A challenging year for London attractions against the backdrop of terrorist activity, some directly attacking Parliament. The second year of our campaign for the Houses of Parliament has been up and about the London Underground successfully inviting visitors from the UK and overseas to explore the stunning stories and interiors.
We love inspiring businesses and brands - here's just a few of the brilliant people we're working with.
Ideas to inspire the ancient and modern
It's great to be closely involved with two very distinct York guilds - the new Guild of Media Arts and the ancient Guild Hall and its Company of Merchant Adventurers.
Ideas Group Marketing Director, Ann Gurnell has been appointed as Deputy Master of the Guild of Media Arts for 2017, and has taken up her role to support the new Master, in promoting the city’s thriving and growing creative media and digital arts economy.
To further our link with the city’s guilds we are also delighted to have been commissioned by the Company of Merchant Adventurers to provide brand identity development and marketing support to build their operation, raise awareness and sustain the future for the Hall and the work of the Guild to support education and business through the city.
The Merchant Adventurers’ Hall has been a focus for entrepreneurial commerce in York for 660 years. Constantly evolving over the centuries it now stands as one of the finest examples of medieval hall architecture in Britain and certainly one of the very few still home to their original founding organisation, the very active Company of Merchant Adventurers of the City of York. Open to the public, it is also a museum/heritage visitor attraction and a prestigious events, weddings and conference venue. We’ll be working with the Company to develop brand, communications and elements of the visitor experience to enable the Hall and Company to continue to evolve and look forward to the next 660 years!
Entrepreneurial approach to lifesaving in the community
From Guilds at the heart of York’s business community to a longstanding client with the heart at the centre of its business. Having developed the brand identity and launch campaign for an innovative new defibrillator and lifesaving solution for global leaders Physio-Control, we recognised a gap in the market and established a brand new reseller company.
Defib Central was set up to service the UK Workplace and Community sector and provide this groundbreaking lifesaving technology into the UK health market, in association with Physio-Control and the National Ambulance Services.
As Physio-Control’s Head of UK has commented, “Ideas Group, always think that extra step ahead and we’re delighted they’re working with us not just in brilliantly effective brand and marketing support.”
Brand DNA at the heart of the business
For boutique law firm, Roche Legal, it’s important to provide reassurance and expertise for clients and their families when dealing with life’s difficult decisions around wills and inheritance, elderly relatives and other private client matters. Hence, we’ve worked closely with Rachel and her team to develop her brand: To understand her business, their clients’ needs and then communicate what makes them special, to support her business and its growth. It’s not just visual creativity that defines or distinguishes a brand. It’s a balance and clever integration of business strategy, creativity and messaging which sings your ethos and values through all you do and enables clients and potential clients to want to engage with you and your business, recommend you and come back again.
How to get the most out of exhibitions – the 4 Bs
Exhibiting remains an essential, classic route to market. A way to meld all the e-marketing, sales calls and social media contact into real people interactions with your brand. Especially B to B.
It can eat budget and marketing budgets are to be guarded, nurtured and made the most of – getting ROI and demonstrably fulfilling objectives will keep the FD happy and generous.
So here’s a quick check list to keep both your CMO and the FD onside and have the Sales Director basking in bonuses…
Have very clear and explicit objectives for specific target customers and outcomes:
Sign up new customers?
Build relationships with x, y, z?
Consolidate your positioning?
Launch a new product to xxx?
Out face the competition?
Be seen to be seen…. Whatever the reason you must be able to agree it before hand and make it part of the design, marketing and logistics briefs to external and internal colleagues and agencies so everyone knows what success will look like.
Brand is king. Brand authenticity, purpose, ethos, values must be through your exhibition presence like a stick of rock to maximise impact and effectiveness. - And not risk undermining the brand value you may have taken years to develop.
So create some brand personality: work with designers and marketers who understand that brand is so much more than a logo and a colour palette. It’s an experience, especially when interacting in a physical space on an exhibition stand. Be memorable – midst that sea of stand overkill you need to be the one they remember. Have some fun, add some humour, make people smile, wow or surprise them, after all people buy with emotions…. Even in business.
