – on top of a host of expansive economic powerhouse master planning projects that required a whole new set of skills. The numbers went from seven figures to eleven, hence the era naming.”

“The 'fingertip' future-proofing of brands – where consumers and brands both drive accelerated change – means that you're designing a generation ahead on every store element. It’s an exhilarating and incredibly satisfying experience being able to design futures.”

Ross Haxton
Managing Director, EMEA

Redefining Brand Visibility with BrandEye

With his concept conveyor belt, Scandi-chic, super-brand and seven/eleven eras behind him, in his role as MD of GLIMMA, Ross has entered the ‘age of brand visibility’.

“It’s surprised me how blind many brands are to their physical brand visibility. I never really had the opportunity to see every store or concept I designed through the eyes of the customer because being design-side, you don’t get to spend time to see everything you have designed. With the digitalisation of everything, many brands have neglected their physical brand, so here at GLIMMA, we’ve created BrandEye, which enables everyone involved in a brand to see how it shapes up and stands out anywhere in the world. It’s an amazing system, which has been adopted by some of the world’s most powerful brands to manage everything from design to implementation across their entire physical portfolio, from staff uniform to retail, planes, trains, automotive and workplaces.

 

Want to learn more about our incredible new brand visibility platform?

Discover BrandEye

So, how would he describe his role in this new era of brand visibility?

I’m working with brands to enable them to translate their visions into physical environments that are viable and physical, so more consultative, but very much involved in providing guidance and expertise of the design strategy. I’m also travelling again: from Malmo to the Middle East, via the MidWest!”

If you’d like to chat with Ross about design, BrandEye or to arrange a speaking engagement, get in touch:

ross.haxton@glimma.com

A Decade of Project Management Evolution

Vico’s journey with GLIMMA spans a remarkable decade, marked by a multifaceted engagement that transitioned from client and vendor roles to becoming an integral part of our family. Her unique perspective, cultivated through experiences on both sides of the business relationship, has enriched her understanding of brand strategy and the intricate world of brand management.

Since joining as a full-time member in 2009, Vico has been the driving force behind several iconic brand experience projects. Notable among them are her contributions to Citibank, HSBC, BBVA, Ford Motors, and the successful implementation of Holcim’s brand identity across North and South America. Her comprehensive grasp of the intricacies involved in brand execution has solidified her as a key member of GLIMMA Americas’ Project Management Team.

Fusing Engineering and Project Management Prowess

Armed with degrees in industrial engineering and marketing, Vico’s professional journey commenced in market research and analytics at the esteemed 3M Corporation. Here, she honed her skills in problem-solving and discovered a passion for working with leading brands. This propelled her transition into roles that seamlessly combined marketing acumen with development expertise.

Vico’s commitment to integrity, enthusiasm, and forward-thinking is palpable in every project she undertakes. As a testament to her dedication, she pledges to be an attentive listener, ensuring that GLIMMA’s clients receive unparalleled service.

'Approaching client interactions with integrity, enthusiasm, and forward-thinking is not just a commitment—it's the cornerstone of my approach at GLIMMA.'

Vico Sanchezarmas
Senior International Project Manager, GLIMMA

Outside the Office: A Glimpse into Vico’s World

Away from the world of brand management, Vico is not only a Senior International Project Manager but also a devoted spouse and proud mother of two wonderful children. Originally hailing from Mexico City, she has woven her story across continents, calling first Los Angeles and now Boston her home.

Contrary to her modest claim, Vico is more than just “not a terrible tennis player.” Her passion on the court mirrors her dedication to her projects at GLIMMA. Additionally, her love for spicy cuisine is only surpassed by her commitment to volunteering for diversity awareness projects in her community.

In Vico, GLIMMA not only has a Senior International Project Manager but also an individual whose authenticity and expertise contribute to the consultancy’s success. Stay tuned for more stories from the exceptional team shaping the future of brand experiences at GLIMMA.

Executing a successful brand refresh extends beyond captivating visuals and impactful messaging. It requires meticulous planning and an intricate understanding of how to translate design brilliance into consistent, cost-effective execution across all touchpoints. This is where brand engineering shines. It meticulously bridges the strategic design vision with the operational realities of flawless brand implementation, ensuring every element adheres to your brand identity with remarkable precision and unwavering consistency. Ready to transform your brand guidelines into a working, breathing brand?

Step 1: From Guidelines to Detailed Solutions

Your design agency will have handed over a comprehensive set of brand guidelines. The clue is in the name – they are there to guide you in implementing your brand consistently. But with the best will in the world, they cannot cover every scenario and detail.

We all know that it’s important to plan. No doubt you will have already scoped various scenarios and may be working already with a brand implementation partner who has provided a full audit of your brand touchpoints.

Equipped with these insights, it’s now time to expand on the guidelines and flesh out the rules and solutions in detail.  Take signage as an example.

Consider how your design is specifically applied to a multitude of different real-life signage requirements. What is the signage hierarchy and what is the purpose – wayfinding or standalone? Pylon, monument or fascia, illuminated or backlit?

This is where it really pays to work with specialists who know the product field, but who also how to deliver solutions that will maintain your design integrity.

Developing your design and showing how it will be applied in the real world will be an ongoing feature of your rebrand. The way you capture the developments and nuances is also key and forms part of your brand governance strategy. But that’s a whole other topic for another time!

Step 2: Details & Specifications

Once you have a full picture of what is required in each area, you can start to add all the finer details. The more detailed on the following points you can be, the better:

  • Specific design application: Ensures every element translates flawlessly into real-world contexts, protecting your brand vision from dilution.
  • More accurate costing: Minimises budget surprises and maximises return on investment.
  • Find the best supplier: Guarantees optimal quality, compatibility, and performance for your brand expression.

Let’s now consider colour. There are nearly 2,000 Pantone colour references.  Your design guidelines will be very specific about which colour to use, most often in 2D print. But it’s a whole different story when you have to achieve the exact colour match in your retail store, car dealership or workplace – be it graphics, tiling, wallpaper or paint.

Of course, product knowledge is important but what probably counts most is experience. What works on paper does not always translate in reality. Tried and tested solutions are worth their weight in gold.

'Protect your design integrity - the more detail you can specify, the greater your chance of achieving your brand vision.'

Designers, architects, interior designers, and specifiers can all contribute to detailing and specifying the right materials and in the right quantities.

They understand how different materials work and which finishes or lighting solutions will give you the best result.

Remember to reach out to suppliers too – their technical teams are always happy to advise on the best solution. Be aware that their advice will be restricted to their specific product range.

To save doing the rounds with multiple suppliers in an attempt to find the best solution, consider using an independent adviser who has experience across the board.

Brand implementation companies undertake this exact task day in and day out – tap into their experience and product knowledge.

Step 3: Documentation & Prototyping

“We are drowning in information but starved for knowledge.” I don’t think anyone reading this blog would disagree with this statement.  There is more information, more choices, more sources of information than ever before and it’s more readily available than ever.

In Step 2, you have honed down the many and often overwhelming number of choices available – to convert this ‘information’ into knowledge that can be shared with your team, it’s time to document and then test drive the solutions. Many people will be involved in your rebrand – to keep them aligned and delivering against your specific objectives, it’s vital to pass on and share your knowledge.

Documentation

The better the brief to all involved, including suppliers, the better the outcome. Leave no room for doubt – robust documentation results in consistent branding and eliminates the risk of costly mistakes or going over budget.

Create a comprehensive set of instructions that covers:

  • Quantities: Guarantees accurate ordering and avoids material waste.
  • Technical drawings and architectural plans: Ensure precise construction and alignment with brand vision.
  • Detailed artworking: Delivers brand assets in the correct format and size for every application.
  • Materials specification: Specifies exact characteristics for consistent brand expression.
  • Workstreams: Defines timelines and tasks for efficient implementation.

Prototyping

Particularly for larger branding programmes and the branding of physical environments or experiences, a pilot scheme will identify potential issues and pre-empt issues.

Often larger organisations have their own ‘dark’ sites where design concepts are tested, sometimes with customers.

This is your chance to try out options – experiment with different finishes, formats, lighting, layouts, materials and colours.

  • Experiment with formats and layouts: Ensures an optimal customer experience and engagement.
  • Test the customer journey: Identify touchpoint friction and enhance brand interaction.
  • Add the product: Integrate branding seamlessly into product offerings.
  • Trial different product solutions: Choose the highest-performing and brand-aligned options.

A pilot also provides the ideal opportunity to engage with key stakeholders. Chief Executives love to be involved at this stage and express their opinion. Getting them on your side at this stage will smooth the way for the next step in your rebrand journey – your national or international rollout programme.

'The better the brief to all involved, including suppliers, the better the outcome. Leave no room for doubt – robust documentation results in consistent branding and eliminates the risk of costly mistakes or going over budget.'

Stage 4: Tendering

Your prototype site has turned your information into valuable knowledge – you know what works where.  Now it’s time to share this knowledge with those who can deliver your solutions.

Armed with your guidelines and documentation, it’s time to create your ‘tender pack’ so that you can brief the best suppliers.  Remove any room for interpretation – provide as much information as possible including visualised design concepts, graphic schedules, profile packages and architectural placement plans and elevations.

The process of finding, qualifying and appointing suppliers can be time-consuming. Don’t underestimate the time needed to prequalify, brief, evaluate, shortlist, listen to presentations, visit sites, select, negotiate and finally appoint suppliers.

You may want to involve your procurement team and, of course, require input from the legal team.

The changing face of the workplace

The digital revolution has changed the way we work, enabling an estimated 70% of professionals to work from home at least once per week. The key drivers of change in the workplace:

01 Demographics – millennials now represent over half of the workforce
02 The digital revolution
03  New ‘social contract’ between workers and their employers

The explosion of shared offices, hot desks and co-working spaces stand as a testament to the importance that people still attach to the workplace – put simply, people like to work with other people. No amount of technology – be it Skype or WebEx – can completely replace a face-to-face meeting or a quick chat at the water station. Let’s face it, this is often where deals are struck, positive relationships are forged, and creativity can flow freely. Our fundamental human desire to ‘press the flesh’ and be in the company of other like-minded people and fellow employees, is the number one reason why an investment in your work environment is a wise investment.

Given these changes, why is the physical workplace still so important?

The Millennial Factor

The millennial-dominated workforce asks tough questions of employers – unlike previous generations, they have little expectation of a career for life and are comfortable moving jobs/organisations/countries to find fulfilling work. Accustomed to having the best digital devices in their pockets, they want to work somewhere that offers the same cutting-edge experience. They are also totally at ease with online collaboration or sharing, and like to work in a social, interactive way. For older generations, flexibility is vital. As more and more parents share childcare responsibilities, men and women are looking for opportunities to work from somewhere other than the office. It may be a home, a remote office, or a co-working space.

More Than a Place to Work

When workers are in the office, the priority becomes not sitting at a desk on their own, but instead catching up with colleagues whom they may not see for the rest of the week. They also want to ensure that they cover enough ground to be able to work remotely. As it becomes less common for all employees to be in the office at the same time, your office must create a sense of connection and grounding for everyone – a kind of base camp to which everyone can return, creating a sense of unity and attachment. With so much remote working, an office has become more than just a generic place to work.

'There is a 25% difference in productivity between offices that are considered ‘comfortable’ over ‘uncomfortable.’

The Impact of Office Design on Business Performance
Commission for Architecture & the Built Environment (CABE) and the British Council for Offices (BCO), 2005

How can your workplace deliver to your business?

Workplace design is complex when taking into account people flow, use of technology and availability of space. Branding enables you to make the most of your existing space, without the need for costly and disruptive architectural changes. This can be achieved by focusing on the look, feel and basic layout of the existing workspace.

Your branding toolkit includes:

  • Printed Wall Graphics
  • Paint and Wall Coverings
  • Window Vinyls
  • Furniture
  • Signage and Wayfinding
  • Flooring and Lighting
  • Screen Dividers
  • Posters and Noticeboards

Effective branding of your workspace will create a deeper connection between you and your employees, leading to measurable improvements in:

  • Productivity
  • Employee and customer satisfaction
  • Unity and sense of community
  • Motivation
  • Attracting talent
  • Retaining staff for longer
  • Reducing absenteeism
  • Understanding of and alignment with your corporate mission/ethos

‘The employer brand provides a coherent framework for management to simplify and focus priorities; increase productivity; and improve recruitment, retention and commitment.’

