Halo is celebrating its birthday. It is 15 years old. So we’re spending a year celebrating. But the party has to start small and build to a crescendo and for us, that first step starts with a new look. A subtle release of a brand reimagined, redesigned and refocused.
But, as we constantly tell clients, design is the last thing we do. And if a rebrand isn’t strategically significant, then it’s nothing more than fresh paint. As an agency that believes in narrative driven, commercial creativity, the latest Halo aesthetic is just the tip of the Wacom pen.
Start with why (of course)
We began by considering what it means to be a brand first agency in a world deafened by shouts for attention. In real life, in our digital lives, at a time when we’ve never been more connected and further apart. Today, brands are more powerful and more fleeting. To survive they need purpose – not a CSR version of purpose, but a true sense of self. A reason to exist and to believe. A reason to choose a product, service or offer over another. Beyond price, beyond availability, sometimes beyond reason.
Halo exists to shape brands in an ever-changing, competitive commercial landscape. And we’ve reengineered our agency to be better at it than ever before.
We only exist at all because of our clients. We know this. Which is why we don’t have account management. We have client partnerships. And it’s not just a snappy agency title, it’s a core belief. Account management is transactional, but great brands are shaped by teams of talented, committed people, working closely together. As an agency, we have to be part of a client’s business. We go native. Feel the pressure, pain and pleasure with our clients. For relationships forged by trust. Partnerships founded on unflinching honesty.
We don’t build websites
Just like there’s no such thing as digital marketing (there’s only marketing), we don’t build websites. We carve digital strategy first and understand the objectives before defining the experience. If it becomes a website, that works – we build some of the highest traffic sites in the world. If it’s a YouTube channel or balanced social platform approach, we will create it. But you shouldn’t answer a question with ‘website’ if you don’t fully understand what the question is, or what question should even be.
Just say what you do
Halo is brand first, full service, 360, but we’ve redefined our offering to keep things simple. And we’ve banned the word ‘storytelling’.
We shape powerful brands with three principles:
- Narrative: We position brands with techniques and insights that affect transformative change. This can be defining purpose, strategic intent, proposition, growth planning, brand architecture or portfolio rationalisation and alignment. A vision for the future or a vehicle for managing adaptive challenges.
- Identity: We create meaningful identities, intelligently designed for growing brands that live in a trans-media world. This might include brand expression, naming, tone-of-voice, behaviour, design and art direction, roll-out and ongoing communication and conversation.
- Experience: Breathing life into brands by crafting multi-channel campaigns, social activation, digital expression and inspirational design on pack, on paper, on screen, on walls. Always on point. Above the line or internally focused we find opportunities for brands to have meaningful engagement with their audiences.
Bored of reading yet?
If you’ve read this far, thank you. Hopefully you’ve got something out of it. Maybe you’d like to know more. If so, get in touch. We’d love to stop talking about ourselves and get to know you. Who knows? This could be the start of a legendary client/ agency partnership.
Nick Ellis is the founder and creative partner at Halo.