What we found
Smart brand thinking
What We Found
Cambridge Econometrics is an economics consultancy that provides analysis, reports and training to governments, NGOs and other organisations around the world. Established 30 years ago as a spin-off from Cambridge University, it does a lot of work for the European Commission and in partnership with leading management consultancies.
While the business is successful and growing, it was looking rather tired and dated in terms of its visual image and website. Our brief was to position CE to ensure it was well placed to pick up major contracts, by ensuring it looked modern and dynamic, with a strong value proposition that made it more attractive than its competitors.
Smart Brand Thinking
We started by facilitating a workshop with CE’s directors to clarify their business strategy and priorities for the next five years. We then ran a workshop with around 30 CE staff, to gather their thoughts on what is special and different about what CE does and why it matters.
Together with an analysis of their competitors, this helped us arrive at the essence of what they offer – not just endless information, but sharply focused insight. From this we came up with a strapline – clarity from complexity – to act as both a promise to clients and as a standard for all of CE’s communications. Having clarified the essence of the CE brand, we developed three possible routes for their new visual identity, before settling on the final choice. In deciding this and other details, we worked very closely with a small, core group of senior staff, while ensuring the wider team were engaged and consulted on key decisions.
Our core challenge was to present CE as professional and credible experts, while also making them appear engaging and approachable as individuals, rather than overly dry and academic. We wanted to ensure prospects would not only be convinced by the strength of their work, but would feel ‘these are people I’d like to do business with.’ This challenge strongly influenced our design style, choice of images and use of language across the range of online and printed products we delivered for them.
Ahead of going live with the new website and other materials, we ran a briefing session for staff and provided them with a handy, desktop guide to CE’s brand, communications style and values. This was backed up by a more detailed, technical style guide for use by internal and external editors, designers and printers.
Feedback from CE’s staff and third parties has been extremely positive and we secured a prominent article about CE’s 30th anniversary in a key business publication. We continue to work with the CE team to help them ensure they are living up to the promise conveyed in their ‘clarity from complexity’ strapline, across everything they say and do.
“I’ve been really pleased with the process and the outcome. It’s been thoughtful, strategic and challenging when necessary. Most importantly, Paul, Darren and Dan have captured the essence of our brand and communicated it in an engaging and authoritative way.”
Phil Summerton, Managing Director