The Employer Brand
Tim Ambler and Simon Barrow: Journal of Brand Management, 4 (3 December), 1996, 185-206

Workplace Branding: The Four Key Steps in Delivery

01 Know Your Audience

Where there is a disconnect between your external brand experience and internal employee experience, the result is demotivated, confused and distracted employees.

Larger organisations are likely to have identified their Employer Brand and articulated their Employer Value Proposition. This concept, first coined by Simon Barrow, helps to create consistency between customer-facing marketing and internal employee experience. Smaller companies may not have specifically created their employer brand, but it will exist – even if it is only in an intangible way through business processes and culture.

Workplace branding offers you the most visual way of expressing your Employer Brand. It creates the ideal opportunity to openly share company values and aspirations, ultimately creating the right culture for your employees. Start by understanding what you want to say, who you are speaking to, your tone of voice, and the level of ‘corporate feel’ you want to introduce.

'65% of respondents feel that if a company properly embeds its purpose in the workplace, it will have a positive effect on their work.'

How to Avoid F**king Up Purpose
Kin&Co, 2018

Case Study: HSBC

HSBC Group has an extensive and award-winning workplace branding program. With operations in 80+ countries and over 6,900 workplaces, they aim to create unity amongst their 300,000+ employees.

  • The multi-disciplinary workplace team includes Design, HR, Facilities Management and Marketing A brand blueprint for each workplace type is developed – from call centres to iconic head office buildings
  • Using a variety of design options, they strike the right balance between global consistency and locally loved branding
  • There are no logos! A central ribbon design theme, a palette of images, colours and designs are used instead
  • Everything is documented in ‘best in class’ brand guidelines, ensuring that global standards are met, whilst also remaining easily adaptable

02 Get the Right Team on Board

Remember that employees are your most important brand ambassadors – they hold your reputation in their hands when talking to others. Set up a local team to brainstorm ideas and develop strategies together. For larger projects, multi-disciplinary teams from all functions (i.e. HR, IT, Marketing, Ops, Real Estate, Finance, etc) will help to understand the bigger picture. Engagement plans could even include staff competitions with the winning design being implemented. This level of engagement creates accountability and ownership of the project, meaning that all teams have a stake in its success.

Staff surveys and other metrics play an integral role, helping to establish baseline performance and providing a way of measuring the effectiveness of the rebrand project when it comes to an end.

03 Plan Your Space

01 What is it being used for?
02 Who will use it?
03 Will customers visit?
04 How do you want visitors to feel when they are there?

Office design itself is a specialist skill but a simple rebrand or refurbishment will have an immediate positive impact on your existing space – visually transforming your workplace. Clever design can be used to differentiate between social and work spaces and create different ambiences. Think of your workplace as a giant advertising board – you can be as subtle or overt as you wish with your messaging to promote your business’s culture and values. As well as being aligned to your overall company mission, your workplace should place a premium on meeting and social space, and be well-equipped for both.

04 Development Plan

  • Create a clear project plan: Specify objectives, metrics, timings, roles and responsibilities
  • Operations downtime: Often installations must be done during off-peak periods or at night to avoid disruption to regular work patterns
  • Communication is key: Make sure you liaise closely with everyone affected by the refurbishment
  • Celebrate the new space: Spread the word of your new changes on social media. It will show the human face of your business and demonstrate that you care about your employees.

Case Study: National Grid

In 2014, National Grid, owners of the UK’s electricity and gas transmission system, undertook a refurbishment of many of their properties. The results of their head office makeover speak for themselves:

  • £20 million generated in increased productivity
  • 16% saving in energy
  • Staff performance increased by 8%
  • 86% of staff preferred the new working environment
  • Space for 900+ more employees with a 30% more informal meeting space

‘Happy employees are the best advocates for your brand – here are the 7 factors for turning that satisfaction into success.’

Seven Success Factors

01 Start with your employees

Often a work environment can seem sterile and corporate. Make the environment relatable to staff at all levels and allow it to express your culture.

02 Consider your space

Think beyond the obvious meeting rooms and reception areas. Corridors, staff restaurants and restrooms are all key areas. Consider how your space will be used and how branding can be used to differentiate between social and work environments.

03 Identify your desired outcome

Your corporate identity will be the backbone for your design but think about the end result – consider what atmosphere you want to create and how you will do this. In addition to corporate colour palettes, colour can be used to set and change ambience. This may give you a slightly different ‘twist’ on your visual identity in the workplace.

04 Stakeholder engagement

The most effective workplace branding programmes involve a wide variety of staff. This helps with the practical rollout and with the levels of engagement and success.

05 Local sensitivity

If you are branding across different countries and cultures, be aware that certain design elements such as colour and imagery may not translate well. They could
do more harm than good. With a global programme, it is often wise to inject local influences into the design to help create relevance.

06 Go green

Consider refurbishing rather than replacing, for example, worn-out furniture that can be re-wrapped to look as good as new. As well as saving money, the environmental message to employees is strong. Use the latest technology: for example, we use theBreath® as artwork, a fabric that absorbs and breaks down harmful fine dust to reintroduce clean air.

07 Project management

A strong central project management team, backed by local implementors, will ensure that the refurbishment is hassle-free and delivered on time and within budget.

'An investment in the workplace is money well spent, even in times of austerity. It can quickly boost employee morale and productivity, increasing output and customer satisfaction.'

Small Budget, Big Impact:

It is possible to update an office space on a relatively small budget. Here are 4 small changes that can make a huge impact:

01 Refurb, don’t replace

Existing furniture and fittings can be refurbished rather than replaced, limiting the cost of the transformation. This approach also has the advantage of minimizing waste.

02 Economies of scale

Keep budgets low by sourcing suppliers and partners who will work with the whole of your estate. By negotiating better prices, economies of scale can be achieved.

03 Keep it local

This doesn’t necessarily mean a ‘one size fits all’ approach. It is often desirable, or even essential, to keep a local ‘flavour’ to a refurbishment – including the use of local contractors where possible.

04 Build on your brand

Build on brand guidelines rather than recreate them. A good supplier will be able to interpret and flex existing brand guidelines to create a unique offering for the workplace. Resist the temptation to reuse or repurpose external branded collateral, as the employer brand is not the same as the customer brand. In many workplaces, there are no logos featured at all, with far more emphasis on colours and imagery instead.

Case Study: Kaplan

Kaplan, a subsidiary of The Washington Post, operates specialist colleges in over 30 countries, reaching more than one million students globally.

  • We helped to implement a workplace refurbishment programme for their London head office, various colleges across Europe and university halls of residence.
  • The overall design reflected their corporate purpose but also embedded local culture to help enhance the learning environment.
  • Iconic local scenes were portrayed in the graphics, helping to create and reinforce a sense of place for their foreign students.
  • Each element was carefully selected – from big-ticket items such as full-height wall graphics, furniture and flooring to the smaller items such as notice boards and artwork.

'In a recent study, the workplace was considered responsible for 24% of job satisfaction.'

CIPD (Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development)

The workplace is the most tangible expression of your ’employer brand’. Think beyond the functionality and the bricks and mortar to harness what it can achieve for your employees and your business. By providing a focus on this physical space, you are not only demonstrating your commitment to your team but also creating the foundation for a satisfied and motivated workforce – the backbone of any business.

Speak to one our Expert team for advice and guidance on how you can quickly and cost-effectively refurbish your workspaces.

With offices in Europe, Asia and the Americas, we can help with single-site or multi-site global programmes.

+44 (0)20 7043 1322
info@glimma.com

Key strategic goals:

OPERATIONS

  • Retrofit existing rather than new
  • Reduce footprint: local manufacture
  • Technology replaces need to travel 

ECOSYSTEM

  • Accredited global partners
  • Raising employee awareness 
  • Global framework – local delivery

PRODUCT

  • Recycling
  • Future proof design
  • Materials and specifications 
  • Safe disposal
  • LED technology

1: Megawind Wind Turbines

An unequivocal first-sight marker that provides electricity. New Elium recyclable resin® in the manufacture of blades of Megawind turbines. 

2. H-Iona® Low Carbon Cement

The first available low-carbon cement on the European market for concrete massifs supporting totems, panels and wind turbines.

3. Material Recycling Programme

Pioneering a recyclable system that is zero waste to landfill or incineration and provides a complete sustainable lifecycle service through utilising existing materials.

4. Water-Based Latex Ink & Uv-Based Ink

Our use of water-based inks significantly reduces VOC emissions, these most often contain a maximum of 30% solvents in the formula. Not only does this reduction protect our planet from pollution, but it also makes for a safer and healthier working environment for operators.

5. PVC-Free Films

Wrapping for vehicles should be carried out with digital print with laminate (PVC-free solution) from 3M MCS suppliers.

6. Sustainable Solution 3M480

A completely sustainable, PVC-free foil initiative. Through our Global network of trusted partners, we have access to the most innovative cutting-edge, sustainable solutions.

7. Wood Displays & Re-Board Displays 

Our use of wood displays and Re-Board Displays encompasses the increasing demand for natural products over PVC materials.

8. The ‘Breath’ Solution

The Breath is a sustainable solution that allows you to reduce bacteria, viruses, and pollution in the environment and at the same time allows you to communicate.

1. Brand Audits and Surveys

How do you identify and quantify all your brand touchpoints?

A full audit of your assets will provide a bird’s-eye view of your brand landscape.   This provides insights that will help us to plan the best strategic approach to your rollout and to estimate the resources required.

Using a variety of desktop or onsite surveys, we pinpoint exactly the type, location and condition of every branded asset.

This data is carefully captured into a Brand Asset Management system and analysed to provide the planning blueprint for your rollout.

Our detailed reports provide the foundation for your brand implementation.  They also leave you with a legacy asset management system that can be easily maintained and kept for future use.

'One size does not fit all. We provide as much or as little support as you need, fully tailoring our brand implementation services to meet your specific requirements.'

2. Project Management

Expert programme management ensures your brand is safe in our hands

We act as the single point of contact for your brand implementation programme, coordinating with your internal team to manage suppliers, site planning approvals, brand applications and installations.

For complex branding programmes, our experienced Programme Managers draw upon a variety of project management methodologies such as Agile and Prince2 to ensure a seamless delivery.

Our central Project Management Office (PMO) becomes your engine room – a team of professionals who are driven by detail, devoted to quality control and dedicated to transparent and real-time reporting.

3. Manufacture & Installation

How do you implement your brand consistently across the world?

Our global network provides the physical backbone to your rebrand – a scaleable quality-approved network of branding specialists.

Designers, strategists, graphic and digital solutions, uniforms, lighting, furniture, signage (the list is exhaustive!).

We continuously develop the network, to ensure we keep up with the changing demands of your brand.

Our Partners conform to environmental health and safety standards and work to the highest global standards but with room for localisation.

With on-the-ground teams, we beautifully blend global expertise with local knowledge to ensure the smoothest implementation, ready for your brand launch.

Our PMO centrally manages your rollout, offering economies of scale and a bird’s-eye view which enables value engineering.

We aim to implement your brand as quickly and efficiently as possible, with full site handover and close-out, so you can concentrate on running your business.

4. Run & Maintain

A global rebrand offers the opportunity to refresh – but how do you keep it fresh?

A rebrand or refresh provides the ideal opportunity to set up an ecosystem for the ongoing management of your brand.

Our systematic approach includes:

  • Brand Asset Management system for physical assets
  • Vendor Management system for supplier quality and management
  • Brand Portal system for brand governance and visual identity management

The data we capture is carefully stored and analysed, becoming the driving force for your brand ecosystem.

Automation plays a vital role in auto-generating updates – renewal reminders, maintenance programme schedules, supplier orders. Our detailed reporting ensures that your team can efficiently manage your brand as you move forward.

With a greater dependence on digital solutions, updates are much easier. Where big-ticket physical items are still needed, for example, signage or wayfinding, we select modular product solutions that are easy to update, rather than replace.  Helping to save the planet and costs.

Prioritising Brand Visibility

Forget the digital echo chamber – in the real world, physical brand visibility is as important as ever. From towering skyscrapers to everyday fleet vehicles, every branded touchpoint is an opportunity to connect with consumers and solidify your presence. Unfortunately, many brands overlook these valuable assets, leaving untapped potential on the table.

But fear not. At GLIMMA, we specialise in revitalising neglected brand assets and orchestrating comprehensive global brand implementation programmes that unlock the full potential of your physical brand footprint. With over 15 years of experience and a network of 400+ international branding experts across 200+ countries, we’re your trusted partner in building a globally consistent and impactful brand presence.

Your Path to Brand Visibility Domination

Our process begins with a meticulous global brand implementation programme audit. We delve into your existing brand landscape, pinpointing every touchpoint – no matter how big or small. Using a blend of digital, desktop, and on-site surveys, we gather precise data on the type, location, and condition of each branded asset.