Your team must believe in what you’re doing and the stand created. Make it something they are proud to be part of as well as a practical space for them to work in. Involve them in creating the brief; ask them to ask their key customers for feedback – asking creates ownership which leads to buy in… and buying.
If you’re going to spend budget on travel, time, logistics, accommodation and… corporate polo shirts for your team, create the best stand you can. It doesn’t have to be huge – small can absolutely be beautiful and effective – but it does need to be well designed using expertise in 3D spaces, brand and marketing to fulfil your objectives.
So… and you can I’m sure hear it coming – remember the four Bs and you’ll have a real buzz around your stand next time you exhibit! (Sorry!)
New identity for Visit Parliament from a northern powerhouse agency
Ideas Group, in York, have won a competitive tender against agencies from around the UK, for the new Visit Parliament brand identity and summer campaign. Welcoming nearly 1 million visitors a year the Visitor Services team at the Houses of Parliament wanted a fresh and inspiring feel to their brand and marketing campaigns to communicate that Parliament is open for anyone to visit.
The famous silhouette of the Palace of Westminster frames images of the interiors revealing an enticing glimpse of the stories to be found in over 1000 years of history: From the 11th century up to New Dawn – a stunning glass and light installation celebrating women’s suffrage unveiled in June this year. The headlines acknowledge well-known phrases heard in the House of Commons and House of Lords.
Ideas Group commissioned award-winning, York based photographer Grahame Mellanby to capture the fascinating interiors including heraldic beasts, stained glass and the famous green and red benches.
Ideas Group also created a PR campaign which gave commuters and visitors to London the opportunity to sit on a replica House of Commons green bench at Victoria Station. The bench was built to the same dimensions as the real ones and will be used at high profile venues, events, festivals and trade shows – a focus for selfies and the only chance you’ll have to sit on a green bench unless you become an MP!
Ian Lacey, marketing and travel trade manager for Visitor Services at the Houses of Parliament commented, “Our brief was to create a bold, new approach which informs all potential visitors that Parliament is open to visit and engages them with the history, heritage and role these iconic buildings play. Ideas Group have delivered a strong visual and conceptual brand identity and campaign which reflects both how our visitors feel about their experiences and the knowledge, enthusiasm and pride of our team. We’re very excited to see how it develops.”
Marketing director of Ideas Group, Ann Gurnell said, “We are very proud indeed to be working with such a world famous institution and visitor experience. Creating a compelling balance of brand and visual storytelling, past, present and for the future has been an inspiring journey in itself.”
The new brand and creative work will feature in an extensive poster campaign across the London Tube and mainline rail network throughout August as well as through the travel trade in the UK and overseas.
Notes to Editors
1. Ideas Group www.ideasgroup-uk.com
Based in York and working nationally and internationally since 2003 we are an ideas driven, creative group delivering powerful and effective ideas to transform businesses and brands.
Marketing and Digital: Commercially driven, results focused ideas and solutions
Branding and Creative: Creative, compelling and effective results fuelled by great ideas
Exhibitions and Events: Effective, memorable customer engagement and experience
Ann Gurnell, Marketing Director: Before joining Ideas Group early in 2016, Ann headed up marketing and communications for Continuum Attractions and led the brands, marketing and launches of award winning Coronation Street the Tour and York’s Chocolate Story.
Nick Waters, Creative Director: Experienced creative consultant and project director and a director of Ideas Group for over 10 years.
Nick Townend, Managing Director: set up Ideas Group in 2003 and has a background in innovation and creative design including for the National Space Centre and National Coal Mining Museum.
The Palace of Westminster is one of the world’s most iconic buildings, home to the Houses of Parliament. Alongside its role as a busy working building, the Houses of Parliament is a popular and highly rated visitor attraction. There are many different ways to visit and options vary dependent on the business of the house, day of the week and time of the year. The Visitor Services team welcome both commercial and democratic access visitors to the Houses of Parliament. In 2015/16 it is forecast that Parliament will welcome over 1 million visitors, of these 220,000 will be ticketed paying visitors.
3. Contact details
Marketing Director, Ideas Group