Wednesday, 30 October 2013

The Making of Mer

Working on a one-off project can be very rewarding but getting involved in an ongoing project can be even more so – especially when you see a brand transformed and a range of products earning its rightful place at a premium level in-store.

And this has been the case with our involvement with Far├ęcla and one of its key brands, Mer.

Mer is a range of car care products and has been around for years, gaining a huge number of supporters who regularly tweet and blog about its quality and effectiveness.

But when we were first asked to research the brand, its look was not exactly sending out the quality cues which many of these same supporters have long eschewed.

Enter a design team specialising in automotive work, WDA-automotive and cue more research looking at how Mer might throw off its old clothing and start to compete on a level playing field with the likes of Auto Glym.

And the key to unlock this Mer potential turned out to be the genuine heritage it holds in terms of the product itself and how it was originally developed.

Here we found that a certain Franz Billich was the original inventor and here we discovered its genuine German credentials which have now been used to amazing effect in the new range.

There followed more design work and more research in testing packaging which drew on this German-ness, along with a classy look and feel that looked capable of helping the brand emerge from the car care shadows.

The results, I’m sure you’ll agree, are stunning. And if you wander along to your local Halfords store you’ll see they look even more stunning in real life.

So our most recent work has involved interviewing people in-store and checking what they think of the new look Mer. This, as well as testing more ideas on how we can improve the brand still further.

As things stand, it looks like the making or re-making of Mer has been a great success.  It’s not only drawing in many new customers, it’s also keeping its loyal followers loyal – quite a feat in such a crowded marketplace.

And Mer’s been helped along by outstanding design work as well as various stages of research, including groups discussions and face-to-face depth interviews in-store.
So here’s to Mer and here’s to Auto Shine Technologie, a key element on which the new Mer range has been built.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

'The Big Do'

Sometimes a project comes along which makes you feel a little warmer on the inside.  And this was the case with a recent project we worked on for The Christie charity in Manchester. We have the utmost respect for The Christie and the work it does, and this job gave us the chance to try and help them raise more money to help with future research on cancer, a disease which we are told now touches around one in three members of the population of the UK.

Working closely with Music, The Christie’s branding agency, we were tasked to uncover insight that would inform a new campaign brand and ‘big idea’ for fundraising for The Christie. 

The brief was broad, the questions were mainly open and the scope was wide.

So we interviewed current fundraisers for the charity, current fundraisers for other charities and current staff at The Christie who came from a wide range of disciplines and departments. 

The research that followed highlighted the passion many felt for the hospital itself but this was sometimes linked with a greater need for clarity and consistency when it came to how the brand was depicted and used in its publicity. 

Research also suggested that if we could improve some of these issues and come up with a great ‘big idea’, then support would follow and response would be excellent.

Insights were many and various as we discovered that all three parts of our research sample had quite different perspectives on The Christie’s approach to fundraising today and how this might be improved for the future. 

Once our work had been completed and presented to The Christie, it was the turn of the creative minds at Music to translate our ideas into a reality. Not that we saw our work as base metal but the team at Music does seem to have been able to turn it into gold. 

Music created ‘The Big Do’.


And it’s a Do which has its focus on a day rather than what was once a month; and it’s a Do which is inclusive and fun, other important factors which came out of the research. 

The orange provides distinction and stand-out and incorporating The Christie ‘embrace’ within the new ‘The Big Do’ identity is yet another part of what we see as its genius. 

So The Big Do has been launched and the big day is Friday 1st November.  We’re looking forward to supporting The Christie further, if not with more research, then certainly in our next company fundraising exploits.

What’s going to be your ‘big do’ this year?!