All Posts in News

13th April 2021

The power of the CGI Influencer

A Q&A with Fara Darvill, Growth Director

 

Why is the rise of the CGI influencer significant for brands? Building brands is big business and influencers have become an important part of brand marketing campaigns in the past decade. While influencers are not a new concept, in the past brands looked to the influence of global performers and movie stars, reality TV in the 90s and social media in the 00s created the next-gen of influencers and a new kind of 'celebrity.' These were ordinary people with no perceivable talent just the willingness to talk and share.

And for a long time, brands enjoyed successful relationships with influencers – a post from a Kardashian on Insta could lead to a sell-out product in hours, and in the UK, it was the same with Zoella in beauty and Mrs Hinch has done wonders for cleaning products.

The key to a successful relationship is that an influencer must be aligned to the collaborator brand’s values... And therein lies the rub.

Things started to turn sour in the last few years with influencers not being authentic in their posts, being caught out by not really using the products they endorse or obviously staging their posts – à la blogger, Scarlett London's disastrous Listerine promo – which is a turnoff for consumers, who aren't afraid to voice their disdain.

The big issue with collaborating with influencers is that they are real people who have real problems, which, if exposed, can leak into the brands they are promoting. Real people make mistakes that can ultimately cost their brand partner a lot of money if they do something that could tarnish the brand’s reputation.

Influencer 2.0
CGI-animated influencers cut this risk because they don’t exist! They can’t be caught in compromising situations or have their personal opinions used against them. They can be completely controlled, creators can choose every aspect of their personas, how they sound or look, even where they are.

Virtual influencers are gaining follower traction – Lil Miquela has 1.6million and has collaborated with Samsung – they are reliable (they don’t have personal problems) and offer a sanitised reassurance to brands that want to collaborate with them. But more importantly, brands can create their own versions of the perfect influencer and build it into their brand world.

Having control is the holy grail for brands that invest a lot of money in an influencer. The influencer can be 'perfect'. Brands can align their values and the influencer can 'live' those values consistently to support the brand's integrity and expectations.

While it may be a significant shift right now, watching what happens next with this type of influencer is going to be really interesting. Is perfect going to be enough?

12th April 2021

Powering a pioneer

-The Power to Act -


Avrios, a Fleet Management Platform (operating across Europe), has launched its new brand suite created by Design by Structure.

Avrios is pioneering the future of fleet management software. Powered by AI tech, it integrates data, automates processes and provides its clients with real-time insights to improve their fleets – from fuel and mileage to leases, repairs and CO2 emissions. This allows clients to understand the true costs of their fleet, as well as the impact it has on social and environmental factors – therefore enabling changes such as environmental footprint and sustainability programmes. The SaaS is empowering its customers to make changes that ultimately make an impact on their bottom line.

The brief was a full end-to-end project, the new brand work includes strategy and positioning, visual identity, website, illustration style, TOV and brand guidelines.

The design process involved an in-depth analysis of the business. Insights from both the brand's customer service teams and customers informed the strategy, bringing two vision statements to light, ‘The true cost of ownership’ and ‘The power to act’. Both are activated through the brands comms messaging.

The art of illustration
A key project objective was to introduce fleet management services to a wider audience, not just direct customers but the people who use their vehicles. To support this goal, the agency introduced illustration (characters and icons) as an integral part of the creative story – using smiling faces on human characters to express the brands approachable and friendly values.

George the eagle, the brand's illustrated mascot, has had a complete redesign to dial up his approachable, fun and friendly characteristics. He will appear across external communications as a helpful guide.

All of the illustrative work is supported by a new icon portfolio. The icons have multiple applications across all comms touchpoints, they help to support messaging and key information points.

Speaking about the work, Richard Brooks, Avrios, CMO said, “Design by Structure has been a great partner in this project, the creative output has been really excellent, and they really took time to understand our business. We are super happy with our new vision pillars and look forward to driving forward with these over the coming months and years.”

