Archive of: 2016

  • The Great Manchester Expo 2016

    A great success

    BZ Marketing chester

    The Etihad Stadium, Manchester played host to The Great Manchester Expo last month. With over 900 delegates attending the five hour event BZ took to the stage with over 120 exhibitors. If the organisers had held a competition for the best stand I’m sure we’d have won first prize as our stand really did stand out. Despite being only a 3 × 3 pop up it was commented on by all who visited.

    The event itself proved very successful and BZ look forward to working with a number of companies who visited our stand.

    BZ will be showcasing our creativity yet again at the 2017 event.

  • The future of creativity and what it means for the industry

    The highlights

    Last week creative minds from across Europe met at Palazzo Barberini, Rome’s National Gallery of Ancient Art. Surrounded by works of famous artists from the 13th – 19th century, agency faces debated the future of creativity, the changing role of creative directors and how to inject more originality into advertising. Here are the highlights…

    Creativity in advertising is in crisis, and education is to blame

    Dave Buonaguidi, Chief Creative Officer at CP+B felt that creativity in advertising was in crisis and the standard of work coming out of agencies wasn’t up to scratch. He blamed much of this on the education system and the near monopoly of the advertising industry.

    Dave Buonaguidi has been in the advertising business for 3 decades and questions whether he and the companies he works around are being as creative as they could be, which is a real challenge. The sad thing is that creativity is the most important thing we agencies sell to our clients.

    There are now approximately 300 colleges and universities that offer courses in advertising, but the subject is being taught by people who no longer work in the industry – They are the ones teaching the future, but have nothing to do with the here and now. The result?… Poor output. Courses in Advertising are expensive which also deter much of the lower classes from studying and we need more diversity in our industry.

    Creativity seems to have become a column on a spreadsheet and a commodity, given that most large agencies are owned by two or three different companies which causes independent vision to be lost. So a lot can be said for smaller agencies who don’t have to appease stakeholders.

    It’s not all doom and gloom

    According to Richard Pinder, CEO of Crispin Porter + Bogusky’s UK, creativity in education is the cure to solving today’s issues. Richard has put his money where his mouth is and put his two children into Lego’s forward thinking, fee-paying International School of Billund in Copenhagen, which focuses on learning through play to encourage creative, critical thinking. The results?… His daughter has gone from the bottom to the top of the class.

    Schools like Lego that focus on creativity over measuring skills in more traditional ways are important, but they still remain the domain of the upper classes, and do little to democratise the creative industries.

    Brands are getting nervous… Who wants to be the next Kodak?

    Since 2000, 52% of the Fortune 500 companies have either gone bankrupt, been acquired or don’t exist anymore. In 1955 the average life expectancy of businesses was 75 years, but today businesses are lasting just 15. Which indicates at BZ we must be doing something right as we enter our 30th year. But startup companies riding on the wave of disruption are introducing new ways of working that are proving more fruitful than traditional counterparts.

    We are living and working in uncertain times juggling the relationships between brands, agencies, ways of working, creative cultures and the force of disruption through technology. And as the corporate mortality rate moves ever faster, traditional brands are getting more and more nervous. No one wants to be the next Kodak, who failed to see digital photography as a disruptive technology and got dragged off to bankruptcy. They need help with outside thinking, they need to be challenged, they need to be helped, they want to partner, and that’s why BZ are here.

    Today’s start-up businesses are forming power through creative culture, leveraging talent and using different principles and practices to go to market at scale. In much the same way, BZ doesn’t work in a traditional sense with the Creative Director leading the idea as we are all equally creative, and our 30 year success is purely down to the quality of our people.

    But the reality is they must evolve, the creative department has to evolve to be fit to serve businesses of the next 2 decades. If an agency was a creative factory with 20 designers outputting ideas, it is only going to deliver 20 people’s worth of an idea, where as at BZ we have ideas coming from everywhere via a managed process and a creative culture.

