More award-winning proof of the power of our design

by Nick Ramshaw

We have been awarded for two out of the two entries that we submitted for the Design Effectiveness Awards 2018. These are our 11th and 12th awards in 11 years, and we could not feel more proud. The two projects that we won an award for are, the rebrand of Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation, now known as YPO and the rebrand for James Heal.

The DBA awards is the UK’s most valuable and vocal advocate of the pioneering of design effectiveness in not only the creation of growth within a business but the sustainability of it. Solving a business problem with a design solution is what we thrive on.

Within the business of brand, design and business solutions, the competition continues to get tougher year on year. The entries that prove to be winners, have successfully delivered against high standards and demanding criteria. Read below for more information about the award winning projects.

  • YPO – ‘Public Value Champions’:

    Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation is a B2B organisation that was established in 1974, to act as a buying consortium for local government and educational establishments, getting better deals for its members.

    In 2012, they embarked on a three-year business strategy to become the UK’s number 1 public sector buying organisation. We gave them a new name, a compelling proposition, and a new brand identity to help them raise their profile nationally, engage with internal audiences and deliver the growth they aspired to.

    We needed to:

    • Raise the profile of YPO nationally, supporting UK-wide growth.
    • Engage with internal audiences to help improve their customer service.
    • Help deliver growth and increase the level of dividend paid to the public sector.

    We found that YPO needed to focus less on education, and instead on raising the profile of other supplies and services, and to look more modern. The new strategy had to be articulated into the brand platform, including a vision, mission, values and personality. At the heart of the brand, we wrote an external proposition and brand essence of ‘Public Value Champions’.

    To create a more modern, sophisticated, national brand, we recommended stripping it back a bit and becoming a little bit more simplified; renaming to, YPO. The identity turned out to be a confident, proud, brave and leads. by example. We injected modernity and sophistication, all through a bespoke type solution for the logo. This was supported by a new streamline: ‘Better Value, Delivered’.

    The result is a beautiful brand with a meaningful purpose. Since the rebrand, YPO has developed new national partnerships from 13 in 2012 to 63 in 2016, experienced a 384% increase in associate members, and employee engagement had a 58% increase.

    “Our work with Thompson has transformed YPO from a local primary school supplies business into a leading national procurement partner.”
    Paul Smith, Executive Director

  • James Heal – ‘Setting the Standard’:

    British manufacturing has faced a torrid time over the last 30 years. Low cost overseas products have forced down prices, driving many companies out of business. Textiles has been hit particularly hard.

    The core problem we set out to solve was that the brand was ineffective at supporting the high quality instruments. The rebrand for James Heal is the story of how design has helped one of the stalwarts of the Yorkshire industry not only to survive, but to prosper.

    We needed to:

    • Help grow sales and profit, and position the business for sale.
    • Help James heal charge premium prices for its premium products.
    • Develop a new product signature.
    • Inspire a culture of innovation.

  • The first step of the Thompson process is to dig deep to fully understand the business we are working with. In the case of James Heal, this involved a factory tour, research into the market and competitors, one-to-one interviews with staff and conversations with the company’s international agents and key customers.

    Prior to the business rebrand, the business was split into three parts – James H Heal, Quality assured Consumables and Healing. The holding company was called James. H Heal & Company Limited. So as part of the rebranding process, we found it made sense to the customers to combine the various names into a single name – James Heal. This might sound obvious, but for a company that traded under ve different names and identities, this was a big step.

    Drawing visual inspiration from technical instruments, a simple new mark was designed to lie at the heart of the brand. Complemented by bespoke type to form the logo, the identity represented everything James Heal was about. The brand stands for being the leader in its field and the modern mark helped to provide the confidence that the business was badly missing.

    Since the rebrand in 2011, James Heal has set off on an unprecedented period of business growth. From 2010 to 2016, total annual sales increased from 7.75m to 13.04m, an increase of 68%.

    “A huge thank you for creating such a fantastic new identity… I am sure it will add value for many years to come.”
    Amanda McLaren, Managing Director.

  • Having two DBA award wins, solidifies our belief in the power of design and feels truly rewarding showcasing our expertise in brand, design and being able to understand the process. The process in which not only we go through, but the process our clients go through.

    See you at the DBA’s in 2018!

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