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Over recent years New Zealand’s own Crown research institute, ESR, has had a significant change in its approach to business. While traditionally it has focused on delivering services to Government customers, its mandate has broadened to include a greater commercial bias.
From that perspective, ESR had outgrown its branding. With ‘Exporting expertise’ to places like China and the United States as a key part of the model going forward, the leadership team’s strategic planning recognised the need to strengthen and reposition the ESR brand.
Given the significant shift in focus of the organisation going forward, ESR needed to be more outward looking, focused on new markets, the needs of customers and consumers, and developing products and services to meet these needs. It also expanded ESR’s market, making it less confined to just New Zealand.
Their existing brand/visual identity was very much driven by where ESR had been rather than where it is going tomorrow, and had a distinctive academic and government look and feel.
The task was to shift the positioning of ESR from government science laboratory to New Zealand’s answer to CSI.
We firstly conducted a number of stakeholder workshops to understand requirements, ESR’s vision for the organisation, and to get a sense of the most appropriate positioning going forward.
A key outcome from these sessions was the collective understanding of ‘the power of science to help ESR partners and customers solve complex problems and protect people and products in New Zealand, and around the world.’ Together with ESR, we distilled this thinking to a new Brand Essence of ‘The Science behind the Truth’.
This new Brand positioning created the foundation from which to redevelop the visual identity from the ground-up.
The new visual identity reflects an independent organisation that assures quality above all and is led by world-class experts that are customer focused, as well as commercially savvy.
The new ESR brand is much more than a visual identity exercise. The rigour of strategic planning aligned the new brand precisely with the opportunities in new and commercial markets. ESR now operates with a strong brand framework, allowing for fast and effective decision. Communication development can be done faster, more cost effectively, and within a clear understanding of what ESR stands for, reinforcing a singular proposition and adding value to the ESR business.