    Creativity for crisis sake

    From Brexit to the continued migrant crisis, terrorism to political surprises, 2016 has been a particularly challenging year. But with crisis comes opportunity, and creativity can instigate change. You can build towers and walls, or you can break them down, and creativity can do that. We can take every crisis as an opportunity to do better. The role of creativity isn’t simply about coming up with cool or humorous ideas for an advert anymore, it’s about using the power of creativity to devise a campaign or a service that will lead people to think has the ability to change their lives in some way.

  • BZ booked by Sykes Cottages

    Sykes set on Success

    Established in the Yorkshire Dales over 25 years ago, Sykes Cottages have been delivering the finest handpicked cottage holidays throughout the country. Now based in Chester, Sykes have become the leading independent holiday cottage letting agency in the UK.

    Over the years, the business has seen significant growth, but the one thing that hasn’t changed is their commitment to presenting an extensive range of fantastic quality cottages at value for money prices. And all backed by an unmatched customer service level that maximises customer retention and repeat bookings.

    With an extensive range of over 7,500 cottages across the UK and Ireland, all of which have been personally inspected and approved, and with over 100,000 holidays booked each year, Sykes Cottages are now set to build on their success and grow their portfolio two fold.

    With newly appointed CEO and CRM formerly from Moneysupermarket Group, Sykes Cottages recently engaged BZ’s marketing and creativity to support them with key areas of their overall marketing strategy. With over three decades of expertise within the UK holiday home and rental market, and although early days, the partnership seems perfectly aligned and BZ are set for long term rental.

  • See us at the Great North West Expo

    Showcasing our creativity

    We will be exhibiting at the Great North West Expo, Stand 48, Etihad Stadium, Manchester, Thursday 24th November, 9.30am – 3.00pm.

    The Great North West Expo is the leading business exhibition within the region and has gained the respect and support of the leading UK corporate bodies and membership organisations such as: The FSB, The British Chamber of Commerce, 4 Networking, The Business Growth Hub, The Enterprise Network, The Local Enterprise Partnership, Just Cash Flow PLC and many more.

    This one day event is a great opportunity for us to showcase our creativity and services and increase awareness of our brand. And there’s plenty more going on besides including:-

    Julianne Ponan: Award Winning Young Entrepreneur, female CEO and branding expert
    Sgt Rick Clement: Manchester’s REAL war hero, double amputee, Inspirational ‘Motivational’ Speaker
    Michelle Mills-Porter: Award Winning Business Woman, Tsunami survivor and best selling author of “Phone Genius”
    James Sinclair: The Millionaire Clown with a £10 million business empire
    Phil Jones MBE: MD of Brother and the North West’s most Influential Business Leader

    There are also Masterclasses, Workshops and plenty of Network opportunities. Entry to the event includes a delegate bag worth £100! and your FREE tickets are available here

  • Jaguar enter FIA Formula E Championship

    A pivotal point for Jag

    After a 12 year break, Jaguar returns to motorsport entering the electric racing FIA Formula E championship in Hong Kong this October with a brand new identity.

    Panasonic Jaguar

    Named the Panasonic Jaguar Racing Formula E team, the inspiration for the entire visual identity was taken from the electric race car itself. The phosphor blue graphics were created to represent the car dynamically speeding around hairpin bends and down fast straights. The visual identity extends from the logo and master graphic right through to advertising and down to the pit crew itself.

    Jaguar retired from F1 at the end of the 2004 season with the R5 driven by Mark Webber, so this is a pivotal point for Jaguar as it drives into the world of electric vehicles. Formula E is an all electric urban racing series that was launched as a test-bed for research and development around electric vehicles to generate interest in electric cars, and to promote clean energy and sustainability.