This wealth of data feeds into our cutting-edge technology solutions. Our detailed reports not only guide your programme but also leave you with a valuable legacy – a user-friendly database that simplifies future brand management and mobilisation.

Brand Magic Across Every Environment

No physical brand asset is beyond our expertise. From full-scale global airline projects to bustling retail space refits, we’ve designed and delivered cohesive solutions that optimise consumer experience and amplify brand visibility.

Here’s a glimpse into our diverse portfolio

  • Fleet Branding & Management: We go beyond mere vehicle wraps, partnering with clients like DPD and Heineken to develop long-term brand management solutions that harness technology and optimise fleet operations across land, sea, and air.
  • Retail & Workplace Design: Our team boasts seasoned veterans from myriad industries, allowing us to craft immersive brand experiences for flagship stores, supermarkets, restaurants, and hotels.
  • Global Workplaces: We design workplaces that resonate with local cultures, collaborating with regional artists to create hyper-localised spaces that inspire employees and reflect your brand’s global identity.

Your Single Point of Global Command

GLIMMA is your go-to consultancy for global brand implementation programmes. We act as the central hub, coordinating with internal teams, and managing audits, suppliers, site approvals, brand applications, and installations. Our global network of local experts ensures seamless execution, navigating legal frameworks, local legislation, resources, and environmental considerations.

For large-scale projects, we go the extra mile. We prototype, create detailed specifications, and manage tender processes to secure optimal quality, compliance, and consistency while diligently controlling expenditures on your behalf.

'GLIMMA is your go-to consultancy for global brand implementation programmes. We act as the central hub, coordinating with internal teams, and managing audits, suppliers, site approvals, brand applications, and installations.'

Beyond Implementation: Maintaining Brand Standards

Our commitment extends beyond mere execution. We ensure your branded assets stay pristine and impactful with our unique approach to brand asset management. Our system automates updates and reminders, streamlining maintenance schedules and programme execution. Detailed reporting equips our team with the insights needed to efficiently manage your brand, ensuring long-term consistency and effectiveness.

Ready to Step onto the Global Stage?

A compelling global brand implementation programme is your passport to unlocking international success. Don’t let valuable brand assets go unnoticed – contact GLIMMA today and let us orchestrate a programme that propels your brand to new heights across every corner of the globe.

'We are equally at home in developing business or consumer strategies and the suite of tactics required to deliver on them.'

We enjoy immersing ourselves in each sector, developing a diligent understanding of the competition and the bases of competition. We’ve commissioned, briefed and analysed consumer research with leading research agencies to make sure we know our customers, how they live, think and what they need and what they want.

We are practiced and familiar with most models and frameworks your marketing teams will deploy and have worked with most media formats and multiple agencies. We relish the opportunity to bring creativity to the strategic table, from ideation, innovation and implementation perspectives.

'Our unique end-to-end expertise enables us to see the full trajectory of a strategy and add value to why and how your brand is idea played out in digital and physical environments.'

It doesn’t matter is we whether we are team contributor to your global positioning strategy or leading your creative social and influencer strategy implementation, we are guaranteed to bring creativity, innovation and collaboration to every single strategic mission.

WE CREATE CAMPAIGNS

You will have determined who you are talking to, when and how, so it’s now about delivering a range of dynamic brand stories that are engaging and authentic, championing your products and celebrating the benefits your products and services will bring to your customers.

'You know your place. You know your purpose. Now, let’s campaign, engage your audiences and compete to win and own that place.'

Working with your product, marketing and brand teams we will develop compelling creative campaigns, honed to places, tailored to people and loaded to perform, enabling your brand to have multiple mission campaigns running simultaneously, dialling them up and down, being everywhere you need to be, always elevating why you are the better brand.

With our network of production partners we will create hyper-localised and hyper-personalised campaigns, creating high quality, engaging content for all your audiences. We can create campaign content across the full spectrum of media, from TV, digital, press, OOH through to video vignettes of internal company champions and external brand influencers.

'Enable your brand to have multiple mission campaigns running simultaneously, dialling them up and down, being everywhere you need to be, always elevating why you are the better brand.'

Our media partners can help plan how best to land these stories to maximise awareness and optimise engagement and we can work with your marketing and sales teams to ensure that the campaign objectives are planned to deliver the right level of economic performance at the right pace.

The campaign for a better brand begins here.

CREATING CONTENT THAT CONNECTS

We understand that the majority of consumer decisions are intuitive, so we aim to provoke emotional responses that open the gate to considering the brand and acting upon the message.

And as we dive into developing compelling creative content from our design studios we regularly partner with research agencies that can bring behavioural, demographic and socio-economic insights and specialist media partners to guide and develop the optimal integrated media plan that will hit all the right notes.

We generally work with market-based media partners who know the cultural nuances and consumption preferences in each region, ensuring our creative is hyper-localised and personalised, being global doesn’t mean you can’t be intimate and influential on a localised basis.

Digitally driven, but weighted and integrated media programmes are the best way to reach and engage. Programmatic offers such a good opportunity to mix in TV and OOH with more opinion driven influencer, social and consumer advocacy tactics and a focus on building communities.

Working in partnership with your public relations agency, we are likely to also advocate taking an editorial style to your content strategies, enabling richer formats and styles to tell your stories to your audiences, both inside and outside your organisation. 

'Publishing your position on purpose, product and the people that make you the best organisation to work for and buy from is essential in enabling audiences to make informed decisions about who you are.'

How will you measure success? We will work with you from the outset to clearly define measurable strategic and campaign goals through the critical path from advertising to income and measure them on the way through to ensure we are engaging effectively, positioning for performance and being the best- brand you can be.

WHY BRAND PURPOSE IS IMPORTANT?

Let’s start with Brand purpose.

  1. A brand must deliver a product, which achieves business goals and benefits society as a whole. In this new era, customers, investors and executives know that a brand must have purpose. It must have a reason for being beyond making money.
  1. Brand purpose can help build better relationships between a brand and its consumer and investors. Understanding your brand purpose is a key part of our strategic immersion services and developing it through brand communications is fundamental to your future success.
  2. A unique brand purpose can differentiate your brand from competitors. It’s part of everything you do, so will be woven into your visions, values, culture and company missions.

Working with your Human Resource, Brand and Marketing teams we can help weave a brand purpose tapestry that people truly believe in, want to be part of and champion, by ensuring it is embedded within your brand language and part of your everyday conversations with everyone.

'At companies that have clearly defined and communicated how they create value, 63% of employees say they’re motivated, versus 31% at other companies; 65% say they’re passionate about their work, versus 32% at other companies.' (PwC 2019)

86% of B2B companies recognize purpose as important to growth, but they are still working out how to implement their purpose so that it influences business and social outcomes.

Only 24% said purpose is embedded into their business to the point of influencing innovation, operations and their engagement with society. (Carol Cone 2020)

CREATING A DISTINCTIVE BRAND IDENTITY

In an increasingly complex and competitive global marketplace it’s increasingly important to create an identity that is distinctive and representative of your values and purpose to enable your company to cut-through the mass of advertising, be recognised for being the purposeful better brand and ultimately convert and retain consumers, better than your competitors can.

A sensible starting point is understanding how you are currently perceived and how visible and resonant your brand is compared to your competitors. Your consumer research agency may have already conducted these perception audits as part of your strategic reviews and your marketing team will have provided analysis of marketing campaigns to understand consumer response to current brand campaigns. Your HR team will have polled employees on their views on whether the brand reflects their values and is engaging and inspiring.

'To complement your internal analysis we will combine a visual benchmarking exercise, with a review of consumer sentiment and undertake a full brand visibility review to understand whether you are making the best use of your physical assets.'

The combined outcome of your analyses is that we are able to develop a visual, statistical, sentiment and physical assessment of how your brand is perceived, performs and its place compared to your competitors. When combined with your business and beliefs objectives, we have the basis for a solid brand design brief.

From this brief we will design the visible elements of your brand that identify it and distinguish it from competitor brands. A cohesive identity that wholly reflects the personality and purpose of your organisation, which will enable you to build a positive brand image. And a language that encourages audiences, from customers to investors, to buy-into your brand image.

We develop the brand design through multiple media formats, create future campaigns and compare these campaigns to the visual benchmarking exercise. This enables everyone to see the brand in comparable real-life scenarios. We also advocate that brand design routes are tested internally with employees and externally, if the project scope allows, with consumer focus groups or even in some online campaign activity. 

'A cohesive identity that wholly reflects the personality and purpose of your organisation, which will enable you to build a positive brand image. And a language that encourages audiences, from customers to investors, to buy-into your brand image.'

We will produce a full suite of brand guidelines to enable all partners to understand why and how the brand is implemented. We can help deliver those onboarding sessions internally and externally. 

There are many brand agencies and many brand implementation agencies. There isn’t one agency that does both as expertly as we do. So, once your brand identity is developed, we are very well placed to support the delivery through marketing and mobilise its physical implementation, across the globe.

'There are many brand agencies and many brand implementation agencies. There isn’t one agency that does both as expertly as we do.'

CAMPAIGN PRODUCTION

You know your place. You know your purpose. Now, let’s campaign, engage your audiences and compete to win and own that place.

'You will have determined who you are talking to, when and how, so it’s now about delivering a range of dynamic brand stories that are engaging and authentic, championing your products and celebrating the benefits your products and services will bring to your customers.'

Working with your product, marketing and brand teams we will develop compelling creative campaigns, honed to places, tailored to people and loaded to perform, enabling your brand to have multiple mission campaigns running simultaneously, dialling them up and down, being everywhere you need to be, always elevating why you are the better brand.

You know your place. You know your purpose. Let’s campaign and engage your audiences.

With our network of production partners we will create hyper-localised and hyper-personalised campaigns, creating high quality, engaging content for all your audiences. We can create campaign content across the full spectrum of media, from TV, digital, press, OOH through to video vignettes of internal company champions and external brand influencers.

Our media partners can help plan how best to land these stories to maximise awareness and optimise engagement and we can work with your marketing and sales teams to ensure that the campaign objectives are planned to deliver the right level of economic performance at the right pace.

The campaign for a better brand begins here.

MANAGING YOUR PHYSICAL BRAND

Visibility matters. In a hyper-digitalised world, real world visibility is often over-looked and opportunities to position and promote brands are missed.

We can conduct a full audit of your current brand, where it is and where it isn’t, making recommendations on how to optimise visibility on a sequenced, efficient and economical basis that fit with your strategic brand programmes.

We blend digital, desktop and onsite surveys, pinpointing the exact the type, location and condition of every branded asset. This data is carefully captured into a Brand Asset Management system and analysed to provide the planning blueprint for your rollout.

'Visibility matters. In a hyper-digitalised world, real world visibility is often over-looked and opportunities to position and promote brands are missed.'

Our detailed reports provide the foundation for your brand implementation.  They also leave you with a legacy asset management system that can be easily maintained and kept for future use in brand management and mobilisation.

If we’ve developed your brand, we will have created this legacy asset management system for you. 

In some client cases, the master-brand has already been developed and our role is to then work from the guidelines and extend the brand into new product services and new markets.

'We believe immersion in culture, company, customer, competition is fundamental to becoming part of your strategic navigation team.'

This immersive approach varies from project to project and can range from orthodox project management to embedding a team member into organisational operations through to the full outsourcing of a strategic department to us for the duration of a strategic initiative.

For more expansive strategic projects, our team will typically develop a detailed understanding of four cornerstone areas: Business Strategy, Competitive Marketplace, Customer and Culture, to provide the insights and intel for more detailed discovery and greater clarity on how we can build responses that create value for everyone

'Whatever your needs and wherever you are on your strategic journey we are equally comfortable being an agile partner or project anchor.'

Taking Your Place: Strategic Positioning

In an increasingly complex and cluttered global market, achieving commercial business plans and meeting investor expectations requires a sophisticated and differentiated approach to consumer communications to ensure that brands engage, connect and ultimately convert and retain consumers, better than their competitors can and attract the talented teams to enable these goals to be realised.

'We can translate your plans and programmes to compelling, creative, communication campaigns, that deliver on position, place and elevate your purpose.'

Our role is to enable organisations to unlock their brand power, discover their purpose and drive their performance. Our teams have extensive experience contributing to the development of blended and balanced strategic commitments to people, profit and planet and translating those pledges, tactics, and operational drivers into action-oriented communication strategies.

