My mother always said I had a face for radio, but that didn’t stop one of the team from breaking out his caera last week and doing some on-the-fly shots. In addition to some really cool images of the studio, he captured a few nice shots of some of the team as well.
And for anyone wondering if our guys are any good at retouching images, just look how natural they made all my wrinkles and grey hairs look. Talented feckers!
We’ve had some new faces join the crew at The Mission Control over recent months, so thought it was about time we got round to introducing them.
Meet Zach McMordie. That’s Zach with an ‘H’ not a ‘K’. He joins us in the studio where he has already helped bring on board a new client in the healthcare sector and produced some pretty cool animations. I think we call that hitting the ground running.
In addition to being the proud owner of a new puppy and a pretty interesting looking onesie, he also has a very well kept and trendy beard!
Next to the team is Fehin Quinn. Fehin doesn’t have a onesie or a beard. But since joining the studio, he’s created some really amazing work with the Liberty Surety marketing team in the United States and worked with a number of our clients across the sciences to produce projects that are helping to improve the lives of millions of people. Not bad for a lad from Tyrone.
Creating a new logo is not something you should decide to do lightly. It’s a massive undertaking that will impact your staff, stakeholders, customers and critics alike. We should know, The Mission Control has just helped roll out two global rebrands back-to-back across 50+ countries.
So before starting down the road of change, you really need to justify to yourself why you’re doing it. There are a lot of good reasons to do a rebrand, but don’t let boredom be one of them.
If you are set on rebranding, then there will be a very good reason behind your decision. The most likely reasons in our experience tend to be mergers, acquisitions, changing your core business model or entering new markets.
So where do you start?
Before reaching for the markers and sketchpad, it’s crucial that you get the structural framework in place. Be clear in your own mind what you are aiming to achieve through the rebrand. Preparing a brief will help you clarify these objectives and not just give the agency a launch pad.
We would also recommend conducting a brand audit before doing anything. This will give you an idea of just how many items within your company that will need to change and allow you to work out a schedule for change that is implementable and plan lead-times.
A brand audit is a great way of letting you see just how much branded content you actually have and it can often be the most unlikely of things that make the most use of it. We recently carried out a global rebrand and found that our client had more that 40,000 individual brand assets that would need changed. This included everything from business cards and stationery to forms, livery, uniforms, packaging, signage and exhibition stands. Then there are all of your digital assets, email signature plates, websites and social media platforms, templates and e-shots, not to mention audio-visual components including corporate videos and ads.
You very quickly come to realise the scale of a rebrand – not to mention the cost, as everything needs to be changed.
Naturally – if you’re just evolving your logo as opposed to radically redesigning it, you can for a time allow the old and new to co-exist.
When it comes to rebranding, don’t keep your staff in the dark. By engaging with them early, you control the flow of information and prevent misinformation from taking root.
Your staff will also be the people who are delivering on your brand promise, so involving them in the journey will educate them and give them a stake in the brand culture.
This is one of the most common mistakes companies make. They are so focussed on how customers will react to the new brand that they totally overlook the people who will be living it and delivering it on a daily basis.
Whilst it is important to involve your staff and focus groups can be a great source in intel, you really need to avoid entering into a process of design by committee. This process only ever results in a fundamentally flawed compromise that works for no-one.
In our experience, you need a very open and honest relationship between the strategy team, designers and the senior management. Yes you will have research to refer to, you will have viewpoints to consider, but eventually clear, hard decisions have to be made and that’s where you need to be brave.
The Annual Davey Awards honours the best in Web, Design, Video, Advertising, Mobile & Social from small agencies worldwide and this year we’re over the moon to be in the running with our integrated campaign strategy for the Conservatives – created in the run-up the 2015 General Election.
To say the campaign was controversial is something of an understatement. To say it was as intriguing with more plot twists and turns than House of Cards is no word of a lie. To say it caused the most senior voices within certain political parties to be raised and angry phone calls to be made, a super-injunction prevents us from either confirming or denying, but one thing we can all agree on is its effectiveness.
When we met with the Conservatives in February 2015, the brief was simple – ‘The Mission Control was to help make David Cameron Prime Minster and ensure cross party political support.’ In May 2015 when the UK votes were counted and the election pundits had enjoyed an ample serving of humble pie, David Cameron was Prime Minister with a clear majority and the cross party support needed.
We’d call that Mission Accomplished!
It’s probably one of the best know logos in the world – yet when it comes to the design and marketing industry, perhaps one of the most misunderstood. When you look at the Apple logo – what do you see?
OK smartarses – yes you see an apple – well to be accurate, what you actually see is part of an apple. That’s right – there’s something missing.
Now – this is where I believe the confusion has crept in. Increasingly the world of business has come to see the Apple as a design solution as opposed to what it actually is – a tool – albeit a complex and expensive one.
