Strategy + Design

Two complementary forces coming together to engage your customers, investors, staff and stakeholders.

First we listen. Next we think. Then we design. Delivering results that accelerate your business.

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Results-driven. Case studies galore.
Our work is our advocacy. These are just six of the many case studies on this site showcasing our work and the results we deliver for clients.
NZ Post ecommerce Report 2019
NZ Post ecommerce Report 2019
Rebranding The Sir Peter Blake Trust
Rebranding The Sir Peter Blake Trust
Breadraft's Rebel Bakehouse new brand creation
Breadraft's Rebel Bakehouse new brand creation
Victoria University of Wellington Undergraduate Recruitment Campaign 2018
Victoria University of Wellington Undergraduate Recruitment Campaign 2018
Mercury’s augmented reality Waikato River experience
Mercury’s augmented reality Waikato River experience
St John retail store network
St John retail store network
Victoria University of Wellington Undergraduate Recruitment Campaign 2018
Victoria University of Wellington Undergraduate Recruitment Campaign 2018
Tamaki Regeneration Company Branding
Tamaki Regeneration Company Branding
Our Expertise. What we do best.
So much more than your name, your logo or visual identity, a brand reflects what you stand for and how you want to be perceived.
So much more than your name, your logo or visual identity, a brand reflects what you stand for and how you want to be perceived.
The best brands are built inside out, effectively engaging and aligning staff perception and behaviour with strategy, culture and performance.
The best brands are built inside out, effectively engaging and aligning staff perception and behaviour with strategy, culture and performance.
We approach digital from a communication, not technical, perspective, engaging audiences online with brand-aligned experiences that are intuitive and rewarding.
We approach digital from a communication, not technical, perspective, engaging audiences online with brand-aligned experiences that are intuitive and rewarding.
Your communication and marketing programmes should be driven by clear insights, engaging audiences towards the desired action.
Your communication and marketing programmes should be driven by clear insights, engaging audiences towards the desired action.
The right environments reinforce brand and culture, drive behaviours and create an engaging environment for staff and visitors.
The right environments reinforce brand and culture, drive behaviours and create an engaging environment for staff and visitors.
Good investor communication is much more than just reporting. A clearly communicated long-term investor brand helps you attract, grow and retain investors and capital.
Good investor communication is much more than just reporting. A clearly communicated long-term investor brand helps you attract, grow and retain investors and capital.
Blog Posts. Thought-leading insights.

Is authenticity real?

18 Jul 2019 by Steven Giannoulis

I recently attended the Digital Day Out (DDO) and noted that pretty much every speaker spoke about the need to be authentic. Speakers included a Google exec, a panel of social influencers, an AR/VR specialist and an...

is authenticity real? steven giannoulis

i recently attended the digital day out (ddo) and noted that pretty much every speaker spoke about the need to be authentic. speakers included a google exec, a panel of social influencers, an ar/vr specialist and an online e-sports gaming marketer. i couldn’t help but laugh at the irony of a whole bunch of people making money by distorting reality espousing the virtues of authenticity. it made me question my own interpretation of what authenticity is. 

i’d forgotten all about it until a couple of days ago when i saw ecostore was awarded nz’s most authentic brand. they are a company i admire – and genuinely think are authentic. and that’s not just because we were part of the team that launched the brand from niche category to mass marketing.

 

for me, being authentic is about being clear about what you stand for (beyond making money) and consistently speaking and acting in a way that reinforces this position. i find brands like whitaker’s, kathmandu and air new zealand highly authentic because every experience i have with them reinforces what i know they believe in. it’s not just about supporting good causes but delivering consistent brand experiences.

when dove began its campaign for real beauty in 2004 it transformed from a commercial soap-seller to a company with a strong social vision - “beauty should be a source of confidence and not anxiety.” by consistently aligning its marketing efforts with this vision, dove has truly championed women’s empowerment. the sustained effort and resources dove have consistently put into changing the advertising industry’s view of beauty has made them genuine and credible. as a result, people listen, believe and buy from them with confidence.

 

 

one of the ddo speakers referenced patagonia, a company i’d heard of but wasn’t fully up to speed with. patagonia is committed to building the best products, causing no unnecessary harm, using business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis. this informs everything they do. it comes through in their product design, manufacturing practices, culture, company fleet, energy choices, labour policies and their communications. so when we see it in their ad campaigns we know they really mean it. they’ve become my new favourite company to follow.

i’ve worked with the mercury team for about seven years now and they are another company who said the right things but didn’t always act in a consistent way. the rebrand three years ago created a new mission and a shared vision. we see it in everything they do now. from the focus on renewable generation, to the promotion of electric vehicles, to customer offers, to staff engagement programmes, right through to their new office environment and creating wonderful experiences for their customers. they’re a company who are quickly moving up my list of authentic brands and will, without a doubt, be up with ecostore in the awards in the next year or two.

on the other side, while everyone is pointing to nike’s applauded colin kaepernick ad as an example of authentic, i find it somewhat disingenuous (though i support colin’s stand). firstly, because they are using the cause so blatantly for commercial gain and secondly because it still doesn’t align with my perception of their global practices. i know the underage child sweatshops are gone but i still need to see a string of ‘good behaviour’ stories before i start believing in a genuine social purpose behind their messages.

