A brand as innovative as the business

/ Branding / Content / Creative / Digital / Events / Film / Marketing / Strategy

MPA support innovation by providing professional services to a fascinating array of small and medium businesses tackling pioneering science, engineering, and technology challenges. But bringing their brand to life – when they historically manage accounts, payroll and dealing with the HMRC - was a different challenge. So, in the summer of 2019, they embarked on a large-scale project to find the right creative partner to create and implement a brand as innovative as the industries they work with.

Finding the right creative partner

When the pitch process started, MPA found none of the selected agencies were making the creative noises they were hoping for. They were purely turning the handle, focussing on process and the technicalities of the project, where what was needed was a creative and strategy-led response.

As MPA have a strategy to work with local business partners, a Google search lead them to WHP. What caught their eye was our Drum agency accreditation, so they approached us out of the blue. You could say we were the wild card.

At the initial presentation, we soon realised we were speaking the same language – they saw our passion for design and quality of our ideas, and we saw their passion to embrace innovation throughout every part of the business – including their brand.

Being true to our word

As part of the due diligence, Phil spoke to a selection of our existing clients who - we're delighted to say - were super complimentary. We are a creative agency but take pride in our ability to manage large-scale projects, leading the strategy, design, implementation and support required for a major rebrand.

Throughout the project, we made sure we were always accessible to the MPA team, without the need to go through account managers. Our brand strategy was the catalyst for everything that followed. Although the build of the website had been appointed to another supplier, it was the quality of the brand – and our direction around it - that had to be the foundation, and our creative and technical knowledge made sure the two were matched.

Image: Conducting interviews with clients & employees

Our response rate, a critical requirement, exceeded expectations. Phil Hammett, Marketing Director explains, “I still describe it as a beacon of belief. Projects I’d worked on with creative agencies in the past could run on for up to three times longer than originally planned. But WHP hit every milestone within the deadline.”

“It was great to be able to demonstrate to the business how a project should run, and it was at a time when we needed to inject belief into the business about how we work with our business partners. I was able to prove that when we set out on a huge project with firm deadlines, as long as we had the right agency, we can stick to it and do it.”

Image: Installation of MPA's company timeline

"WHP gave us a beacon of belief, and we now use how we work with them as the benchmark for many other projects.”

Phil Hammett – Marketing Director

The breakthrough moment

Combined with desk-based research, we started by conducting interviews with directors and key stakeholders within the business, which lead on to small focus groups from a cross-section of employees to gain insights into the business. From there we built on existing brand assets and research to create a cohesive and compelling brand story, incorporating a new brand positioning statement, logo and strapline.

We were aware the new logo and strapline needed to reflect the innovation that MPA looked to promote, and to do it without resorting to clichés. Basically, a lightbulb representing innovation wasn’t going to cut it. Therefore, through several stages of development, we came to create a logo consisting of four circles – we refer to these as molecules – and they represent the four core values of MPA as a business. These are consistent in their shape and colour, but can flex and adapt in structure to reflect how MPA align to the needs of their clients. This adaptable icon was then coupled with the MPA wordmark; these three letters, and the way they are aligned, are MPA’s fixed identity; never changing, unfaltering and solid, they are the foundation of MPA’s service.

Phil describes the breakthrough moment as when he presented the culmination of all this to the company’s founder, Michael Price, who’s story is what underpins the purpose of the brand.

“I was with Mike when WHP sent through the prototype for the launch video. We reviewed immediately together, and Mike welled up with pride, saying the visual identity and the brand strapline that WHP proposed perfectly summed up the business, because innovation never stops. This was particularly important for MPA as it is Mike’s story that underpins our purpose and values.”

Image: Mike Price - Chair & Owner, MPA

Image: Bespoke branded sales folder

Having fun along the way

Phil believes works should be fun, and that is something he looks for in business partners as well.

“WHP not only deliver, they are fun to work with as well. Also, my team and I are constantly learning from them – so to me, that is a cracking mix.”

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