    Clean energy and sustainability is a priority of interest for most organisations and the emphasis on re-cycling, up-cycling and restoration has become more important over the years. Of course these topics weren’t at the forefront of everyone’s minds in the 1960’s. It was then that Jaguar built 12 of the famous aluminium Lightweight E-Types for racing, one of which was modified to Malcolm Sayer’s Low Drag body design for owner Peter Lindner. Christened “The Lindner Nocker”, the car was raced by Peter himself along with racing driver companion Peter Nocker. However in 1964 at Le Mans the car was involved in a massive accident and was locked away for many years, thought to be unrepairable.

    Classic Motor Cars of Bridgnorth, one of our clients, managed to salvage over 90% of the original body from the tangled mess and spent over 5,500 skilled man hours over three years to deliver, according to the Historic Motoring Press, the most amazing restoration piece ever. The Lindner Nocker won ‘Car Restoration of the Year’ at The International Historic Motoring Awards 2011.

    Lindner Nocker Restoration

    Great design isn’t always about graphics, but that’s one thing BZ excel at. However we’re not into restoring old ideas, we specialise in developing innovative concepts into dynamic marketing communications pieces. And the only thing we recycle is our paper!

  • The importance of brand colour consistency



    Careful choice of branding colours can mean the difference between success and failure, as colour engages our initial visual interest. Colour is the tangible expression of a brand’s personality, it’s look, it’s feel, it’s recognition, and by capturing our attention successfully it may ultimately inspire us to make a purchase.

    Colour and emotion are significantly linked, which is why brands are designed with this stimulus in mind. Up to 85% of customers’ first impression is based on colour alone as colours trigger an array of different feelings. For instance – red generates a faster reaction as its inbuilt deep in our psyche as DANGER, hence red SALE signs stimulate us to take action.

    To evoke feelings of nature and being environmentally friendly, retailers tend to choose green. McDonald’s is a prime example of a brand using colour to shift perception, having changed its store fascia to green, a colour that sits comfortably with Whole Food retailers.

    As brand popularity increases, it is imperative that their distinctive colour identifier is protected. For instance, as a tribute to Queen Victoria in the early 20th century, Cadbury changed it’s brand colour to purple, and has since gone to extreme lengths to reinforce its differentiation, even fighting court cases to trademark and win exclusive use of its colour purple (Pantone 2685C).

    On simplistic packaging colour is a big advantage for brands. However, colour can also be a bit of a nightmare. When product ranges are expanded and sold globally, there is greater room for error. Frequently packaging is printed in the country of manufacture and sale, and consistency becomes a logistical challenge. Inks can vary in richness and intensity on different materials, so colour uniformity can become problematic.

    Colour management is therefore of major consequence in human perception, and it is important that designers and brands use this knowledge to influence their designs. This is where technology can assist. PantoneLIVE is an online colour database which standardises colour specifications against extremely slim margins, working to control the conditions that can affect how we see a given colour. A very technical process resulting in total colour consistency across all packaging, and if any brand wants to print something new because of changes in consumer trend, printers can download details on the right colour online in seconds.

    Ultimately, consumers learn to recognise and trust products across all categories, including perfume and designer clothing, and will spot an incorrect colour or logo immediately and leave it on the shelf.

    For major brands, colour stakes are exceptionally high, and because colours mean different things to different cultures, they will not necessarily be identical across all markets. What matters is appreciating their significance and investing in consistency.

    Outer packaging is an effective tool for a first purchase, and if consumers return for a second time and the product is consistently good, they are more likely to repeat purchase. Brand consistency breeds loyalty, trust and brand recognition.

  • Are you too old for content marketing?

    Content marketing, a young person’s game? Pah!

    Well according to JWT Singapore, Content Marketing is a young person’s game. They are soon to launch JWT25 their new content marketing division based on the average age of its workforce “25” and that content will be produced within 25 days. Ageist or what?