So what’s missing? What is the Apple logo telling us if we take the time to study it?
I guess the short answer to that is – it’s missing ‘human creative input’ – that bit of inspiration that can only ever come from the neural circuitry and sparking neurons of a person that spends their life filling their head with ideas and asking questions. The person that thinks beyond the processing power of the machine and the limitations of the software coding.
For all of his creative wizardry and visionary design, the legendary Steve Jobs never managed to create that final piece of the logo. That little missing piece on the top right hand corner of every Apple logo that reminds us, great design comes from a person – not a machine. Then again – perhaps he always knew that!
I’ll be the first to admit, there are times when I can’t wait to post news about a new piece of business we’ve won or show-off a piece of work we’re particularly proud of. But as a rule, most of what we create is never seen or mentioned within our own brand promotions. We don’t even mention most of our clients in our client list.
It’s not that we’re not proud of the work or indeed the brands we work with, but when you get into serious B2B campaigns for brands that have turnovers in the hundreds of millions or even billions, then you really have to respect their confidentiality and consider the impact of your actions each time you name drop.
Think about it – what’s the easiest way to see what one of your clients’ competitors are up to? Answer – find out who their agency is and check out their site or social media pages and with a little digging and intelligence, from what is posted – you’ll be able to work out exactly what their strategy is for the coming months.
This leads me onto my next point. When you are posting work you have created for a brand, why are you doing it? Most likely it’s because you’re setting the scene to go after another piece of new business – in other words you’re showboating and stroking your own ego. And there in is the problem. You’ve taken your eye of the work you’re commissioned and getting paid to do and thinking about the next job or client. You’ve already relegated your client to second place and that’s just bloody bad service.
So – remember, it pays to keep your mouth shut and its much easier to lose an existing client than it is to win a new one. My advice – respect the clients you have and if you’re doing your job well, then new projects will come to you of their own accord.
If you don’t believe me – then just ask yourself, what would Chuck do?
We’ve always known that we are effective Communicators – but now it seems we have the awards to prove it. Designed and cast by the same foundry that make the Oscars®, our three Communicator Awards come from working with great clients who believe in effective communications that push boundaries.
We’ve been waiting for these bad boys to arrive from New York now for a few weeks now, so pretty excited to finally have them in our hands.
All in all it’s been a pretty interesting couple of weeks. First – we won 3 Communicator effectiveness awards in New York and then one of the other clients we work with happened to win the General Election ousting Labour, UKIP and the Liberal Democrat leaders in the process.
So I guess we really don’t have that much to complain about on a cold, wet Friday afternoon.
Over the years we have worked with dozens of brands. Some have grown to become multi-billion-pound companies that trade the world over and employ thousands of people and set the standards other aspire to.
What defines these brands far and beyond their business acumen is a culture of bravery. They refuse to play it safe and follow the social norms. They choose to lead as opposed to follow.
But courage should not be mistaken for recklessness. Courage comes from knowing the consequences of your actions and strategically anticipating how you will respond to all possibilities.
When working with a brand that has courage, you get a sense of liberation and that translates through to the work you produce. You find yourself charting new territory and carefully planning the route ahead.
So whilst to your competitors it may look like you are being reckless – the truth of the matter is that you know where you’re going. You’ve scouted the road ahead and are clear on your destination.
Before they know it, your competitors are left staring at your taillights as you pull away and they are left in your dust.
Fear by contrast can and will cripple you. If your brand has a culture rooted in fear, customers, competitors and followers will see it and react accordingly. You will find yourself paralyzed with indecision and that makes you a vulnerable target.
So ask yourself, what sort of brand do you want to be?
Twelve weeks ago we welcomed our latest intern for what was to turn out to be one of the most interesting periods in our history (so far). During that time Niamh got to work on projects the world over. Now she’s getting ready to head back to university and below is her thoughts on the time:
It’s coming to that time – 12 weeks done with the most amazing company, The Mission Control. Having to leave will be the hardest thing I will have done in a long time (tears will be flooding the place today). I want to thank each and everyone of the team for the amazing time I’ve had and also the crazy journey. Working with so many different companies and people has been a life changing opportunity.
I also want to thank the amazing team at The Mission for all their love and support and dedication to teach me new and exciting things!
Patricia: I have to say it’s been tough working along side you (OJ) No but really such a pleasure to see you every day and have the opportunity to work along side you and also the great and mighty wisdom that you have given me.
James: You have went to the moon and back to put up with my stupid questions (but I really didn’t know what you were talking about some times).
Laurence: I have enjoyed every moment working along side someone so smart and talented and knows his way about Belfast ( where’s this Laurence where’s that?).
And also a big shout out to the Supernova team ( Bertrand Lassallette-Desnault ) for their amazing work and letting me work along side them – it was an honour.