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HEIST Awards - Nikki Garnett

Apparatus Wins HEIST Award 2014 for Best Prospectus For Preston’s College

Well we’re back down to earth with a bump today after winning silver at last night’s HEIST Awards for best prospectus for Preston’s College. Of course gold would have been nice but we faced stiff competition from the UK’s best universities and colleges. The judges told us that they especially appreciated our strategic approach to navigation, the creativity of the content and the chatty but informative tone of the copywriting as well as the innovative touches we had introduced such as QR codes and augmented reality.

We were also thrilled to be on the shortlist for best strategic brand campaign but were pipped to the prize by Sunderland University and Manchester University. We had a great night with our clients from Preston’s College who were delighted, having entered many times before without winning. We are now working hard on this year’s prospectus, aiming for a gold at next years HEIST Awards event.

Is Barbour International the new Burberry check?

Having done a great job of reinventing themselves with a new tailored cut and a snazzy yellow gold International logo, it appears that Barbour may have scored an own goal. We all remember Burberry’s check being adopted by the masses in the late 90s. Now the International is becoming streetwear, worn increasingly by TOWIE followers.

Although a high turnover of sales must be welcome, it presumably isn’t what Barbour had in mind. With jackets costing a minimum of £180, price obviously isn’t a barrier. So what is it that is appealing to a new working class demographic?

Listening to conversations in stores, it appears that customers are justifying the jackets to themselves as a practical investment that will last, so maybe the new austerity message of buying less but better is a driver. If so will we suddenly see Primark’s profits tumble? Unlikely. The clincher, it appears, lies in the high level branding. Burberry’s check and the yellow gold International logo are identifiable at 20 paces. So although middle England is apparently embracing thrift, in the depths of recession it appears that C2DEs are still looking for a visible emblem of consumerism.

Will it damage Barbour as a brand? Well it has certainly derailed their intentions of targeting urban ABC1 customers who will be dropping the International like a hot rock. Long term though they will simply be able to shear the range off and return to core, unlike Burberry who held the check at the heart of the brand. Next one to watch: Hunter gloss wellies? Let’s see.

New e-commerce website

We are pleased to be working on a new e-commerce website for Balthazar, a UK based company that runs spas and sells beauty products in Saudi Arabia.  A fascinating challenge, we are creating a completely different user experience.  Female consumers in Saudi are cash rich and spend a lot of time researching products on the web.  As they are currently not allowed to drive, their store based retail experiences are restricted.  We will therefore be working to transfer retail theatre to the online journey.

Great Brand Extension

Havaianas, the cult flip-flop brand, has circumvented seasonality by introducing a range of wellies into the UK.  A triumph of strategic thinking, they echo the range of colours and designs of the flip flops and are priced comfortably below Hunter (the current object of desire).  Launching at Easter, well in time for the festival season and the British summer, they are bound to be an example of great brand extension in action.

Fuel – the new liquid gold

Triscan has selected Apparatus to be their outsourced marketing department.  An obvious leader in its marketplace, Triscan produces intelligent fuel and fleet management solutions.  With fuel prices set to rise by at least another 10% their systems are a no-brainer for retailers, councils or other transport providers looking to reduce their fuel bill and their carbon foottprint.  Our first projects are the strategic assessment of their positioning and the redesign of key communication pieces such as their corporate identity, website, brochures and powerpoint presentations.

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