JEGI | Clarity Brand Creation
Clarity and JEGI are two leading independent investment banks advising the global media, information, marketing, software and tech-enabled services sectors. Based in New York, Boston and London, their strategic alliance has been forged over a unified approach to their clients, their shared tenacity and insight of the industry.
Headquartered in North America since 1987, JEGI are consistently at the top of Bloomberg’s annual rankings of M&A advisors serving the media, internet and marketing industries. Together with Clarity, the partnership boasts the highest closing rate for M&A transactions in their sector. With an increasing number of joint international deals taking place between JEGI and Clarity, our brief was to create new parallel brands for both companies that would allow each to operate independently, whilst seamlessly aligning whenever they work and present together.
Financial ServicesProfessional Services
DeliverablesArt DirectionBrand GuidelinesBrand IdentityBrand PositioningBrand StrategyCopywritingDigital CollateralIllustrationPhotographyPrint CollateralWebsite Design
From a brand perspective, this was a first for us – in that we had to define a unified proposition that would clearly represent both businesses, based on a shared set of values, USPs, personality and goals. Solving this for one company that hasn’t rebranded in over a decade is challenging enough, but we were faced with two. Two companies. Formed in two different decades. With two boards of directors. On two separate continents.
Our goal was to deliver a simultaneous transatlantic launch for both brands and websites at the start of 2016.
We began by undertaking a comprehensive audit and analysis of the market, competition and audience groups. Armed with this research, and with strategic recommendations beginning to formulate as a consequence, we ran a full day brand workshop at the JEGI headquarters in Manhattan with key stakeholders from both firms. It was this day, in the middle of a July heatwave in New York, that we came to realise just how unique the JEGI and Clarity relationship is. Never before had we seen a group of people so aligned on every decision. It was an incredibly productive, positive, decisive and good humoured day – which allowed us to shape our thinking and lay the foundations for how the new brand would come to life, both verbally and visually.
With the Brand Proposition and key messages written and approved, we presented a range of logo and visual language concepts that demonstrated how the two brands could come to life. Our solutions were not only born out of the proposition, but also by looking for untapped opportunities that would create highly distinctive results in the industry. Colours, fonts and imagery styles were all carefully considered and selected to ensure maximum standout and originality. Going further, we worked with esteemed lettering artist and typographer Rob Clarke to refine the final logotype.
At this stage, we recommended a tiered structure for the communications – using strong, direct and personable team portrait photography in any company focused collateral, and creating a suite of bespoke illustrations for all industry and client focused material. This approach would not only be a first within the industry, but it would also be extremely practical in creating additional illustrations for forthcoming news articles and case studies.
Following a three day photoshoot in Manhattan and two days in London with the hugely experienced people photographer Richard Moran, we edited through thousands of shots to select the very best portraits and reportage conversational images that would form the basis of the Tier One communications.
In parallel with the photography being created, we began working with the incredibly talented illustrator Lyndon Hayes to produce a suite of 30 location and environment based illustrations for all Tier Two collateral.
All the while we were undertaking a comprehensive audit of both websites – rewriting the copy and headlines, as well as shaping the site plan, user experience and information architecture. The design and build of the websites then began in earnest, in parallel with the other brand marketing collateral – stationery, promotional packs, deal cards, industry reports, brochures, newsletter and PowerPoint templates, internal comms, event banners, posters and building signage. All of this was documented within a detailed brand guidelines that would ensure consistency and set best practice principles for both firms going forward.
From strategy and copywriting, through to design, art direction and build – this proved to be a truly great team effort all round. A highly organised and close working relationship with both clients allowed the new brand and websites to successfully and seamlessly launch at the 12th Annual JEGI Media & Technology Conference in New York at the start of 2016.
With the guidelines in place, we brought all of the new brand assets together in producing a top level Marketing Services Report – which provided the financial press and key industry players with a full review of M&A activity in the media and technology space in 2015, and vital analysis of what could be expected for 2016.
Wilma Jordan, JEGI’s CEO, said, “We are thrilled with the new direction and vision for JEGI and the continued formalization of our valuable partnership with Clarity. This joint rebranding helps set the stage for the next era of growth and evolution for JEGI, as our two firms continue to build on a very successful partnership to-date. It was especially gratifying to announce this rebranding in front of the record-setting crowd at our Annual Conference.”