'authentic' is fundamentally walking the talk. so if this is all about being true to what you stand for, then the ddo influencers, the kardashians and even donald trump can be as authentic as ecostore, dove and patagonia. who cares how manufactured what they stand for is, as long as they do it consistently! i get that but i also suspect that it’s more than just my interpretation of authenticity that is a little bit fake here.

 

so if this is all about being true to what you stand for, then the ddo influencers, the kardashians and even donald trump can be as authentic as ecostore, dove and patagonia.

 

is authenticity just about being true to yourself, consistently? or is it about genuinely thinking good thoughts and being true to that in your behaviour and communication? 

can you manufacture authenticity and call that authenticity?

is authenticity an admirable quality when you really think about it?

authenticity, authentic brands

Clients have their own internal clients

19 Jun 2019 by Jason Linnell

“ Well, you marketing people would think that ”. The workshop we were running for our clients had not started well. We were working with our marketing client to deliver an internal programme that had many moving...

clients have their own internal clients jason linnell

well, you marketing people would think that”.

the workshop we were running for our clients had not started well. we were working with our marketing client to deliver an internal programme that had many moving parts across their entire business. to deliver it successfully we needed input from their sales teams, distribution people, finance and, it – whom the head of made his opinion about marketers quite clear. as representatives from each division sat around the large boardroom table, the silos were clear from the get-go. 

as we let the conversation run around the table, i realised we were witnessing something agencies don't see enough of each day – our client's internal client relationships. 

so often the world with our direct client becomes quite insulated. we form strong relationships with them, deliver great work and often provide an outlet for them to off-load their frustrations. but the question is, how well do agencies know their clients' internal clients? how deeply do we understand what it takes to make their business succeed? not to mention, be aware of the pressures that fill our clients' days. 

 

"i realised we were witnessing something agencies don't see enough of each day – our client's internal client relationships"

 

what's essential is to not just recognise your client’s pressure, but understand why it happens. the best way to do that is to get to know your client's clients. this can be as simple as asking your client if you can meet different people within the organisation. ideally together, so that you can watch and listen to how they talk about their business. the different perspectives are often startling and can lead to unveiling critical insights. it will also help you ask questions about your client's business that they may have forgotten to brief the agency about.

this invariably leads to stronger results for your clients. because once you're back in the agency, you can use this knowledge to deliver the right solutions. that great packaging the team are designing may just not fit with what you know sue in manufacturing said about the conveyor struggling to pack anything that isn't rectangular. 

the above is just a small example. your client needs to be aware of every issue that makes up their final offer. so based on that, how can we make sure that offer is enhanced – not disrupted – by us? 

 

"the different perspectives are often startling and can lead to unveiling critical insights"

 

ultimately, the answer for that is to pave the way for our marketing client to easily sell our ideas and solutions to the broader organisation. that takes a deep understanding of what’s essential to the wider business. we also need to give clear direction on how we got to where we did, so our client can readily answer any internal questions. 

creating every-day tools is also a must for smooth internal client relationships. developing comprehensive approval and sign-off processes must be in place. tight adherence to internal deadlines and providing well-managed asset libraries, template systems and the like, all help our client work well with all of theirs.

 

clients, your client's clients, client relationships

A celebration of creative thinking - week 4

14 Jun 2019 by Alice McKeown

This week our creative celebration focused on Digital Solutions . Augmented Reality experiences, responsive websites, intranets and tactile hands on digital playtime in a sandpit. A variety of creative solutions for...

a celebration of creative thinking - week 4 alice mckeown

this week our creative celebration focused on digital solutions. augmented reality experiences, responsive websites, intranets and tactile hands on digital playtime in a sandpit. a variety of creative solutions for diverse user experiences.

 

here’s what the team put forward…

mercury build your own hydro network

love how digital came to life in a very tactile way. i’d never seen technology work like this before so for me this project was a very exciting, delightful experience. great opportunity to release the inner child and learn by doing.

jo ross

 

mercury showcase – ar waikato river

it was wonderful seeing this at our insight strategy day. from redrawing the river and contours, to the assorted animated / video / interactive and final ar elements, it brings together our wider skill sets and expertise across the team (and some outside help). a great creative, practical application of ar that will inform anyone from school age to old age about how power is generated and delivered to us all.

edwin hooper

 

insight’s ar wall

what better way to celebrate digital than one of the newer mediums within that world – augmented reality. it’s great to work at an agency that prioritises new tech, and learning about it. spearheading the design aspect of our spacewoman wall was a lot of fun for me. and at the end of all the thinking and doing from so many people here at insight, we have two gorgeous static artworks in our offices, which we can play and engage with over the coming months.

sarah turner 

 

meredith connell

the mc intranet demonstrates a really strong design solution showing growth and visual identity evolution. a highly technical and challenging project for the build and a hugely improved user experience. great solution within tight boundaries.

brian slade 

 

watercare annual report – online

a great example of how to successfully take a strong print design and apply this to a digital setting. engaging animated interactions help bring the content to life while warm, people-focused images continue to tell the brand story.

alice mckeown

 

snickel lane website

the snickel lane website strikes the perfect balance between functionality of a responsive website and an interesting design idea that stands out. the site loads quickly on multiple devices, and draws you in, with highlighted headlines and creative imagery of street food markets.

anna charlett

design, creative celebration, insight creative, digital, augmented reality, ar, websites
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