Network Marketing are a leading marketing recruitment business with offices in London, Leeds and Manchester. They've been in business for 19 years and are highly respected for their personable and straightforward approach.
The owners of the business made the brave decision to talk to us about going all the way on a rebranding project and so we introduced them to our own unique workshop process (the sarcastically named '5-Point Exploding Heart Technique').
The client felt that whilst the old identity was strong and iconic, the use of colours, typography and language were all in need of modernisation.
Our processes around B2B branding aren't all that dissimilar to creating or refreshing consumer brands. We start with sector and customer research and hold a series of brand workshops. Not pointless, fluffy stuff (not a Brand Onion in sight) - but proper workshops - designed to force the owners of the business to prod and poke around what their brand currently says and looks like (versus the reality of the situation).
"Fist of Fury came in to our business and incisively unearthed the truth about our brand..."
We LOVE this process. It's unequivocally cathartic to take brand owners on a journey - whereby they collaborate with us and ultimately strip down, cut through and analyse what's important about their values and brand as a whole. Of course from there, they often then realise that they're not conveying their values or proposition all that clearly. This is the best bit...
And for those who see this as purely internal process: Nope... This isn't a glossy comms project. Sure, it's about comms, but that includes internal comms. When the workshop process was over, Network Marketing had also defined a new and clear set of values - all of which are now proudly framed on the walls of their offices and part of their own recruitment process.
WHAT WE DID (VISUAL)
We initially explored 3-4 routes. The idea being a spectrum including a 'safe' route (a knock on from their current identity), winding up with an outside chancer route - more disruptive, vibrant and real. We landed on the 'chancer' route, which we were really chuffed about. This multi-coloured route carries with it the boldness that we were after - along with the potential of a pretty iconic marque (the 'NM' symbol).
In terms of some post-rationalising bullshit: we do like the idea that this identity is all about joining people and organisations together. The perfect fit between a marketing professional and their new position as they continue to create connections and new opportunities along their colourful career path. That point where the magic happens and it's all gravy...
WHAT WE DID (TONE OF VOICE)
When your brand workshop uncovers things like: the organisation's belief is "great job done first, fees second", and they feel that their behaviour is "sure-footed", or they have values including "Always delivering" and "no short-cuts", it's pretty much a piece to work out which way the tone of voice project has to go.
During the workshop process with Network Marketing, it was agreed that their grand position was all about "doing it properly." Every time we came back to it, it was clear that the business really does know ("get") marketing people. This started us off on a clear path with key factors along the lines of:
Clear and straight-talking Absolutely NO bullsh*t or B2B 'gloss' A little bit of educated fun Confidence without any hint of arrogance Never take it too seriously We drilled down the brand core to 'Marketing people; we get them' (a campaign opportunity in its own right) and ultimately defined the brand's strap-line as 'Recruitment, done properly'.
We also wrote a brand story for them - which you can read here. As usual, we summed all of the work up in some funky diagrams and a brand bible, to ensure that some other monkey doesn't mess up all our lovely work. And thus, a new era was born. One of straight-talking, and of recruitment, done properly...
As all good companies do, Network Marketing shared their new branding, asking clients and peers for feedback - and it was great.
Comments and congratulations poured in regarding the new fresh look and web site. Also, people specifically appreciated the new, fluff-free proposition and tone of voice. The other interesting recurring comment was "You really are proving that you know marketing people."
Enquiries are up thanks to their new site design (we did that too) - and additionally via their social channels. So much so, that LinkedIn are preparing to do their very own case study on this B2B branding project. So job well done and another thoroughly enjoyable project complete - bringing significant and positive change as a result.
Happy new brand, Network Marketing!
Here's an interview with Martin O'Toole (founder of Fist of fury) & Jonathan Hirst (Group MD of Network Marketing) where they discuss the process.