    I am 52 years old (just wish I could swap the 2 and the 5 round hey!) and over double the average of the JWT25 employee. Although I’ve got more grey hairs and wrinkles than they have, I’m physically fit and I still play 11 a side Sunday League Football. Okay, so I may not be as agile as Team JWT25 and they’d just bypass me on the pitch, but the concept of how content agility relates to age is just wrong. JWT25 was set up to respond to clients seeking a fast, effective, high quality snackable video service for the lowest cost.

    But when it comes to the professional experience of the JWT25 young hotshot, I have nearly 8 times theirs and have been doing this concept based branded content stuff called “advertising” for 31 years against their 4! As a juxtaposition we’re thinking of launching BZ56 as the average age of our advertising agency is a whopping 56! This makes us old enough to grow beards but wise enough not to wear them, and our female counterparts, far more qualified as agile content practitioners for the following reasons: -

    1. We have a much deeper understanding of brands
    2. We have a much deeper understanding of what brands are for and how they work
    3. We have a much deeper understanding of how brands relate to corporate culture
    4. We know how to make brands charming and engaging
    5. We have a much deeper knowledge of what it takes to have branded ideas serve valuable commercial purpose
    6. We are much quicker to spot bad ideas and divert creative attention to more productive matters
    7. We are more entrepreneurial and able to spot an acorn idea whose potential would go unrecognised by less experienced eyes
    8. We are more likely to appreciate the difference between content marketing and an all encompassing content strategy

    A vast amount of branded content appears to serve little or no purpose, certainly not to its intended audience, and content marketing is to the internet what cosmetic micro beads are to the world’s oceans, an increasing pollutant. If this gimmicky JWT25 works it will not be because of youth, but talent. Agile content production is a good idea and content marketing could benefit from a few agile principles. For example, user stories could be a useful discipline. User stories done well ensure that audience goals and motivations are the principle driver of output. Agility and empathy go hand in hand, and content marketing is in dire need of more empathy.

    Empathy is the ability to step imaginatively into the shoes of another person. “How can I use creativity to make my audience’s life better or to capture its imagination?” is a question that is not being asked enough judging by the output of most content marketing programmes.

    Empathy improves with age! And we’re with you on this Phil Adams from Blonde Digital, so write that out 25 times JWT Singapore!

  • Brand Britain, does it matter?

    Is Brexit Brand Britain fit for purpose?

    Some 900 million people watched Danny Boyle’s idiosyncratic opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics and Britain welcomed the world. The spectacle called ‘Isles of Wonder’ started from the Industrial Revolution to the birth of the web and Britain presented itself to the world as a nation secure in its own post empire identity, whatever that actually is?”

    ‘whatever that actually is’ has become a question of considerable contention and “Isles of Wonder” has been transformed in to “isles of wondering what’s going on” since Brexit and the vote to leave the EU. And as Britain begins the daunting task of forging new trade agreements outside the sanctuary of the EU, it must address how to sell itself to the world. The question now is whether ‘Brand Britain’ matters?

    Brand Britain does matter as it creates a viewing portal for people to look through when it comes to decision making i e.‘Do I want to invest in Great Britain?’, ‘Do I want to buy British brands?’ or ‘do I want to move to Britain?’ These international brands are not made and destroyed overnight.

    If the UK’s political establishment doesn’t make a decisive move to protect its global reputation it could risk watching it fade away. Brand Britain needs to be managed like any other brand or it will start to become problematic for British companies and its people, and investors might choose Germany or France instead as potentially more stable propositions.

    When David Cameron resigned as prime minister after the failure of his Remain campaign, Britain’s politicians were preoccupied with their own fortunes. Following Cameron’s resignation, the country has been putting its house back in order, but not quite as expected. Theresa May, Cameron’s successor surprisingly appointed Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary. Although he will not have total responsibility for negotiating the UK’s extrication from the EU, Mr Johnson, the former and notoriously undiplomatic Lord Mayor of London, will be at the forefront of how Britain positions itself to the world following Britain’s exit, which is risky. Mr Johnson needs to be totally on the ball and extremely effective to avoid any embarrassing blunders or faux pas. With Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon manoeuvring for a second Scottish independence referendum, ‘let’s build a great Brand Britain’ isn’t making it any easier.