'We create competitive retail brand communications, from concept to marketing programmes and ultimately in-store design and experiences.'

RIVE GAUCHE BRAND STRATEGY & DESIGN

Working with Rive Gauche’s brand and marketing leaders, our G CREATIVE team in London helped to define a new brand hierarchy. Following indepth analysis – market and brand position, target audiences, tone of voice and extensive retail benchmarking – we developed a new brand identity and retail concept.

Retail needs innovation. It’s the blend of physical and digital that will enhance experience and optimise operational efficiencies. And once conceived, tested and honed, concepts need to be rolled, market-by-market, efficiently and economically.

'We have a global network that enables retail mobilisation to be time and cost efficient.'

Jack & Jones Store Concept and Implementation

We were asked to manage the rollout of JACK & JONES’ latest window displays in over 450 stores and to create a compelling and consistent retail experience across Europe, the Middle East and Canada.

With more than 1,000 stores across 38 countries, they are one of Europe’s leading men’s fashion retailers.

'The team at GLIMMA co-ordinated and installed the new racking system in 450+ retail stores globally. They successfully overcame the challenges associated with global supply chain, variances in store layouts and different cultures, delivering the entire program on time. The result is magnificent – with the support of GLIMMA we now have the perfect communications platform to attract and excite our customers.'

JAKOB SLOT
JACK&JONES HEAD STORE DESIGN DEPARTMENT

Our brand technology enables retailers to have real-time brand visibility, enabling retailers to see what their customers see, across every store worldwide and ask themselves whether visibility and perception can be improved. Our technology can assist in that assessment and audit.

'Our brand visibility technology can help you see your brand assets anywhere in the world.'

Moscow Jewlery Retail Concept

To develop a new modular retail design concept which can be scaled to fit any size store. This concept is to design and implement the retail space in Moscow Jewelry’s flagship stores in Moscow.

With over 300 stores across 104 cities, Moscow Jewelry is one of Russia’s leading jewellers. Selling more than one million items in-store every year, their retail network is critical to their success.

Central to success was an in-depth knowledge of their brand proposition and how this is reflected across their different product ranges.

The 1000mstore in Moscow’s AFIMALL is laid out in zones, one for each product range.

Every zone is designed with specific customer profiles in mind.

The design concept considers every aspect, from lighting, fittings and finishes to carefully planned seating areas with handpicked furniture.

'The new retail concept has provided an incredible boost to our brand’s image. Our customers and staff have truly welcomed the flagship concept and this has been reflected in our sales, which have grown by 30-35%. The combination of planning, product display and digital presence has helped us move our offer beyond what we had anticipated.' Egor Vaganov, Marketing Director, Moscow Jewelry

Egor Vaganov
Marketing Director, Moscow Jewelry

It’s this combination of knowing retail, creating competitive communication programmes, innovating the consumer experience and optimising brand visibility that enables us to support your brand elevation and engagement strategies.

Shoppers Stop Stores Brand Experience

We were commissioned to deliver new brand experiences within Shoppers Stop department stores through the design, manufacture and installation of their lounge and promotion display areas in prime stores across India.

These include dedicated and targeted concepts, such as the ‘Personal Shopper Lounge’, the ‘Show Stopper Zone’ and the ‘Suits & Jackets Zone”.

Shoppers Stop is one of the largest department store chains in India, selling international and national brands for clothing & accessories, cosmetics & fragrances, as well as home décor and furnishings.

Global Fleet Visibility

We have expertise across all forms of fleet: from EVs to 747’s, we have designed and implemented global brand strategies, working with clients such Delta, DPD, Verizon, AT&T, Heineken, C&A, DPD, Alitalia and Gate Gourmet. 

Our brand technology and expertise, enable us to provide clients with a single-point-of-contact service and an efficient, consistent, high-quality service. Our unique approach to Brand Visibility ensures that our clients benefit from a legacy asset management system that ensures the brand can be maintained efficiently and economically.

Dpd Brand Implementation

Aura Brand Solutions represents our operation in the UK. Commissioned by DPD to rebrand their entire fleet in the United Kingdom, our team also drew upon its international expertise, as part of the GLIMMA network, to develop a specification for the rollout of the rebrand across the rest of the European fleet.

The rebrand was prompted by the need to consolidate the branding of 4,500 vehicles across multiple markets.

Fleet Branding Technology

Our central PMO acts as the single point of contact for your brand implementation programme, coordinating with your internal team to manage suppliers, site planning approvals, brand applications and installations.

The platform enables transparent communications and budget visibility throughout the entire project.

Alitalia Implementation

We were asked to help with the global implementation of Alitalia’s new brand identity across 22 international locations. A wide variety of brand touchpoints were identified and replaced across different locations such as ticket offices and airports, helping to create a consistent customer journey.

The Brand Team

We assigned a global team to Alitalia to support their daily needs, offering technical advice, in addition to project managing the implementation programme. Our team very quickly became brand gurus!

Our role also included detailed site surveys which ensured that every element was designed and specified correctly and subsequently, produced and installed to the required standard.

Transparency and Control

With 24/7 access to our project management tool, real-time updates were available throughout the rebrand, helping the Alitalia brand team to track and monitor progress at all times.

By setting up standard procedures and adhering to a structured approvals process, we ensured that all sites and brand touchpoints were delivered on time and to the right specifications.

Fleet Brand Maintenance

Our brand technology platform ensures You will know the exact location, size, age and style of every single branded asset across your operations and estate and includes a brand Asset Management system for physical assets, a Vendor Management system for supplier quality and management and a Brand Portal system for brand governance and visual identity management

To ensure your brand is maintained, automation will play a vital role in auto-generating updates – renewal reminders, maintenance and programme schedules. Our detailed reporting ensures that your team can efficiently manage your brand

Rebrand Across Avanti Trains

Avanti West Coast provides the principal long-distance passenger services on the West Coast Main Line between London, the West Midlands, North West England, North Wales and Scotland. Its services connect six of the largest cities in the UK: London, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh, which have a combined metropolitan population of over 18 million. Watch how our brand partner delivered a comprehensive rebrand across the trains. See a video of the rebrand process here.

We understand the value chain and can add innovations at any point in your destination strategy: from diagnosing challenges, creating a vision, developing a masterplan to creating new brand identities, commissioning and analysing consumer research, creating and overseeing marketing programmes and enhancing environments through lighting, navigation and place implementation programmes.

'We are an expert end to end real estate brand ideation and implementation consultancy.'

We Make Places & Move People

We have a comprehensive understanding of the current flux in real estate markets and how to revitalise our clients’ real estate destinations in readiness for a new era for places, through more purposeful, performance-oriented communications and placemaking designs that encourage occupiers and customers to enjoy that place.

Ilot Brand Implementation

We were commissioned to revitalise this 1990s mixed-use city centre destination in Liège, Belgium. The refurbishment programme was driven by a strategic repositioning exercise that aims to attract a new tenant mix, and increase footfall and time and spend per visitor.

'The GLIMMA team is a valued design and implementation partner for our retail and entertainment centres. They understood the strategic changes needed to revitalise and appeal to a new target audience. Most importantly, they have the knowledge, experience and skills to practically translate these changes into an engaging customer experience. Through the right choice of lighting, street furniture, way finding and brand signage, they have helped transform ILOT into a much more vibrant and safer visitor experience.'

JONATHAN RATNAGE
BENSON ELLIOT

Caledonia Park Branding & Marketing Programmes

Following on from our success at resuscitating and revitalising the commercial performance and positioning of this designer outlet village, we were commissioned by the investors to rebrand the destination to further accelerate its competitiveness and commercial trajectory.

Almaly Branding

We were commissioned to develop a full brand identity and environmental concept for this super-regional real estate destination in Kazakhstan.

Borough Yards Branding

Borough Yards is the capital’s most exciting cultural and retail-focussed regeneration. This unique social, cultural and shopping hub is woven from historic urban fabric. A lost medieval street system has been revived. Once-forgotten warehouses and railway arches house dramatic, double-height retail spaces, all embodying the district’s unrivalled feel of intimacy and welcome, regardless of size.

We were asked to brand this vibrant new London destination to inspire and provide a unique experience for visitors and retailers in a beautiful raw-brick, cathedral-scale spaces.

Mander Centre Brand Implementation

We were asked breathe new life into the Mander Centre, a 1960s retail destination in Wolverhampton, UK. To create a new tenant mix that will attract a different profile of shopper and encourage them to stay longer.

At 52,500 mgross leasable area, the Mander Centre is the largest shopping centre in Wolverhampton, a lively city with a catchment of over 584,000 residents and attracting over 17 million visitors a year.

'The design team at GLIMMA immediately understood the brief and ran with it, producing design concepts that hit the mark with all stakeholders, from architects to the individual retailers. Their innovative ideas were readily translated into signage and lighting solutions that have dramatically transformed the Mander Centre, making it the retail destination of choice for the people of Wolverhampton.'

JONATHAN RATNAGE
BENSON ELLIOT

M&A Volumes Are On the Rise

Amid a blazing hot M&A climate, CEOs have a responsibility to ensure their brand remains one of their most valuable assets during – and after – the acquisition process. So, smart marketing management, underpinned by technology, must be high on the agenda.

2021 was a historic year for mergers and acquisitions activity with global M&A volume hitting $5.9tn, shattering previous records. So far, 2022 looks to be just as robust. The red-hot market brings with it a host of challenges for the C-suite– from driving value for stakeholders to ensuring cultural compatibility internally. However, while navigating the M&A maze CEOs can often lose sight of the most critical factor in ensuring success: the value of their brand.

The Value of Brand in the M&A Process and Beyond

A target company’s brand is often a key consideration of attractiveness to management, shareholders and investors. In a post-Covid-19 world, brand is ubiquitous. It touches everything within a business. There’s also the prevailing theory that ongoing brand investment is the only way to weather economic storms. As per the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA), brands that invested in growing excess share of voice by 8% during the 2008-9 downturn grew their market share by an average of over four times more during the recovery phase.

'As per the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA), brands that invested in growing excess share of voice by 8% during the 2008-9 downturn grew their market share by an average of over four times more during the recovery phase.'

To Rebrand or Not to Rebrand?

With Bain and Company predicting that M&A is expected to spur 45% of revenue growth over the next three years (up from 30% over the past three years) modern CEOs must learn to balance the needs of commercial success alongside long-term brand building and management. Effective and efficient brand management, by those who understand all aspects of it during these transitions, should not be underestimated.

The CEO Brand Challenge

Decisions relating to a merger or acquisition can be very complex; one huge one is to rebrand or not to rebrand.

For Ross Haxton, Commercial Director at GLIMMA, a full-service global brand management agency, this means brand and business strategy are inseparable, with the future success of any union reliant upon selecting an appropriate model for managing the brand’s key M&A objectives.

Haxton says that in M&A situations it is vital that brand is considered early in the integration process. “This will help to speed and smooth the acquisition process, protecting the value of investment.” He argues that when the branding and corporate values of so many take-over targets are developed quickly in “startup mode,” there is a risk that buyers are working with “inherently flawed” brand blueprints.

“CEOs often need to bring it back to basics, audit their new purchase to establish the core brand offering and key positioning. From that, they can develop marketing and physical branding that will drive success.” The CEO, he states, is the driving figure in this whole process, working with HR and the marketing department to involve the whole business in an internal brand engagement programme.

'CEOs often need to bring it back to basics, audit their new purchase to establish the core brand offering and key positioning. From that, they can develop marketing and physical branding that will drive success.'

Brand Guardianship Index 2022

According to Annie Brown, Associate at Brand Finance, “Good CEOs are those who nurture relations with all stakeholders, and enhance the reputation of their brands as a result”. This is evident in the recent results of the 2022 Brand Guardianship Index, the annual report on the world’s top 100 CEOs.

Emerging on top for 2022 is Satya Nadella from Microsoft, who has been credited with the successful acquisition and integration of major brands including LinkedIn. Since joining the business he has also instilled a growth mindset, evolving the brand’s purpose from “putting a computer on every desk and in every home” to “empowering every person and organisation on the planet to achieve more. The CEO plays an increasingly important role in managing brand amid an M&A, with Haxton seeing it as their duty to steer two marrying companies through any potential “cultural clashes”.

Technology-led Solutions

“CEOs need insights to understand the ‘successful elements’ from each brand, but they also need to navigate the politics of how brands are taken forward into the new scenario.” Seamlessly integrating brand into the M&A process.

