ellen&ellen was formed in April 2010, bringing together a multi award winning team of five, with the heritage of a large scale agency but doing things differently. ellen&ellen has developed a new paradigm – we realised that while two businesses can offer the same product or service each do it very differently, this is their unique story (hook) that no-one else can own.
This revelation formed the basis of our methodology moving forwards.Using research and strategy we define the unique story of a company and turn it into a powerful tool for positive commercial value and internal pride. We create targeted key messages that resonate with all stakeholders – customers, owners, managers, staff, investors – and wrap it up in a powerful visual system that fits the organisation. This is their brand story, a story that has depth, meaning and truth, one that resonates.
During ellen&ellen’s four years we have delivered brand stories for Rose and Thorne (womens underwear); Bachcare (New Zealand holiday rentals); Greentree (ERP Software exporting worldwide); Vista Cinema Software (exporting to 63 countries, aiming at 55% of the global market, going from 25% to 37% within sixteen months of brand roll out and still climbing); Veezi (Software for Independent Cinemas worldwide); Vista Group (the parent company for Vista, Veezi and others); Endeavour (New Zealand and Australian based IT reseller); Frank (Australian based IT reseller); Addax (Australian based IT reseller) Kiwibank (development of brand collateral); QBE Insurance (creating advertising / brand messages that resonate with the New Zealand market); Pacific Yoga (hot yoga franchise in Bristol, UK); New Zealand Focus (distribution channel in Hong Kong and China for New Zealand products) and many more. We have also had the privilege to develop brand stories for the New Zealand Government House and the NZ Defence Force.
We have had an influence on how these companies conduct their businesses and sell their services both on and offshore with some incredible wins along the way. In order to deliver on our promise we undertake the following activities:
• User-centred research with key users and stakeholders to understand the needs and underlying proposition that the brand needs to deliver to.
• A strategy is developed for the brand. This is built from the research, yet grounded both in business reality and aspiration. We dig deep and define our client’s point of difference and their role in the world. This forms a snapshot that informs the visual application of the brand story.
• Strategy can result in a powerful shift in business thinking or offering. For instance the Vista (cinema software) business model was B2B, we needed to make cinemas that are run by Vista demanded by the movie goer, we moved their brand strategy beyond B2B to B2C to achieve this.
• This written strategy is then turned into the visual aspect of the brand. The brand elements communicate all the findings of the strategy. This is a highly creative process where the whole team work together through brainstorming, workshopping and moodboarding. Visual directions are explored and tested against the brand strategy. We don’t copy, we create. We generate new ideas and pathways.
• We don’t rest until we have fulfilled on the strategy, we always know that magic moment when we have.
• Once a visual brand direction is identified, the concept is grown including various ways of communicating the key messages. The work is constantly assessed to ensure it remains on target and in line with the written strategy, encouraging stretch.
• The result is a robust brand story. This is built from a visual toolkit of elements; including logo, hook, brand messages, graphic elements, photography, language, typography, colours and execution to collateral in the print, signage, online and exhibition space. Every touch point of the brand is considered so that it lives up to it’s promise and remains consistently communicated.
• The brand story is presented to the client, each page is prominently displayed and cross referenced so the client can understand the robust thinking that has gone into development.
• Brand roll-out occurs. This is the implementation stage that can take a few months, or form an ongoing partnership depending on the client’s requirement. We produce and oversee all aspects of the brand roll-out from stationery, website design, to ongoing product development and communication material.
• We pride ourselves on being attentive to detail, clients trust us. Their investment is on the line – so we make sure the results are perfect.
• Where appropriate, we build prototype experiences and test. For a client trade stand in Las Vegas and Barcelona we built a life size model using foam board and tape and anything else we had at hand. The client was able to move through and understand the space, how it was going to work for them and input into making it a better experience before investing in the final build. The stand was hugely successful with those manning the stand commenting ‘we look like a global company now’.
• On this journey we also understand the issues clients face making sure our contribution is seamless, removing a layer of stress and ensuring that the client has faith in what we are delivering. They know we deliver over and over again. We make our clients marketing team look good.
• We maintain client contact at all stages throughout the process; through workshops, informal/formal visits and discussions, and presentations at key stages.
• We pull rabbits out of hats.