9th March 2021

Technology Enables Innovation…

Author: Olly Chubb, Strategy Director, Design by Structure

Technology enables innovation to happen – but it is not why innovation happens.

Thousands of businesses have the capability to ‘innovate’ – to create something new, or something better. What separates successful businesses is not whether they can do something, it’s whether they know why they are doing it. There is a huge distinction here, let’s look at that further.

The most successful businesses deliver more than linear, incremental improvements that make something better, faster or smoother. Instead, they harness a deep understanding of their customers, not just observing how they currently behave but revealing and understanding their pain points, interrogating what really matters to them and identifying new opportunities to create meaningful change for them.

These businesses can rethink the sector/customer problem, approaching it from a fresh and original perspective, reframing the context and transforming expectations of what ‘better’ means.

As the classic Henry Ford quote goes, “If I’d have asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses”. He could have bought the fastest horses, bred them to be even faster and become rich. He didn’t. Why? Because he understood that, although his customers might not have articulated it directly, the problem wasn’t just about speed – so the solution wasn’t just about being faster. Instead, he built a new mode of transport that exceeded expectations and transformed the landscape forever – and he became extremely rich!

In short, technology enables innovation, but the smartest innovations are driven by insight – and so too are the smartest businesses.

It can be easy to forget or overlook this, not least when businesses are running full speed to improve and when there seem to be more options for improvement than ever. The most ground-breaking innovations are not remembered because of the technology, they’re remembered because they transformed businesses, cultures and industries.

We need to think of technology and innovation as having a symbiotic relationship in business. Insight is the catalyst for this change. And by putting it at the heart of every decision and using it to constantly challenge and rationalise why they should do something, businesses can streamline activity, optimise resource and align every action through a clear purpose.

The interconnectivity of tech and innovation
Technology and innovation are interconnected they need each other to thrive, let’s look at some examples.

What’s the biggest frustration people experience with customer services? Feeling that they are not being understood or listened to. Having to go through the same conversation, the same complaint, over and over again because they’re speaking to a different agent. We all know this pain.

Dixa, is a SaaS business currently transforming the customer service experience by making it more personal, intelligent, and data-driven., it puts people at the core of its business and addresses this particular pain point – frustration.

Dixa could have used technology to reduce waiting times or increase accessibility. Instead, they looked at the problem differently and unlocked a fresh way to innovate in this industry. The service combines every customer interaction into one seamless conversation by unifying all contact points – phone, email, chat and messaging. Therefore, changing the landscape by removing the frustration of having to explain yourself again and again to different customer service agents.

It has used technology to create a seamless, ongoing dialogue that has transformed expectations of customer service forever.

Mews is another business blending insight and technological innovation to revolutionise the hospitality guest experience.

Rather than think about how to improve the traditional property management system that dominated the industry landscape, Mews decided to drive its innovation from a different angle – the human experience of both hoteliers and customers and asked what are their pain points?

By adopting a customer-first perspective, Mews developed customer-first tech that identifies how and where to simplify or automate hotel operations – from booking engine to check-out, front desk ritual to revenue management.

Small scale improvements would not have been enough to compel hoteliers to switch from the established incumbent – but a new way of thinking brought to life through technology, has created wholesale change and encouraged hoteliers and guests to imagine more.

What both these business example show, is where technology was used to deep dive into a real problem, to fulfil a gap in the sector where meaningful change could innovate to the benefit of the end-user – the customer. Both of these solutions tackle specific pain points, and instead of an easy fix, have come up with an idea that can shake a sector and really challenge sedentary thinking. That’s the beauty of tech, it can realise a business idea and elevate a sector with innovation.

A final word of caution, too often businesses create or adopt technology for technology’s sake. They realise they can, so they do, but they don’t stop to ask ‘why?’. They should. When you unlock ‘the why’, you unlock the insights.

It is the insight that unlocks innovation – and technology that makes good on the promise.

 

This article was first published in Global Banking and Finance Magazine.