    Defining self conscious Britain’s identity has never been straightforward. In 2008, the Labour government came up with the idea of creating a ‘statement of values’ to represent the country and introduce a tagline similar to France’s ‘liberté, egalité, fraternité’. When the Times challenged its readers to put forward suggestions, what it got was trademark British ridicule. One suggestion put forward was ‘Dipso, Fatso, Bingo, Asbo, Tesco’. The winning entry however was ‘No motto, please, we’re British’.

    Britain has long felt uneasy about how to portray itself and we were a nation struggling to know what our identity was. Even before the Olympics there was the emergence of the ‘Chav Culture’, ‘Binge Britain’, ‘Broken Britain’ and ‘has multiculturalism failed?’

    London 2012, with its opening ceremony and masses of volunteers demonstrating a sense of warmth helped instil self belief and every Brit felt extremely proud – the brand did a great job. However all the equity built to communicate how creative, warm, welcoming and united we are has been massively affected over the past couple of months.

    Even though previous attempts to characterise Britain may have failed, the GREAT Britain campaign launched by the coalition government of 2012 to encourage visitors, students and investors to the country has endured. The GREAT did a really good job, but does it do that great a job now?

    The campaign still has mileage and there is an opportunity to evolve it. ‘Great’ is still good, and it is still valid, but it’s then about demonstrating how we’re still GREAT. GREAT Britain was a pretty solid brand, but is there an opportunity to retain the level of prestige of that campaign but share more of the UK’s voices?

    Does Britain still look that great overseas after the turmoil of the past few two months? Maybe the shockwaves of Brexit have not been as seismic as we first imagined? but there was definitely a moment of shock and disbelief at the referendum result which was short-lived. With regards to the US they’re preoccupied with “The Trump” ’making it all the way to the White House.

    In EU however, there is a growing sense that other nations can capitalise on the UK’s state of flux. 4 weeks after the referendum result, Berlin senator Cornelia Yzer claimed more than 100 startup businesses in London were seeking to relocate to Germany’s capital. And one city that may gain is Amsterdam, where there is little concern over the UK.

    Britain appears to overestimate the amount of concern the rest of the world gives about it and needs to figure out its own problems before worrying about the rest of the world. So whether it lasts depends on how the exit itself is managed,.

  • From near zeros to gilded heroes

    Team BZ support Team GB

    Team GB Rio 2016

    The Rio 2016 athletes’ epic medal haul this weekend is a strong indicator of the continuing value of Team GB as a commercial brand post London 2012.

    On sensational Sunday Andy Murray, Giles Scott, Max Whitlock and Justin Rose gave Britain its greatest ever day at the Olympics leaving Team GB second overall in the Rio 2016 medal table, sealing a 20 year transformation from near zeros at the Atlanta 1996 Olympics to 2016 gilded heroes. It also sealed the team’s transformation into a commercial brand. Much of the value of the Team GB brand stemmed from being the hosts in 2012, but post event, what does the Team GB brand actually mean?

    Communicating the value of the Team GB brand without massive financial support and with the build-up to the Games being blighted by social and doping scandals was a difficult task. How do you engage a nation to come together in support of Olympic athletes and will them on to do their very best?

    The concept of home nation support is part of what is classified as marginal gain and the more the team feels supported, the greater the contribution to the success of the athletes. For proof of the concept just look at this weekend’s epic achievements. Fans throughout the UK stayed up late cheering on their heroes as Team GB edged ever closer to winning the most medals since the London 1908 Games, when it scooped an amazing 146 medals, 56 Gold, 51 Silver and 39 Bronze. Harnessing all that goodwill is welcomed and on everything from Facebook Live to Snapchat and Experiential to CRM maximising a budget that will always come second to sports performance.

