In August 2014, St Hilliers approached Villain Designs & RG Communications to assess their brand and current standing within their market. They had been through a turbulent three years since the start of 2012 fighting their way through voluntary administration from a failed joint venture. The company had lifted themselves through that turbulent time intact albeit a much lighter version of itself but were unsure of their brands current standing. To assess the brand health of St Hilliers they needed advice from an outside perspective and expert eye.
Villain Designs conducted a Brand Audit to assess many facets of the brand from internal culture to external stakeholder sentiment. The data from the completed audit suggested that a brand refresh was needed and preferable over a complete rebrand. With the company’s approval, Villain began designing a new identity that not only addressed technical application issues, but really represented the core message of the company whilst staying identifiable and signalling change to the market. This was important as a great deal of work had gone into the repair and consolidation of existing brand equity regarding the St Hilliers name. Chairman Tim Casey was largely responsible for retaining positive sentiment with stakeholders so it was important to make more of the name by giving it greater visual presence along with the new brand mark pointing up signifying a new beginning, a new approach, looking up to a new future. The brand mark almost positions itself at the apex of a building, to be a leader in its space, something to look up to.
The new identity presents a strong face and the branded elements showcase a simpler more minimal approach to corporate communications creating more flexibility in the way the brand is promoted. Along with the visual element, we also incorporated a new mode of operating which is to become more accessible and transparent to stakeholders. To be genuinely more warm and approachable from the top down. This is reflected not only in the warmer colour palette chosen, but also in the way in which we’ve introduced a more personal interaction with customers and stakeholders with the tagline ‘Building the future with you’ (Construction focus) and ‘Investing in the future with you’ (Property Development focus). The emphasis on the ‘with you’ part was a key element to take through all branded items which presents a more personal engagement. It really informs people that St Hilliers exercises a collaborative approach to working with people to produce the best possible outcome.
From the identity design through to website development, social media management and brand rollout onto documents and construction signage, this rolling introduction of their new identity has already started to turn heads and shift perceptions. We believe St Hilliers is in for a successful 2015 as they grow into an identity that they can truly be proud of and push forward promoting a brand which not only gives a nod to the history and essence of the company but also communicates change and an exciting future.