So, how do CEOs seamlessly integrate brand into the process? The answer lies in smart brand management, underpinned by technology. GLIMMA works with clients such as FedEx and Delta to make this a reality, offering end-to-end solutions which combine brand consultancy with on-the-ground implementation. Their team of consultants offer digital solutions that help CEOs roll out brands efficiently and cost-effectively. “What we’re seeing is that, especially when they’ve just undergone an M&A, many companies don’t fully understand the assets they have – whether that’s digital or physical.

We can audit brands and provide a single gateway to all their brand data.” “We integrate systems which can standardise products and processes and deliver high volumes of data that allow them to clearly understand their assets and govern their brand more easily.”

'Good CEOs are those who nurture relations with all stakeholders, and enhance the rep-utation of their brands as a result.

Annie Brown
Associate, Brand Finance

Driving Efficiency

For some clients, this can yield a 20 to 30% saving in efficiency. By switching from manual to automated processes, introducing global specifications and seamless ordering and payments, GLIMMA can work quickly and with large volumes, significantly reducing the costs and even the environmental impact typically associated with global brand management.

When it comes to branding and rebranding post-M&A, Haxton says companies often need additional support and specialist expertise, as well as resources, to effectively manage their brand. Failure to do so carries a huge risk to the success of not only the union but the business too. “The brand is the North Star for the full organisation, led by the CEO. We can help CEOs work top-down and create impetus for a big brand push or rebrand, but also bottom-up – using data to inform key decisions and drive success.”

1. Defining Goals and KPIs

Effective implementation begins with a crystal-clear understanding of your desired outcomes. As McKinsey & Company’s “The Value of Value Creation” emphasizes, clearly defined goals serve as the driving force for maximizing business value. Whether it’s achieving market leadership, igniting customer loyalty, or driving sustainable growth, pinpoint your “why” with unwavering clarity. This foundational element sets the stage for establishing your key performance indicators (KPIs) – the quantifiable metrics that track your progress and ensure every implementation decision propels you towards your strategic north star.

2. Take Inventory: Mapping Your Brand Landscape

Before embarking on any transformative journey, we need a clear picture of where we stand. Enter the brand audit, your key to unlocking the secrets of your brand identity. Think brochures, billboards, websites, social media – every tangible and intangible piece that shapes your voice. As Harvard Business Review’s “How to Build a Global Brand” (2007) reminds us, meticulously categorizing and quantifying these assets is the foundation for success. This deep dive equips you with more than just budgetary and timeline clarity; it crafts a detailed roadmap for resource allocation and flawless brand implementation.

'Before embarking on any transformative journey, we need a clear picture of where we stand. Enter the brand audit, your key to unlocking the secrets of your brand identity.''

03: Cultivating Brand Champions: Building Comprehensive Implementation Engagement

A thriving brand isn’t built solely on marketing budgets and design guidelines but on the hearts and minds of its employees. Yet, achieving successful brand implementation steps requires more than just employee participation; it demands a transformation from passive compliance to passionate advocacy.

The insight report ‘How to Turn Your Employees into Brand Champions’ by Morhart and Herzog’s (2010) offers invaluable guidance on their new leadership approach:

  • Inspire a Shared Dream: Ditch transactionalism and “articulate a compelling brand vision” that ignites purpose and unites employees as champions, not followers.
  • Live the Brand Narrative: Be the walking embodiment of your brand values. “Acting as a role model” fosters trust and inspires employees to embrace the brand story.
  • Empower Brand Ownership: “Making employees rethink their jobs from the perspective of a brand community member” creates a culture of ownership, where initiative and interpretation are celebrated.
  • Nurture, Don’t Control: Equip employees with the knowledge and skills to excel. “Teaching and coaching them to grow into their roles as brand representatives” builds confidence and unlocks intrinsic motivation.

You cultivate a chorus of enthusiastic champions by implementing these successful brand implementation steps. Each voice adds vibrant harmony to the brand’s symphony, propelling your transformation from the inside out.

This revision not only seamlessly integrates your key phrase but also reinforces the connection between transformational leadership and successful brand implementation. Remember, the secret to brand triumph lies in inspiring, empowering, and unleashing the passion of your people. So, embrace the transformational path, ignite the spark of advocacy, and let your brand shine through the voices of its most dedicated champions!

04: Centralise Command: The Power of the PMO

Establish a dedicated PMO (project management office), the linchpin of your implementation. Gartner’s “Your Detailed Guide to the 2024 Gartner Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends” emphasises the crucial role of technology-driven platforms in streamlining brand management. Consider implementing user-friendly dashboards and automated workflows to ensure centralised oversight, consistent brand application, and seamless execution. Don’t forget sustainability! Opt for eco-conscious materials, prioritise refurbishment over replacement, and explore localised manufacturing solutions. Your brand can be a market leader and an environmental champion, not a wasteful monolith.

05: Celebrate and Measure: Quantifying Success and Paving the Future

A rebrand or brand refresh often signals a fresh start so don’t be afraid to use the opportunity, with both employees and customers, to firmly put your brand on the map and in their hearts.

No brand implementation is without its challenges, but you can consider it a success if:

  1. Everyone understands why you’ve rebranded and what the new brand means to them
  2. Physical and digital brand touchpoints are successfully transformed
  3. You have a detailed view of your new brand landscape and can build upon this for further brand developments, or even the next rebrand!

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to brand implementation but if you are facing a rebrand or brand refresh program, I hope this proves to be a good start.

KNOW YOUR CHALLENGE

There are varying speeds and scopes for a rebrand. To keep it simple, I’ll use two scenarios (but there are many in between):

SCENARIO ONE: a full corporate identity change that comes into effect on a single launch day – this is the most challenging from an operations point of view.

SCENARIO TWO: a phased approach which may even include some transitional branding, with a land date for the rebrand to be completed some time in the future. This buys you more time to engage with stakeholders and plan your strategy and implementation.

Faced with scenario one, invariably it works out best to use a rebrand specialist, especially if the scope is global and speed is essential.

In scenario two, it can often work out best to adopt a combined approach, for example use a rebrand specialist at certain stages (develop your strategy or manage the implementation) as you will have more time to engage and train your employees to manage the rebrand.

THE BENEFITS OF OUTSOURCING

01 EXPERTISE: without doubt the main benefit is that you are buying expertise, a ready made experienced team which you can simply plug and play, meaning you can hit the ground running without impacting too much on your day-to-day operations. Often a specialist is placed within your organisation to manage the launch from within, helping with engagement.

02 SPEED: a rebrand is not a ‘business as usual scenario’ so whilst you may have a fantastic team of brand specialists, they all have their day jobs too. An outsourced team is ready to go and does not face a rebrand learning curve – they already know exactly what needs to be done and how to do it.

03 COST: despite the upfront cost, it can definitely be more cost-effective in the long term to use external resource, particularly for global rebrands. Firstly expertise means ‘getting it right first time’ and avoiding costly mistakes. Secondly, economies of scale can be achieved more readily, for example in the purchase of materials or logistics. Finally, by keeping your team focussed on their day jobs, there is no negative impact on your daily operations and bottom line.

04 GLOBAL REACH: drawing on an existing network means that your rebrand is fully scaleable, can reach all parts of the world and all suppliers are pre-qualified to guarantee quality. A centralised international team means that you don’t have to stay up until 1am to catch the morning call with your Project Managers in Singapore!

THE BENEFITS OF KEEPING IT IN-HOUSE

01 COST: for smaller scale rebrands it simply isn’t always cost-effective to buy in external support. Provided you get the right team together with the right mandate and a clear scope of work, then it can be managed quite easily from within.

02 STRUCTURE: a rebrand is a company-wide activity and requires engagement from every team – Legal, Finance, HR, Real Estate, IT etc. You know your company best – the structure, the teams, the personalities and should be able to mobilise the right team from within.

03 ENGAGEMENT: a rebrand is an opportunity to build relationships across all departments and functions. It can be used to break down silos and improve communication, helping to reset your company purpose or vision and reignite passion within your employees.

DON’T LEAVE IT TOO LATE

Many companies will often start out on the rebrand journey, with a view to managing the entire process in-house, mostly with cost in mind.

With increasing time pressure and a growing realisation of the complexity of the rebrand programme (how do you find a quality assured supplier in Bermuda?!), some resort to buying in expertise at a later stage. This last minute panic is not the ideal scenario for a strategic and cost-effective rebrand implementation.

With the benefit of experience, I am genuinely convinced that an early understanding that investment in some external expertise really can pay dividends in the longer term.

TIME TO RETHINK THE WORKPLACE

The workplace has to carve out a new niche and offer something more to attract and retain its occupants. With an expected fall in workplace properties, this is good reason for companies who are reconsidering their property portfolios, to divert any divestment cost savings into quality over quantity.

At GLIMMA we have delivered workplace design and branding for clients such as HSBC and Coca-Cola

ENGAGEMENT, COLLABORATION, PRODUCTIVITY

The post-COVID period represents an opportunity – to improve the places we work – but much more than this, to use the workplace to become a better employer, to increase engagement, collaboration and productivity.

Let’s consider five trends we are likely to see in workplace design in the post-COVID era and three reasons why you should continue to invest in the workplace.

01 HOME COMFORTS – MEETING OUR NEW EXPECTATION

Workplace design must be centred around human need and our expectations have surely changed over the past six months. We have become accustomed to our home comforts, breaking away from online meetings to make a coffee or take a break on our favourite sofa.

The harsh environment of ‘all work and no play’ with banks of desks and meeting rooms, without any creature comforts, will no longer suffice.

Think more hotel than office in terms of design – shared lobby-style spaces and soft seating areas which encourage casual engagement.

Sleep pods or mediation spaces are becoming more commonplace and are no longer confined to more forward-thinking companies such as Google. They’ve known for a long time that a 20-minute power nap can improve learning and memory, prevent stress, boost creativity and increase productivity.

Office design will be inspired by the home aesthetic to make it more appealing and comfortable.

02 PEOPLE WANT TO FEEL CONNECTED

With social distancing measures in place, there is a strong risk that office working could become a solitary experience. This goes against the ethos of why people often prefer a shared place of work over WFH.

Simply alternating existing desks will create barriers that are too wide, with an adverse effect on human connection. You may as well work from home!

Clever design can ensure that we can all work together safely – it’s all about flexibility. Modular furniture or the use of other agile elements, such as bookshelves or tables, can help to create distance in a more user-friendly and subtle way.

Individual items of furniture may become larger in scale with wider and deeper dimensions. Modular furniture will help to address the need to adapt the space more frequently to meet ever-changing needs.

'Workplace design must be centred around human need and our expectations have surely changed over the past six months. We have become accustomed to our home comforts, breaking away from online meetings to make a coffee or take a break on our favourite sofa.'

03 BRINGING THE GREAT OUTDOORS IN AND TAKING THE INDOORS OUT

With social distancing, companies need to make use of every bit of available space, including any outdoor locations.

That tired old courtyard that everyone used to ignore? This is now prime real estate! Not only does it offer fresh air where it’s more difficult for viruses to spread, but fresh air is proven to help with our mental state.

The outdoors will no longer be the realm of the smokers, furtively tucked away under a less-than-desirable makeshift shelter, but it will become an integrated part of our workplace design.

Equally, we’ll be bringing the outdoors inside by introducing more and more greenery to our internal spaces. This help with air quality, and it also creates a more sustainable vibe and generates a sense of well-being.

04 THE NEW OFFICE RAISON D’ETRE – COLLABORATION

Never has the need for human touch been more obvious. Many of us face a hybrid solution, with a combination of WFH and office working. Technology has proven that we can effectively work remotely in teams, so the office has to work harder than ever to prove its worth.

A Harvard Business Review report of 2019 cited that remote workers communicated nearly 80% less about their assignments that collocated team members did. It will be interesting to see if emerging research shows an improvement in this statistic since lockdown and the normalisation of remote working.

Collaborative space is what will make office working stand out from home working and help to pull people back.

It will no longer be about individual workstations or random hot desking, but rather project rooms where teams can come together in order to share their work.

Good design has the power to unleash information sharing and enable each individual to understand how their role fits into the bigger picture and contributes to project and company success.

05 FLEXIBILITY

We will need to address the more transient nature of the workplace through more flexible design. A wholesale return to work will not happen, rather there will be a phased return, with different shifts for different teams.

This reduces the attractiveness and cost-effectiveness of dedicated personal workstations that would only ever be used part of the time by any one individual. Instead, we will see a greater focus on agile environments that can serve multiple purposes.

Along with more collaborative spaces, there will be a need for more temporary structures that can be easily be moved and transported. Office design will be about the short to medium term, rather than the long term. Temporary screens, flexible partitions, agile furniture will all play their part in the office of the post-COVID future.