    Messages of support have been used on all the branding in the Olympic Village and in the team house in Rio, so if an athlete walks into their room and sees a poster with 100 messages of support, it bridges the gap between fan and athlete.

    Throughout the Games the team is streaming a daily show live from the British House pop-up, featuring interviews with medallists. In comparison to other interviews, each is done by one of the celebrity ambassadors working with the team making it a bit more fun and frivolous. Live-streaming also happened on Twitter’s Periscope prior to the Games and both athletes and ambassadors manage Team GB Snapchat. Instagram and YouTube round off the online engagement as externally the brand benefits from live results beamed to Ocean Outdoor’s screens across the UK.

    Having a such a robust fan engagement strategy is impossible without the brand partners to amplify those messages. Although the Team GB sponsors list this year isn’t as big as London 2012, changing the way it works with Adidas and Nissan by creating sponsorship activations that are focused on the fans location is the key difference. For example, having a partnership with DFS sofa retailer might seem odd for a brand associated with athleticism, however, the majority of people watch the Olympics on their sofa? It’s about turning things on their heads and doing things from a more interesting angle and making sure it’s of higher quality rather than pumping out inane stories every week just for the sake of it, and of course taking pride in the content and the quality of the Team GB brand.

    Today nearly 90% of schools in the UK are still teaching modules based on Olympic values, a programme that was set up as part of London 2012. ITV will turn off all seven of its channels for one hour Saturday 27th August to encourage the nation to take part in what is being billed as the ‘UK’s biggest sports day’ which is proof that the legacy is alive and well.

    The biggest challenge for Team GB is to keep up the momentum and relevance once the Rio games come to a close. Investment needs to go into those digital platforms which provide the team and its partners with an opportunity to continue engaging with a nation that is so interested in the team and its athletes.

  • A new brand on the grapevine

    Secret Vines… The best unkept secret!

    Secret Vines Logo

    Secret Vines is a dynamic new wine import business with a very clear proposition – To bring the world’s best artisan and boutique wines to the tables of the UK consumer market and to be totally open and honest about their source. Having the word “Secret” in the brand name was cleverly considered, not to infuse secrecy and keep things hidden or under wraps, but to suggest that the majority of boutique wineries are very little known in their native countries, let alone the UK! However with the support of Secret Vines they will effectively become the best unkept secret in the wine industry!

    BZ were engaged by the directors of Secret Vines to develop a brand with real meaning that would sit well with both consumers and suppliers, and within the very tightest of timeframes. To reassure suppliers, the logo needed to evoke reliability, trust and professionalism and convey that they were engaging with a newly “established” and reputable UK wine import and distribution company. From a consumer perspective the logo needed to evoke warmth, openness, approachability and not be too high brow and aloof in order to engage with lesser wine savy people and help build confidence. At the same time the brand also had to appeal to the buyers from hotels and restaurants.

    The Secret Vines logo is made up of six circles representative of a symbolic case (6 bottles) of Cabernet Merlot meaningfully arranged to form a bunch of grapes. There are two glasses which form the midrib of the left and right leaves which represent the two directors and both red and white wine. The midrib of the larger central leaf is represented by a keyhole with an accompanying key with a bottle in the handle and an ‘S” and “V” to form the teeth, poised ready to unlock the secret vines.

    A modern, clean, fresh san serif typeface was selected to imply openness whilst the carefully crafted tagline “Discovered & Delivered” was set in an italic serif typeface to instil an element of trust and reliability. Gold as the graphical colour was selected to introduce warmth and an established look. To enhance the brand style warm, rustic support images were selected to induce a more natural, organic, artisan feel.

    Secret Vines Leave Behind

    The directors of Secret Vines first visit was to the wine regions of South Western Australia and New Zealand. A leave behind was developed to entice wineries to register their interest in becoming a select partner online whilst the main e-commerce site is being built in the background. The main site is due to launch towards the end of September this year.

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