News

100% Design Olympia, London

Sep 2015

It was a really busy '100% Design' event this year with thousands attending Olympia in London to see exhibitors from around the world. 'The perfect pitch: how to get it right' was one of a series of talks that saw Jonathan Kirk take the platform, together with Kirsty Whyte from the retailer, Heals. The session was chaired by Nic McCarthy, Content Director at Seven.

Jonathan's presentation covered '5 ways to win'. He talked about the hundreds of post-pitch interviews that Up to the Light conducts and revealed that there is very rarely a genuine 'close second' in a pitch. Instead, there is usually clear distance between the winning agency and second best. He talked about the need for cut through advice and the need to state your big thought at the outset. The rest of the presentation is an argument to prove that assertion.

He then talked about the all important softer factors and how to get team chemistry right, and gave a range of practical ideas for how to 'lift' the presentation to make it more memorable and compelling. Also covered was how to forge a more seamless link between strategy and creative, and how to build up to design concepts in more effective ways. Jonathan and Kirsty then took a range of questions on everything from how to combat nerves to tips on better pitch preparation.

Sharpen your approach to pitching with a Winning Pitches Workshop.
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1st Central Insurance - Simply Driven

Sep 2015

1st Central has sold nearly 2 million car insurance policies since launch in 2008. This success is largely due to a commercially astute approach to building business via cost comparison sites. However, the brand's profile was relatively low and the company's next stages of development required a stronger corporate brand and increased awareness. Up to the Light was asked to develop a corporate brand positioning that could form the platform for internal and external behaviour and communications.

We developed 4 brand pillars that underpin everything the company does across all communications, platforms and technologies. This then led to our 'Simply Driven' positioning which acknowledges the reality of buying car insurance. It is something of a 'grudge purchase' - often confusing and just something that has to be done. Above all, customers want the experience to be straightforward, clearly understandable and hassle free. 'Simply Driven' reflects the fact that 1st Central is committed to making the insurance buying and managing process as simple as possible. We also developed 'Communications Criteria' that act as a guide for agencies and copywriters across every creative discipline to ensure that all brand communications accurately reflect 1st Central's personality and values.

The positioning statement, 'Simply Driven', now doubles as an external facing strapline and has become a unifying rallying call for how 1st Central organises its business, trains its staff, engages with customers and communicates more broadly.

See the brand positioning communicated in TV advertising.

What Clients Think 2015

May 2015

Our annual analysis of the client viewpoint is packed with revealing information about the client agency relationship. Based on 420 client interviews, it opens the lid on client frustrations, concerns and trends.

The report covers client attitudes to design and design agencies generally, their views on pitching, agency communications, client service and costs, as well as their thoughts on agency attempts to add value and win more business.

Do you think that good work inevitably leads to a great client relationship? Read on. 81% of clients who had a weaker or more vulnerable relationship with their design agency cited client service issues as the main reason. Do you think you can significantly grow your business without pitching? Read on. 98% of clients believe that a pitch is good business practice for high value projects.

Download the report >>

Cliveden House and Chewton Glen Hotels

May 2015

In branding terms luxury hotels exist in a world of superlatives. Sumptuous adjectives, flowery descriptions and elegant photography are the order of the day. Of course, most of this is accepted and necessary communication but capturing the particular appeal of one hotel versus another can be more challenging.

Chewton Glen has consistently set the bar for other luxury hotels to follow. Set in 130 acres on the edge of the New Forest, Chewton Glen is listed as one of ‘The World’s Best Hotels’ by Conde Nast Traveller and is a member of Relaix & Chateau. The recent addition of their superb treehouses has been a remarkably innovative step and has stimulated a growth in family visits, helping to encourage a more varied guest profile than many other luxury hotels that tend to be dominated by romantic breaks and corporate events.

Up to the Light worked with the team at Chewton Glen Hotel to develop their existing brand positioning. Importantly, we looked at areas such as service style, ambience, and heritage – the essential spirit of the place, not just the obvious offer. The result is a brand positioning that can drive communications and ensure that the ‘brand’ is consistently placed at the centre of the business.

We then addressed the brand positioning for Chewton Glen’s sister hotel, Cliveden House in Berkshire. We developed a positioning that acknowledged its unique history, superb setting and near London location, but also the special atmosphere of a house and former home to the Astor family. Forget the predictable conformity of luxury hotel branding. This is a place rich with delightful eccentricity, unexpected but magical personal touches and a history that is both famous and infamous. The new brand positioning will be seen first in a soon to be launched new website.

For both Chewton Glen and Cliveden House we developed Communications Criteria. These formed a vital bridge between our written strategic work and the creative manifestation and effectively answered the question, ‘If this is our brand positioning, what are the implications for creative communications?’ It acts as a steer for all creative work.

‘Up to the Light has an ability to ask the right questions, listen effectively and then beautifully crystallise brand difference. The speed and quality of their understanding was remarkable and we’re delighted with the result.’

Leigh Jenkins, Sales & Marketing Director