'Good design has the power to unleash information sharing and enable each individual to understand how their role fits into the bigger picture and contributes to project and company success.'

THREE REASONS WHY WE SHOULD CONTINUE TO INVEST IN THE WORKPLACE

FIRSTLY, HOW DO WE FIND BUDGET?

Of course, all of these changes come with a price. We can use savings in some areas to invest in quality over quantity.

  • Smaller property portfolios – there are considerable savings to be made through divestment, reduced fixed overheads and supply expenses.
  • Reduced direct costs – less commuting will also result in big cost savings for both employees and employers, with reduced car parking and travel expenses.

WHY SHOULD WE INVEST?

1.MENTAL HEALTH

Consider the cost of mental health. In the UK alone, it is estimated that the cost to business of poor mental health is a staggering £45 billion (Counting the Cost of Mental Health report, Feb 2020).

And with 38% of employees citing that they feel that lockdown has had a detrimental effect on their mental well-being (Working during lockdown: the impact of COVID-19 on productivity and wellbeing, Deloittes), we know that the workplace can help to support mental welfare and reduce these costs.

2. MENTORING

And what about mentoring and training?  It’s not quite so easy to learn from others online. We do not want to lose a generation of training due to lack of face to face time.

3. ECONOMIC IMPACT – ‘GHOST TOWNS’

The workplace is also an integral part of our cities’ eco-system. The economic impact of workers not coming into our cities is huge, with a domino effect on a whole host of suppliers, from sandwich bars to retailers.

The question is: can you afford to NOT invest in your workspaces?

NEXT UP – PREPARING YOUR WORKSPACE FOR THE NEW POST-COVID WORLD

We will show you five ways that you can quickly and cost-effectively adapt your workspaces for the post COVID world.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m just off to my sleep pod for a 20 minute power nap! ?

Revolution or Evolution: Navigating the Merger & Acquisition Landscape

Mention a merger or acquisition and what springs to mind? Most commonly, it’s the financial value of the business in question. An M&A decision is generally commercially driven: be it to gain market share, eliminate a competitor, take hold in a new market or diversify.

According to EY, M&A transactions are a fast-track way of achieving transformation. In their latest report, Global Capital Confidence Barometer (March 2020), they reveal that despite the COVID-19 crisis, more than 54% of CEOs still expect to actively pursue merger or acquisition activity this year, with stressed companies struggling to survive and confident investors ready to seize upon the opportunities.

The Role of ‘Brand’ in M&A

As finance teams pour over the accounts and sales projections to carefully assess past performance and future revenue potential, they often fail to grasp that the most valuable assets of many companies are the intangible components. They don’t sit on the balance sheet but do directly contribute to the bottom line. These elements comprise the often misunderstood and undervalued area of Brand.

A target company’s brand is often a critical factor in its attractiveness to management, shareholders and investors. But the brand is often overlooked or glossed over in M&A situations, as an awkward addendum to the financially led process. Initiating a creative brand project as a consequence of an M&A or a sudden ‘forced’ rebrand needs careful consideration, starting with establishing very clear objectives.

Ignore the brand at your risk! Perceived as something hard to put a finger on, it’s an asset to be embraced as a critical part of the M&A process. Managing it effectively and efficiently by those who understand all aspects during the transition, should not be underestimated.

'Initiating a creative brand project as a consequence of an M&A or a sudden ‘forced’ rebrand needs very careful consideration and this starts with establishing very clear M&A objectives.'

What Makes Up Your Brand?

There are tangible and intangible aspects to every brand. All tangible assets have to be identified, quantified and where possible, valued in detail. The most obvious assets are the physical and digital manifestations of your brand, expressed in any number of ways: signage, buildings, places, uniforms, stationery, vehicles, online and mobile presence, etc. All of these are reasonably easy to identify, quantify and value.

Then there are the intellectual aspects of your brand, which include: positioning (vision, values, purpose), brand identity (logo, fonts, colours, patterns, photography) and other creative assets (narrative, tone of voice, strapline, key communication messages). These are usually outlined and documented in brand guidelines, which describe and specify the details of all relevant brand touchpoints.

The intangible aspects are harder to pin down. For example, a brand’s reputation amongst its customers, suppliers and employees is the sum of all the emotional and perceived interactions that they have had with it, in the form of products, services and the organisation itself.

Choosing the Right Rebrand Path

Decisions relating to a merger or acquisition can be very complex. What’s critical to remember is that a brand and business strategy are inseparable, with future success reliant upon selecting an appropriate model for managing the brand’s key M&A objectives.

Any board or executive team tasked with implementing a merger or acquisition has several options when it comes to managing the brand. These range from the most conservative – doing nothing, to the most radical – developing a completely new brand. Several alternative possibilities bridge the gap on the ‘evolutionary to revolutionary’ scale.

First, assess and analyse the existing equity of the two brands and decide if there are synergies and benefits to be enhanced in merging them. Or, could this change result in immediate or long-term damage to the business? For example, if an acquisition is a means of removing a key competitor from the market, then it would make little sense to keep that brand alive. However, if the company is being targeted precisely because its brand appeals to a new and desirable set of customers, it would seem self-defeating to lose that brand and the means for its customers to recognize its value.

'Decisions relating to a merger or acquisition can be very complex. What’s critical to remember is that a brand and business strategy are inseparable, with future success reliant upon selecting an appropriate model for managing the brand’s key M&A objectives.'

  1. Do Nothing – Business As Usual
    The most common model is where both parties have equally strong brands, which contain a high level of brand equity yet are very clearly differentiated. This approach is likely to be the least alarming to stakeholders, as very little has to change (at least to start with) and is unlikely to result in any additional brand-related expenditure, which also minimises the cost of the deal.On the other hand, whilst it may not require investment, the no-change approach may suggest that no synergies or savings can take place behind the scenes. This can lead adventurous stakeholders to question the benefit of the merger on the basis that they cannot see any economies of scale or efficiencies.
  2. Backing The Stronger Horse
    In this scenario, one brand disappears altogether, while the other remains more or less unchanged, although perhaps with some visible or less visible changes to the remaining brand. It has the advantage of setting a very clear course for the strategy and direction of the new business, which can unite stakeholders behind it.Inevitably though, it can force an unwelcome feeling of failure to stakeholders of the disappeared brand. This sense of disenfranchisement can be damaging to the new business, if not managed effectively.It’s not always inevitable that the bigger or more powerful brand survives. Sometimes, a thorough evaluation of the brands may establish that the smaller company’s brand is more desirable, even if its turnover is less. In those circumstances, the larger brand may be abandoned in favour of the smaller one.
  1. Best of Both
    Just as it sounds, this option is about creating a fusion of the two original brands. It may draw on the best aspects of the visual and creative assets of both parties. The results (which may not be entirely new) would convey a sense of moving forward together, utilising both respective brand’s strengths. This mutual sense of a shared endeavour, which all stakeholders can align with, instils a sense of shared value and respect.This approach is less risky than creating an entirely new brand. If done well, the results could be worth more than the sum of the original parts. A note of caution though, it could lead to a muddled sense of authenticity and narrative, which ultimately fails to connect or resonate with the target audience.
  2. Different in Kind
    This is the riskiest and most revolutionary of the possible routes, as it involves creating a completely new brand. It’s a high-stakes option, in which all of the existing brand equity in both parties is sacrificed in favour of creating an entirely new brand that customers don’t yet know or recognise.There’s every reason to feel fully motivated by this prospect, which needs positive energy and enthusiasm to sell its new message. It’s potentially a more expensive option though, as it involves developing a whole new brand identity and approach, which needs to be developed and detailed before rapidly rolling it out in the marketplace. Not all stakeholders will feel inclined to embrace such a dramatic change.
  1. Transitional Approach
    There are of course many variants within these broad scenarios. It’s possible to blend two approaches, such as evolving to a new brand more slowly over a fixed period.For example, some companies might decide to conduct “business as usual” for a while, to develop infrastructure, carry out research or plan other changes before adopting a “best of both” approach. The advantage of a phased or blended approach is that it allows for sufficient involvement by staff and other stakeholders with a vested interest in the new brand to help shape it.

Inspiring Employees

Engaging your employees within your existing and new business, whichever part of it they work in, is critical to aligning your practices with your vision. Each day, it’s they who deliver products and services to the customer and help create a positive relationship and experience.

From a purely financial perspective, HR costs make up a substantial piece of the pie and may even be the biggest cost in a service-driven business. It therefore makes sense that employees are engaged positively in the change and are consulted and included in key considerations.

To do this, they need clear roles and purpose within the change, they need to be ambassadors, equipped with the tools and knowledge to perform their roles in a way that supports the business. It’s natural to feel apprehensive about change, so being included in the process and being active in it helps develop confidence and leadership, which transmits to colleagues and others who experience the brand.

'Engaging your employees within your existing and new business, whichever part of it they work in, is critical to aligning your practices with your vision. Each day, it’s they who deliver products and services to the customer and help create a positive relationship and experience.'

Building Rebrand Success

Having the right management team involved during the earliest discussions regarding an M&A is vital to defining the path to success. Financial teams are important but so too are Brand and Marcomms specialists, in addition to Legal, HR and IT.

Planning an appropriate brand strategy requires thinking far beyond the transfer of ownership. How your customers and other stakeholders will perceive your new venture, needs careful consideration – so take time to consider the advantages, relevance and pitfalls of each approach.

Your current and future teams will ultimately make or break your plans, so including representatives early in the process to gauge and test your ideas could avoid future setbacks. Regular consultations during your engagement plan build-up will help the transition with a higher chance of success.

Find Out More

Our team of rebrand specialists is on hand to help with your rebrand, from strategy through to implementation. Contact us for an initial no-obligation chat.

The Power of Brand Identity

Your brand is more than just a logo and tagline. It’s your reputation, your voice and your promise to customers. A strong brand identity can help you:

  • Build customer preference and loyalty
  • Stand out from the competition
  • Command premium prices
  • Attract and retain top talent

Evolution or Revolution? Choosing the Right Rebranding Approach

Not all rebrands are created equal. Some companies may only need a light refresh of their visual identity, while others may need a complete overhaul. The best approach for your company will depend on several factors, such as:

  • Your current brand perception: How is your brand seen by consumers? Are you outdated, premium, innovative, or something else? Understanding your existing image reveals the starting point for any reinvention.
  • Your competitive landscape: Are you battling for market share in a crowded space? Is your competition known for bold branding moves or conservative approaches? Analyzing your rivals’ brand strategies helps determine how to stand out.
  • Your target audience: Who are you trying to reach? Are they millennials seeking fresh experiences, or established professionals valuing tradition? Defining your ideal customers guides tailoring your brand approach to resonate with them.
  • Your business goals: How does your potential rebrand fuel growth, financial performance, and efficiency; ultimately positioning your company for long-term success in a dynamic market? Your goal should be to propel your company forward.

See part one in our series: Mergers & Acquisitions (Part 1): 5 Strategic Approaches to Branding to get a better understanding of which route is best for your business.

Your brand is important to how you’re company is perceived, but how it's managed – relative to your entire customer experience – is critically important.

6 Key Questions to Help Define Your Brand

Before you start rebranding, it’s important to take a step back and ask yourself some key questions:

  1. Offer and Positioning: What makes your company unique? What space can your brand authentically own?
  2. Marketplace Environment: Has your market changed? Do you need to stand out or accelerate growth?
  3. Competitor Landscape: Are you losing market share? Do you need to raise your standards?
  4. Customers and Experience: Is your brand perceived as outdated? What defines your customers of the future?
  5. Products and Services: Has your product offer evolved? Have you outgrown your initial mission?
  6. Culture and History: Does your brand no longer reflect who you are? Do you need to simplify your message?

Many management executives are too busy to properly manage a rebrand without expert help, with considerable day-to-day responsibilities leaving little space in their diaries. The financial cost implications of the rebrand will be their priority, so establish detailed cost parameters with their input.

Five Key Steps in Developing a Creative Brief

Once you have a clear understanding of your brand, you can start developing your creative brief. This document will provide your branding agency with all the information they need to create a new brand identity for your company. The five key steps in developing your creative brief are:

  1. Research and Discovery: Gather information about your company, your history, and your target audience.
  2. Clarify and Articulation: Define your brand personality, voice, and values.
  3. Position and Differentiation: What makes your brand unique?
  4. Creative Expression: Decide on what will make up your brand identity, including your logo, typography, colour palette, tone of voice, etc.
  5. Application and Extension: Create guidelines for how your brand will be used across all touchpoints, ensuring you achieve consistency and allow for agile brand governance going forward

Identifying Your Branded Assets

When you’re working with a branding agency, it’s important to provide them with a list of all your branded assets. This includes things like your logo, website, marketing materials, packaging, and uniforms.

