CivTech® 2.0 Demo Day.

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Interesting day today as I go to the EICC to see the launch of the second round of Civilian Technologies.

CivTech® 2.0, from the Scottish Government’s Digital Directorate, launched in early May, set a series of open public sector challenges which ranged from remote visitor monitoring at historic sites, and better access to digital public services, through to outpatient re-design and a unique system to combat bird-of-prey persecution.  Today reveals the winners and their innovative solutions.

Here’s how the ‘innovation flow’ works.

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A new venture.

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It’s been a few months in the planning but I can finally reveal that I have set up a venture with John and Nicki Denholm (of Denholm Associates) and Keith Thompson (A highly regarded and thoroughly likeable HR supremo who worked with both RBS and Virgin Money).

It’s an employer brand consultancy and essentially combines all of our skills in a unique package.  I drive the branding part of the equation (both internally and externally to an organisation), Keith leads on the people and HR consultancy and the Denholm team bring not just search and recruitment skills to the table but a database of over 5,000 candidates which gives us what John likes to call ‘a real time, always on 24/7 focus group of real market opinion’.

We’ve had a number of positive pre-emptive meetings and have just secured our first client but we’ve not even scraped the surface yet.

Now, we can’t claim to be spring chickens , as our team line up shot demonstrates (a crateful of zimmer frames are discretely positioned out of shot) but what we lack in youthful zeal we over deliver on sage consideration.  But we couldn’t offer the consultancy we do without a few laps under our belts.

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And anyway, we’re just the core team, we have a bunch of award winning creative people, tech wizards and media planners, both on and offline, waiting in the wings to spring into action as strategy moves into implementation.

You can read a little more about us and make contact if you see the need here.

But in between times I’ll leave you with a salutary reminder of what you might become if you don’t apply the fundamental principles of employer branding.  Or more precisely, apply them too enthusiastically.

 

 

Touching, beautiful and hilarious. The sign of a great brand hitting the mark full square.

Beginning with the beautiful but subtle soundtrack (1982’s ‘Four Square’) reimagined by Scots director Dougal Wilson (ex Leith Agency) Channel Four have released four new idents that are crushingly brilliant.

I laughed out loud at the football execution and was genuinely moved by the immigrants spot.

Dougal Wilson has turned into a real nations favourite director with a string of great work but this is a tricky one.

The brief was to capture C4’s inclusive and diverse personality without becoming ‘right on’ politically correct or overly serious.  Channel 4 is fun too, and cheeky (naughty they say).

So this is an outstanding achievement of branding. both aural and visual, and completely true to Martin Lambie Nairn’s original creation back in 1982.  Yet almost completely different.

A class act.  Bravo.

A remarkable rebrand for Investors in People (IIP) Scotland

Screen Shot 2017-07-31 at 15.52.54For some time now I’ve been working with IIP Scotland to help them on their journey through a rebrand that most people agree has had a pretty remarkable outcome. Along the way I enlisted the help of Front Page in Glasgow (website) Studio LR in Leith (identity) and 3X1 (PR) to help make the new brand for IIP Scotland truly remarkable.

IIP Scotland has been steadily growing its portfolio of services for some time now and is on the cusp of even more innovation. So, with an increasing emphasis on consultancy work, rather than offering only IIP accreditation, allied to the success of the Investors in Young People Award (a Scotland only initiative) and in anticipation of a slew of exciting new consultancy offers, the time was right for IIP Scotland to rebrand to reflect its growing portfolio of client-led services.

I was commissioned by the remarkable Peter Russian (if you know him you’ll know why I use that adjective to describe him) to conduct a comprehensive consultation process that sought the views of a cross section of staff, board members, clients and prospects to identify a clear new proposition for the organisation.

As an interim measure, the website was redesigned, after a pitch, by Front Page.

‘Love your business, love your people’ became the core communication and resulted in a far more engaging site.

On 20th June we witnessed the public unveiling of a new name, a new brand and a radically different look and feel.

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The result is Re:markable. With a colon. (But not in copy.)

The name reflects the fact that Remarkable (the new home for IIP in Scotland) delivers a world-class range of services. It helps organisations become more successful by developing and empowering their people to have increased control in their workplace.

It’s intended to be more dynamic, passionate and authoritative, with supportive and genuine Specialists (consultants).

The name reflects the fact that Remarkable makes a marked difference to the organisations it works with; and offers marks of quality (to include Investors in People in Scotland) and a world-class range of consultancy tools and services.

It’s a mark that recognises they are more able. And that’s remarkable.

It’s bold. That’s partly down to the board challenging us to think big, to be positive and to be radical.

But the marque itself is restrained, classical almost. That’s because we wanted to maintain a sense of authority and too much fuss with typography might just have been a step too far.

We commissioned a full new suite of photography using real people (clients, all of them) by Sam Sills that showed ordinary people doing their jobs remarkably.

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Working with a client that wasn’t willing to accept anything less than statement work was a real delight. And with agencies that gave their all was brilliant too.

An intelligent, thought provoking team that really walk their walk were a real pleasure to do business with and I believe they’ve been rewarded with an outcome that succeeds in completely repositioning their organisation.

And that’s been rewarded with tremendous initial results. The PR alone reached 7.5 million people (with 100% positive messaging), web traffic doubled, new visitors trebled, and I love this quote from the managing partner of one of Scotland’s largest law firms.

“It’s brilliant. It’s clean, fresh, and open to all sorts of innovative branding and marketing collateral. Great job and all the best as you all move forward to the next phase of getting the brand firmly established”


Recent Work: Progressive Partnership.

Progressive-Mockup copy.jpgDoug Cook and I worked on this new website for Progressive Partnership.

It’s the main outcome of an overall positioning research project and a revamp of the entire suite of Progressive’s marketing and presentation collateral.

We slightly tweaked (updated) the branding and designed, wrote, built, filmed, photographed and marketed the new site.

We feel it’s a clean crisp, professional representation of a clean, crisp, professional outfit that has punched well above its weight in Scotland for many years.

Here’s to as succesful a future for Sarah, Diane, Carole and the gang as the past has been.