Perspective - The importance of brand in a patchy market

By Tim Riches | 7 December 2023
Tim Riches

The AdNews end of year Perspectives, looking back at 2023 and forward to next year.

The last financial year was the strongest in our 28-year history. The period January to August 2023 was particularly solid, with all our specialist discipline areas busy. 

The increasingly multidisciplinary nature of our engagements reflects the multi-faceted role brand can play across marketing, CX and culture shaping. It’s good to see clients appreciating the broad and deep impact that brand has as a means to execute business strategy and support change, and it’s a reassuring validation of the investment we’ve made in areas like employer branding, insights, brand experience and digital over the past 5 years.

Highlight projects for us include our work with one of Australia’s largest developers. That project encompasses brand strategy, brand identity, brand voice evolution and culture. Our team is deeply engaged with bringing the brand to life as a distinctive way of approaching the company’s projects.

The other really big one was our most recent NAB brand update – the third distinct shift in our enduring relationship with them. This incorporated a distinctive brand asset study and semiotic analysis to provide an influential evidence base for design decision making.

We also have a couple of meaty projects in the customer strategy space that bring together insights, brand strategy and value proposition design into interesting pieces of work.

Since July, we’ve also picked up two large government projects where brand strategy and identity are being used to help establish new initiatives and focus on community engagement.

Looking internally, we’ve been busy ensuring our team feel valued and have their own pathway for career growth. Whether it’s our wellbeing programme, training or changing the way we run our reviews, we’re more aware than ever that a business like ours relies on attracting and making the best people feel valued.

Looking ahead

Like many in the industry, we’re proceeding with a degree of caution given a patchy market. We’re seeing projects slipping and being rescoped as clients respond to uncertain business conditions.

Given our engagements are generally about helping clients make change in their business, that doesn’t necessarily mean we expect things to be quieter, but it does mean we need to be very adaptable to a wide variety of client challenges.

To help with this we’ve been interrogating our own client value proposition with the support of a couple of external consultants. This is helping identify the main drivers and complications clients face so we can keep refining our capabilities and approaches to get the best outcomes for our clients.

Tim Riches, Group Strategy Director and Principal, Principals.

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