With physical site surveys, online self-surveys and desktop research, these assets can be easily provided to your brand agency from the very start. It gives them a clear picture of the nature and extent of your brand touchpoints so that they can be more specific with what to quote for and subsequently create. This can save a lot of embarrassment and prevent having to request extra budget later on in the process.

Identifying every aspect of your current brand identity can be the most complex task of a rebrand. Due to the sheer volume and geographic reach of branded assets, many companies wisely choose a phased rollout. This allows for ongoing progress monitoring and fine-tuning. Fortunately, experienced brand implementation partners excel at orchestrating rebranding initiatives. Equipped with expertise in strategic planning, financial management, vendor relations, and reporting tools, they ensure timely, budget-conscious delivery of consistent, high-quality branded assets throughout the process.

Implementing Your New Brand

Once your new brand identity is created, it’s time to start implementing it. This can be a complex process, so it’s important to employ a brand implementation partner. A good brand implementation partner can help you:

  • Develop a brand roll-out plan
  • Train your employees on the new brand
  • Track and measure your brand results
  • Ensure your rebrand is being communicated consistently across all touchpoints

Your brand implementation partner should work with your designers and internal resources to remove the stress of detailed operational project management and ensure that all your brand touchpoint assets transition as planned. Both physical and digital elements need consideration – building signage, wayfinding, workplace environments, fleet, workwear, administration templates, marketing collateral and online resources all need appropriate solutions to help decentralised company resources manage the governance process with clear direction and autonomy.

Seamless connections between all stages are essential. From brand strategy to brand engineering and brand implementation, each phase requires specific talent, expertise and experience in strategic, analytical, and tactical skills.

'Seamless connections between all stages are essential. From brand strategy to brand engineering and brand implementation, each phase requires specific talent, expertise and experience in strategic, analytical, and tactical skills.'

Top 5 Takeaways for a Successful Post-M&A Rebrand

  1. Do your research: Make sure you understand why you need to rebrand and what you hope to achieve
  2. Get buy-in from your team: Everyone in your company should be on board with the new brand.
  3. Think long-term: Your new brand should be able to grow with your company.
  4. Keep it simple: The simplest ideas are often the best.
  5. Plan for implementation: Rebranding is not just about creating a new brand. It’s about implementing it across all touchpoints.

A successful rebrand can be a powerful tool for growth. By following these tips, you can ensure that your company emerges from the post-pandemic world stronger than ever.

Find out more

Our team of rebrand specialists is on hand to help with your post-M&A rebrand, from strategy through to implementation. Contact us for an initial no-obligation chat.

Step 1: Brand Audit and Mapping Your Rebranding Journey

The excitement of a new identity fades quickly when faced with the logistical labyrinth of brand implementation. Before diving headfirst into production, a thorough brand audit is essential. This critical first step acts as a roadmap, guiding you through the complexities of transitioning your brand from vision to reality.

Six key questions form the foundation of your audit:

  1. What Needs Rebranding?
    Catalogue every physical and digital touchpoint that embodies your brand, from stationery and signage to your website and social media presence. Leave no stone unturned – even minor details like employee lanyards and internal documents matter.
  2. Where are They Located?
    Understanding the geographical distribution of your branded assets is crucial for planning logistics and resource allocation. A global brand, for example, will require a different approach than a local one.
  3. Access and Legalities:
    Are there any physical or legal hurdles to accessing and rebranding certain items? Permits, regulations, or contractual obligations might complicate the process in specific locations.
  4. Quantity Counts:
    Knowing the precise number of items to be rebranded is essential for accurate budgeting and production planning. A precise inventory prevents costly overproduction or underestimation.
  5. Supplier Spotlight:
    Identifying the current suppliers of your branded assets allows you to leverage existing relationships or explore new partnerships for more efficient production and cost savings.
  6. Condition Check:
    A brand audit is the perfect opportunity to assess the state of your assets. Are they nearing the end of their lifespan? Could their replacement offer additional value or cost benefits?

Building Your Rebrand Team

For extensive rebranding projects, a dedicated team is vital. Assembling representatives from key departments like IT, HR, Legal, and Marketing ensures a holistic approach that considers every aspect of your business. This cross-functional collaboration fosters team bonding and knowledge sharing, especially during mergers and acquisitions.

Specialist Support

Consider partnering with a rebranding specialist company. They can provide valuable templates, data capture tools, and expertise to streamline the process and ensure efficient data collection.

Data Gathering Strategies

The best approach to data gathering depends on your resources and the nature of your assets. Technology can be your ally, utilizing self-surveys and AI to automate data collection for specific items.

Desktop Audits

Leverage the knowledge of your on-the-ground teams. Equipping them with the right questionnaires and templates allows you to gather valuable data remotely with minimal disruption to their daily operations.

In today’s smartphone-driven world, capturing visual data is easier than ever. Encourage employees to snap pictures of branded assets and upload them directly to your server, creating a readily accessible visual library.

Site Surveys

For in-depth data and accuracy, on-site surveys are the gold standard. Although more expensive due to travel and manpower requirements, they are particularly recommended for flagship locations or areas lacking a dedicated on-site team. Consider combining a detailed site survey with other tasks to maximize efficiency and avoid repeat visits.

Rebrand Checklist

Keep track of all the elements requiring your attention with a comprehensive rebrand checklist. This could include:

  • Stationery (business cards, letterhead, envelopes, etc.)
  • HR/Legal documents (contracts, etc.)
  • Signage (interior and exterior)
  • Fleet vehicles
  • Wearables/uniforms
  • Office materials (memos, forms, invoices, etc.)
  • Marketing materials (print, trade booths, merchandise, etc.)
  • Digital assets (website, social media, intranet, etc.)
  • Product packaging
  • Presentation templates
  • IT systems

Building Your Brand Asset Database

The brand audit culminates in a central database housing all the information gathered. This visual snapshot of your entire brand landscape serves as the foundation for:

  • Accurate planning and cost estimation: Knowing what needs to be done and where allows for precise budgeting and resource allocation.

  • Ongoing brand management: The database becomes a valuable reference point for future brand decisions and ensures consistency across all touchpoints.

Budgeting and Cost Control

With a clear understanding of your assets and their locations, you can set realistic budgets for the rebranding process. The audit will also reveal cost-saving opportunities, such as revitalizing existing items or divesting outdated ones.

There are various approaches to managing a global rebrand budget. A central budget for program management combined with local budgets for regional items often proves the most effective balance.

Remember: While minimising costs is important, your rebrand is also an investment. Organizations like Brand Finance can help quantify the potential increase in brand value resulting from a successful implementation.

'There are various approaches to managing a global rebrand budget. A central budget for program management combined with local budgets for regional items often proves the most effective balance.'

Step 2: From Strategy to Seamless Brand Implementation

Now that you know what needs to be rebranded, it’s time to consider the sequence of your rebrand activity.

Detailed analysis of your brand landscape will provide a clear indication of which brand implementation strategy is best for you. Armed with these insights, you can decide:

  • Are you looking for a PR splash with a single launch date for all sites?
  • Are you rolling out your branding market by market, for example, starting in Europe and moving to Asia?
  • Do you wish to prioritise specific sites in each market – rebrand your flagship sites in various countries before moving to lower-priority sites?
  • Is your rebrand phased over several months or years, depending on operational or legal requirements?
  • Consider your stakeholders – do you need to inform a regulator first?

Often it is helpful to introduce your new brand internally before you launch it to customers. This improves engagement and allows employees to become familiar with your new brand.

Communication Planning for a Rebrand

A carefully considered communications plan must be created for both internal and external stakeholders. The order of play is important.

Beyond the operational team who are working on the rebrand, internal engagement can make or break your rebrand. For rebrand success, it’s vital to get all your employees onboard, understanding why you are rebranding, what your new brand purpose is and exactly what the benefits are to them, to the wider company and your customers.

Cultivating Buy-In for Lasting Success

Winning hearts and minds at every level is key. This is best achieved when it’s both bottom-up and top-down.

A rebrand is a strategic initiative – usually taken at the board level. Appointing high-level Brand ambassadors who take responsibility for their area of the business will have a hugely positive impact on your rollout.

A rebrand is not an everyday kind of activity. For this reason, your leadership team should be encouraged to make the most of the opportunity to create excitement and vision for the future.

  • Consider launching the rebrand internally first. This way employees will feel more engaged and comfortable with the change.
  • Celebrate success. This is not business as usual and it gives you the perfect opportunity to create a feel-good factor, particularly if you are merging two different organisations. There’s nothing like branded merchandise to make it feel real and generate excitement.
  • Work with HR on a mirroring scheme to help break down barriers. For example, legal works with legal, marketing works with marketing etc. to identify best practices.
  • Provide practical training. FAQs on how to answer the phone, how to update email signatures, and how to deal with customer queries.
  • Brand the workspace. This is the perfect opportunity to develop your employer brand and embed your brand purpose and value.

Creating a Sense of Unity

We’ve already established that it’s vital to draw upon the network of your on-the-ground teams from an operational point of view.

They possess the specific knowledge of their area of the business to help you both identify and then deliver your branding across your entire organisation.

Cross-functional and cross-border communication will help to smooth the rollout and promote a sense of unity.

Developing an External Launch Plan

A detailed communications plan for all external stakeholders is also vital – regulatory bodies, customers, suppliers and membership organisations. Consider:

  • Targeted direct mail
  • A big PR launch
  • Face-to-face meetings with key customers

Why Program Management Matters

To ensure consistency of your brand and quality control over your suppliers, you must have a single pivot point.

Programme management is a science- there’s good reason for there being so many tried and tested project management methodologies – from Waterfall to Agile to Critical Path.

The complexity of managing a global branding programme – suppliers, permits, materials, installers – is not to be underestimated.

A professional Project Management team will be the driving force for your rebrand and external resources can be a useful boost here.

Local Brand Implementation Success

Globalisation has made the world smaller and we all inhabit a much more international community.

Occasionally it’s possible to use a single supplier who ships items across the world and dispatches a team of installers to different locations.

Aside from the obvious cost, we find that local works best and we generally call upon the members of our international network to fulfill regional requirements.

Advantages of a Local Team

  • Shared culture and language
  • Well-connected and more resourceful in finding solutions
  • Working within the same time zone
  • Local knowledge – this is particularly important where permits are required
  • Speed of response – local teams can be on the scene quickly
  • No shipping cost
  • Reduced environmental impact.

'Programme management is a science- there’s good reason for there being so many tried and tested project management methodologies – from Waterfall to Agile to Critical Path.'

Step 3: Monitoring and Tracking

One of the key roles of your Project Management team will be tracking progress and reporting back.

There are many off-the-shelf software options for this, such as Workfront, Asana or monday.com, and these can usually be customised to suit your exact needs. For larger programmes, you may want to consider a bespoke system. Keep the long-term in mind – you are building up a powerful picture of your business that will set you in good stead for future developments.

How to Measure the Success of Your Brand Implementation?

It’s important to monitor your metrics so that you can recognise success:

  • Number of sites rebranded
  • Snag-free installations
  • Total number of employees or customers reached

When it comes to measuring the wider success of your rebrand programme, think about:

  • Brand recognition and awareness
  • Market share
  • Premium pricing

Tell Your Rebrand Story

If you are dealing with a global rebrand that is not confidential, the reporting can easily be used as part of your marketing efforts. A powerful social media campaign could be a demonstration of the Mexican wave that your rebrand has created across the globe.

Be sure to capture photos and videos so that you can successfully tell your brand story.

Statistics are also useful in marketing terms. Track key metrics such as:

  • The number of touchpoints rebranded
  • The quantity of vinyl or paint used
  • The average time to rebrand a site

'One of the greatest tools for a rebrand is often a Digital Asset Management (DAM). This is the perfect opportunity to bring all your branded items into a single system where they can be managed.'

The Importance of Digital Asset Management Systems

One of the greatest tools for a rebrand is often a Digital Asset Management (DAM). This is the perfect opportunity to bring all your branded items into a single system where they can be managed.

If you already have a DAM, then it’s a great opportunity to do some housekeeping and tidying.

Any data should be carefully stored and can be used for future planning or brand updates.

