Brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room

Like many others, we ask our clients for testimonials at the end of a project. The results are there for all to see, be it a new brand and visual identity or a new website… tangible outcomes. But it’s often the process that’s hard to quantify. The journey, the partnership, the reasons the project really came together. The dynamics of creative partnership has always been key to our work, but it can be difficult explain how it comes about and why it’s important. You know when it’s present though.

We recently posted our rebrand of HLM Architects. Their lead on this project, Director and Head of Design, Philip Watson, sent us a great testimonial, and in doing so he wrote a better story about our process than we could.

Without this post being self-aggrandising or an awkward humblebrag (wince) let’s just hand over to Philip for his side of the story.

Thanks Phillip.

“Cafeteria were great at managing the process of the rebrand and this aspect shouldn’t be overlooked. They were patient with us. They took the time to really understand the culture and ethos of the business. They immersed themselves in HLM, speaking to our staff, clients and peers to really get under our skin. In doing so they were able to distil our personality and articulate our values in a much better way than we could ourselves.

Developing the new brand really flowed organically from this process, so nothing they ever did felt as though it was being imposed upon us. It reminded us of our approach to our own clients. And just as we recognised our own approach reflected in Cafeteria’s, they evolved a visual identity for us that reflected our design philosophy. A motif, rather than a logo, that can adapt to its setting – rather like the way we think of our buildings responding to their context.

The whole Cafeteria team were engaging, friendly, creative and – very importantly – took the time to explain the process. As a design practice ourselves we knew we had to take staff on the rebranding journey and cafeteria really addressed this, presenting progress in a measured and engaging way.

The success of their commission is there for everyone to see. Our levels of client engagement have increased on all platforms and staff feel comfortable and more confident with our new identity. Their ‘after-sales’ has been excellent too – suggesting small upgrades and improvements along the way, all of which we have embraced. We continue to work with Cafeteria in developing and managing our brand and have recently commissioned them to develop a new digital design tool for our staff.

I’m not in the habit of giving praise lightly, but I highly recommend Cafeteria.”

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