Sky(‘s) the Limit with £1M Rebrand

Sources have confirmed that the massive rebranding effort (which began over a year ago) to reposition Sky as “warmer” are proceeding smoothly even though Group Marketing Director Andy Brent (prior Burger King Intl CMO, who was responsible for an Sky annual budget in excess of £100M) left rather unexpectedly 2 weeks ago.

The Sky logo will be retouched with a “well rounded S” and will debut via a new advertising campaign that will be unveiled leading up to Christmas. The planned refresh comes as the broadcaster gears up to launch its subscription digital music service, Sky Songs. A spokesman explains, “We’re making some evolutionary changes to help us keep reaching out to more customers over time”. The rebrand is targeted in the £1M range.

As you might recall, Sky’s efforts to change perceptions of its brand have included a high-profile 2004 ad campaign by HHCL/Red Cell intended to paint it more as an entertainment than a technology company. Much of Sky’s prior marketing effort was being poured into specific channel and content marketing, with a big push to support its HD offer. Sky’s most recent brand positioning, uses the strapline “believe in better”.

For an industry that has weathered (what is arguably) one of the toughest economic climates in recent memory, 2009 has proven to be a pretty busy year. Our clients are presented with increasingly high brand delivery expectations. They work longer hours and more is expected of them. Sure there are fewer briefs and (depending on your home market) tighter budgets.

But there’s a positive angle to Q4 09. Clients are getting better and better at resourcing and selecting great creative talent. Do more with half as much might sound like corporate speak, but who hasn’t tried to stretch their own dollar at the grocery in the last year? Doing more with less simply means that creative agencies need to cement their foothold on current rostered clients, all the while evangelizing REAL tangible benefit propositions to prospective clients. Ask yourself these simple questions:

  • Without referring to the show reel, what sets us apart from our competitors?
  • How does our unique category experience benefit a client’s bottom line?
  • Apart from creative excellence, what do past/current clients say about our service, promptness, attention to detail… our ability to “get it right”.
  • Clients do not pay for products, they pay for your brand experience. Are we communicating our creative process/production efficiencies or just talking random client names and just finished assignments?
  • Do we invite conversation (early storyboards, motion tests, brainstorm scribbles on napkins) about how we got from point A to point B, or do we just like to show point B in marketing along with a bunch of other logos in a montage?
  • How effectively does our marketing and business development communicate the agency’s brand spirit, personality, and voice?

If you’re not effectively communicating these essentials in marketing, it’s no wonder why the new business phone is so quiet.

What do you think?

If you are a client, how well do you think creative agencies have adjusted to the new economy? How prepared are they at delivering on your longer term strategic goals?

As an agency, what tactics and adjustments in marketing communication have been successful in standing out from the pack and winning new client business?

I’d love to hear from you. Email me your thoughts, opinions, agreements (and disagreements!) at denny at dennytu . com

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1 Comment

Filed under branding, channel identity, industry news, marketing

One response to “Sky(‘s) the Limit with £1M Rebrand

  1. Before I respond to the post, I just wanted to say that we are fans of your blog Denny. You bring a knowledgeable and witty take on the industry as a whole. The UK/US angle is refreshing.

    With regards to our rostered agencies and bringing in new ones, we (as expected) get a ton more incoming calls from agency business developers. One of the most offputting things to ask or leave on a message is “Just checking in. Wanted to see if there’s anything coming down the pike”.

    You’d be surprised at how many top end shops rely on old habits that won’t work in a new (more competitive) marketplace.

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