Top Five Tips for Successful Brand Implementation

  1. Know your approach and create an implementation plan that fits with your company’s strategic aims.
  2. Work with local teams and ‘subject matter’ experts to identify all your brand touchpoints.
  3. Plan your communication – both internally and externally.
  4. Centrally coordinate your rebrand efforts to ensure quality control and brand consistency. Deploy local teams to deliver your branded assets in each market.
  5. Celebrate your success and don’t lose all your good work – maintain the reporting from your Audits and Surveys into a central database. Ready for the next rebrand?

Stay tuned for part 5, where we’ll examine Brand Governance, taking a detailed look at the three key steps in protecting your brand throughout the merger and acquisition process.

Find Out More

Our team of rebrand specialists is on hand to help with your rebrand, from strategy through to implementation. Contact us for an initial no-obligation chat.

A robust Brand Governance approach is key to risk management, providing the framework to ensure that your brand continues to move forward and develop in the right way.

Discover the three key success factors:

  1. People
  2. Process
  3. Education

In part one of our series, we looked at Five Rebrand Strategies to help you define your joint brand goals. In part two we delved into the Creative Process of developing a new brand.

Part three covered Brand Engineering – a detailed look at the three key steps in preparing for your brand rollout. And part four examined the Brand Implementation process which sees the physical transformation take place.

From Brand Cop to Brand Steward

So much has already been written about the shift from ‘brand cop’ to ‘brand steward’ or ‘brand coach’ – a model that allows brands to be agile and responsive in today’s fast-moving environment.

For deeper insights, read Landor’s excellent article on the ‘Brand Community model’.

As far back as 2017 this new approach inspired our thinking – read how in this short article in Transform Magazine where we asked, “Does the new approach to brand governance impact on the practical implementation?”

Why This Shift?

  1. Brands are shaped by experience more than ever
  2. Detailed guidelines can become out of date as quickly as they are written
  3. There is so much user-generated content. Companies can no longer exert the same levels of control
  4. With lightning speed, anyone with access to the cut-and-paste function can easily publish branded content
  5. If you teach and inspire rather than tell, you achieve greater engagement
  6. It allows your brand to be more authentic, reflecting greater individuality whilst maintaining core brand values
  7. Cost savings by teams getting it right the first time

This is not to say that we are now amidst brand anarchy – far from it.

Litigation still exists but a good brand governance model will avert the need for legal recourse, protecting your brand identity and improving engagement.

So, it’s farewell ‘Central Command & Control’ and ‘Hello, Agility’.

'Litigation still exists but a good brand governance model will avert the need for legal recourse, protecting your brand identity and improving engagement.'

What Factors Make for Good Brand Governance?

When it comes to managing your brand, do you relate more to the ‘Brand Cop’ model but want to shift to the ‘Brand Coach’ model? Let’s look at what each entails:

Brand Cop Model: Tightening the Reins

  • Policing & Compliance: This model prioritises adherence to strict brand guidelines, often seen as restrictive by employees. Think legal contracts with rigid clauses, leaving little room for creative interpretation.
  • Micromanagement & Closed Channels: Brand cops control every aspect of brand usage, limiting employee autonomy and communication channels.
  • Manual Processes & Instruction: Everything gets done the ‘cop’s’ way, with cumbersome manual processes and prescriptive instructions.
  • Lack of Pride in Brand: This model often fails to foster brand pride among employees, leading to a disengaged workforce.

Brand Coach Model: Inspiring Champions and Unlocking Potential

  • Enabling & Coherence: The coach guides employees, offering frameworks and resources to interpret brand guidelines creatively.
  • Objectives & Open Access: Brand coaches set clear goals and empower employees to achieve them independently. Think open doors and transparent communication, allowing employees to contribute their diverse perspectives.
  • Automated & Inspirational: Technology simplifies workflows and automates routine tasks, freeing up employees’ time for innovation.
  • Shared Motivations & Monolithic Architecture: This model fosters a united purpose and sense of ownership among employees.

Where to Start?

An audit of both companies involved in the merger or acquisition will help you to scope the size of your task. Unlike the implementation phase, this is not a physical audit of your branded assets, but of people and processes:

  • Who is responsible for the brand?
  • Is there a centralised or decentralised approach?
  • What are the approval processes?
  • Is there automation?
  • Is there a central system for capturing and creating content?

If each organisation has a different approach, then finding common ground is vital. Most organisations now follow the brand community model, with a much more nuanced approach to brand management.

As a result of the brand creative process, you will already have developed and set the ground rules for your brand identity and established the non-negotiable elements, for example, colour and font. This includes non-graphic positioning elements and statements – brand purpose, values etc. Use these as your way-markers for your brand’s onward journey.

Remember, successful M&A branding isn’t just about merging logos; it’s about uniting cultures and unleashing the combined energy of your powerhouse brands. With a pre-flight audit and the essential building blocks listed above, you’ll be well on your way to crafting a unified brand identity that resonates with the world. The following are three building blocks to creating a solid brand ecosystem within your organisation:

'Remember, successful M&A branding isn't just about merging logos; it's about uniting cultures and unleashing the combined energy of your powerhouse brands.'

01: People

Businesses and brands are driven by people, so it’s key to identify everyone involved in the management of both brands and to recognise any overlaps and differences in approach.

Start by plotting all stakeholders.

The brand is traditionally owned by the brand or marketing teams but in reality, the brand is embedded in every level of your organisation. Public relations teams and HR are also heavily invested.

Next, scope the decision-making structure and clarify roles and responsibilities. The merger may result in cost-saving streamlining and this must be managed sensitively.

In addition to employees, consider other stakeholders, such as external agencies and how they are managed.

'Businesses and brands are driven by people, so it’s key to identify everyone involved in the management of both brands, and to recognise any overlaps and differences in approach.'

02: Processes and Systems

Even if both companies have a similar approach to managing their brand, they will have different processes for brand management.

  • How is content created?
  • What is the approval process?
  • Who manages the communication?
  • What legacy systems or software is used?

Start by mapping the processes within each company, so that you can adopt the infrastructure that works best for the newly merged company. Or maybe build a new brand infrastructure that combines the best of both worlds.

Technology is the great enabler of brand ecosystems – there is no shortage of proprietary systems available.

Many larger organisations develop their own technology solution which encompasses:

  • Digital Asset Management (DAM) – logos, videos, artwork etc.
  • The automation of workflow
  • New asset creation
  • Templates
  • Approvals process
  • Portal for all guidelines
  • Showcase for best practice

As well as being more efficient, by harnessing technology to pull all of this into a single framework, you will offer a more user-friendly and accessible interface.

It will also help provide important data analytics so you can better understand how your brand is being deployed globally.

'Technology is the great enabler of brand ecosystems – there is no shortage of proprietory systems available.'

03: Education and Empowerment

Last but no means least, is the education and training of all your stakeholders. In the Brand Community model, this is more important than ever. Guidelines are purposely open to allow for interpretation by local markets. So, it’s vital to communicate your brand’s purpose clearly so that it is translated correctly.

You should aim to inspire and inform rather than instruct.

Communication pathways need to be established – starting with onboarding for all employees and then considering how brand is communicated to all employees. They are your brand ambassadors so it’s vital to continually engage with them, bottom up and top down.

User-generated content is increasingly important so equip your entire organisation with the tools they need to creatively and accurately represent your brand.

In addition to systems training for all those involved in brand management, think of brand education in its widest sense and how you can embed your brand into the organisation, for example through workplace branding.

Any measure that helps to build employee confidence in the new brand will help to migrate the transition to your new brand and improve motivation.

'Any measure that helps to build employee confidence in the new brand will help to migrate the transition to your new brand and improve motivation.'

Top Five Tips for Successful Brand Governance

  1. Embrace differences in a coherent way – a community approach will help your brand to reflect the diversity of your people, markets and cultures and keep it authentic
  2. Harness technology – it can support content creation and workflow to produce locally loved but globally compliant content
  3. Don’t lock your brand guidelines away – make them accessible
  4. Know the non-negotiables and create agility by inspiring and educating your people
  5. Remember to support and celebrate success

We hope this five-part series equipped you with the tools and knowledge to conquer your own M&A brand challenge. Translate our insights into action, stitch together a unified brand narrative, and unleash the full potential of your merged force. The world is watching – make your brand impact legendary.

Find Out More

Our team of rebrand specialists is on hand to help with your rebrand, from strategy through to implementation. Contact us for an initial no-obligation chat.

01 SUSTAINABILITY & COVID-19

COVID has clearly had a significant impact on the workplace. Organisations that didn’t have a remote working system in place have been forced to implement those systems rapidly.

In the not too distant future, the world will return to a new normality, but this won’t mean the end of specific systems that were set up during this time. Measures such as remote working have already contributed to a more sustainable workplace, from a reduction in energy and water consumption to reduced travel and a more balanced work life for employees.

Regulations have changed so much – from sanitisation to social distancing – that for some companies, it has become inefficient to pursue office operations. We know that office space will be scaled down and that workplace must become more appealing in order to attract the workforce back.

02 EVERYDAY SUSTAINABILITY

Small changes to everyday operations can have a significantly amplified effect within the workplace when it comes to creating a greener working environment, such as:

  • Accessible recycling points
  • Low flow toilets and water sources
  • Multiple-use water bottles
  • Go paperless
  • Open windows in preference to air conditioning
  • Turn down the thermometer
  • Introduce house plants
  • Switch off lighting when rooms are not in use

Current and potential employees (sustainability is high on the agenda of most Millennials) will notice the forward-thinking changes made, making it a more attractive place to work. In the longer term you will find that you’re able to engage better with your existing employees and secure new talent.

Many of these smaller initiatives revolve around human behaviour so think about introducing a monthly competition for employees to help set new habits.

'Small changes to everyday operations can have a significantly amplified effect within the workplace, when it comes to creating a greener working environment.'

03 HARNESSING TECHNOLOGY

Technology is used to enable communication, increase the efficiency of workforces around the world and can be utilised to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of your workspaces.

Systems such as Nest and Hive provide complete control over the temperature control in your premises; automatic lighting sensors prevent the waste of energy and collaboration technology has reduced the requirement for unnecessary travel for meetings.

Some types of software and technology are more costly than others but the long term benefits and savings make them worthy of investment. Technology of this kind has never been more accessible, and there has also never been a better time to consider incorporating them into your workplace strategy.

For longer term solutions, Facilities Managers are now looking at alternative sources of power.

04 BIOPHILIC DESIGN

Creating a sustainable workplace is about more than just reducing your consumption. In addition to a focus on conserving resources and reducing emissions, biophilic design is a proactive way to create a healthier workplace for everyone and inject a new lifeforce into your spaces.

By adorning offices with natural furnishings like plants and foliage, you’ll be taking steps to increase the amount of oxygen and quality of air in the atmosphere of your offices. Natural décor has also been proven to reduce stress and increase productivity.

Businesses have a genuine duty of care to their employees, and more organisations are taking a proactive approach in ensuring that their place of work is attractive and healthy.

The utilisation of biophilic design, along with other facilities like standing desks and hydration points, will significantly increase the attractiveness of the workplace, helping to draw back your employees and keep them well.

'Businesses have a genuine duty of care to their employees, and more organisations are taking a proactive approach in ensuring that their place of work is attractive and healthy.'

05 SUSTAINABLE MATERIALS

Eco-friendly design and sourcing is about using sustainable materials from environmentally friendly suppliers, as well as using innovative eco materials.

We pride ourselves on selecting materials from manufacturers that have long lifecycles and can be recycled and reused. When introducing workplace branding, we strive to use recyclable materials and often refurbish, rather than replace. Workstations can be easily upcycled, much in the same way that home furniture is.

Think durability and longevity when it comes to selecting your furniture:

  • Is it easy to repair?
  • Is the supplier eco friendly?
  • Can it be supplied locally?

If you do need to replace items, then recycle rather than send to landfill.

In terms of supply chain, consider the environmental credentials of your vendors- do they have credible sustainability goals and adhere to environmental standards? When sourcing items, aim to resource them locally wherever possible.

In addition to materials selection, interior design can also play an instrumental role, drawing on nature and incorporating outdoors spaces into office design. For example, we helped Arla Foods to actively display their environmental commitments in a comprehensive workplace branding programme at their head offices in Denmark and Sweden.

FIND OUT MORE

As one of your largest physical assets, the workplace, be it an office or an industrial site, offers one of the greatest opportunities to contribute to your company’s carbon neutral status.

If you are considering a change in your workplace format, then now is the time to incorporate sustainability into your workplace strategy, We’d be delighted to help with free advice to get you started.

Find out more about our work with clients such as HSBC, Coca-Cola, Nokia and Alitalia, to name a few.