8th January 2021

Transform Awards 2021

As a strategic branding agency that works with transformative tech companies, we are lucky to work across varied sectors creating beautiful brands in Hospitality, Finance, Retail and Property – to name a few. Our work creates relevant and memorable brands by telling a compelling story that impacts their market and elevates them within their sectors.

We are very proud of the work we do for all of our clients, but it is especially fantastic to have had hese projects acknowledged by this year's Transform judges.

We are shortlisted in the following categories:
For our work with Formaplex - Best Visual Identity
- Industrial and Basic Materials Sector.
For our work with LendInvest - Best Visual Identity
- Property, Construction and Facilities Management Sector.

During a year that has been so difficult for us all in the creative industry (running projects remotely and so many meetings via video calls), it is incredible to be nominated in the sectors we strive to make a creative difference.

"Despite the challenges we face, the Transform Awards 2021 still managed to grow... we saw a fabulous range of agencies, companies and brands enter." Andrew Thomas, Transform Awards.

We are keeping our fingers crossed that we will be able to attend an actual event but, whatever happens, we are looking forward to the big night in May.

15th December 2020

Making innovation possible

- Driving brand relevance in a rapidly changing world-

Payments company, Fime appointed Design by Structure (Structure) to develop its new brand. This has come on the back of the company expanding its offering and expertise across its entire business to meet the needs of the payments market.

Fime provides consulting and disruptive testing expertise to enable its clients to develop, build and launch trusted digital payment experiences across fintech, banking and smart mobility. Relaunching the brand was a very important part of the business strategy enabling the company to harmonises its customer touchpoints.

Creative challenge
The brand identity was outdated and lost in its competitor arena. Additionally, its brand assets and communications materials were not serving their purpose, with no thematic brand consistency across the brand's channels. There was also an issue with Fime's communications, market perception did not reflect the services the company offers and there was no clear message for its target audience.

Structure created a fresh and standout visual language to help elevate the brand's positioning. The creative solution re-thought its touch-points and created a suite of materials and a toolkit to allow the in-house marketing team the flexibility to further develop the brand.

The relaunch aligns with Fimes core values and principles and informs its strategic approach, it also includes the brand's new tagline ‘Making innovation possible’ which is at the heart of what the business does.

Speaking about the creative, Lionel Grosclaude, CEO Fime said: ‘Re-launching our brand brings together a lot of the work we’ve been doing together over the past few years, to help ensure that Fime is even more relevant to customers and prospects in a world that is rapidly changing before us.’

18th November 2020

Create A Healthy Home Office

- Q. How do you make your home office healthy? -

Author: John Galpin, Co-Founder Design by Structure

For those of us who have worked in co-working spaces that encourage mobility and interaction, you need to think about your home office in the same way – think designated zones.

Create multiple workspaces to complete different tasks in different places. For instance, have a quiet space with a closable door for meetings, find a space by a window where there’s a lot of natural light for powering through work, and use the sofa when you don’t want to be by yourself.

You don’t have to be inside all the time – work from your garden in the summer, go for a walk, do conference calls on the move, and get out whenever you can.

And if you don’t have a lot of space at home, then get creative and add new workspaces – a friend’s home, a pub, a coffee shop (when we are allowed again), or a park.

Mix it up and thrive, just like you did when you were in the office.

This comment appeared in Management Today.

30th October 2020

The Power of Emojis

- Q. Should emojis be banned from work emails? -

Author: Nicole Clemens, CEO Design by Structure

Emojis shouldn’t be banned from work emails and if we think about them in terms of semiotics then emojis are simply visual language cues.

Workplace communications are going through a huge transition right now, so we need to adapt and be flexible in how we convey thoughts, ideas and ultimately stay connect with each other.

The written word can often be misinterpreted in terms of the intended tone, so adding an emoji can support the intent and be beneficial to the reader. When it comes to liaising with clients and the use of emojis, it just depends on the nature of the relationship and the content of the message as to whether these are appropriate. If you’re talking to a sales & marketing team then is a simple extension of an existing business vernacular, if you are about to launch a piece of comms then has its place. More and more we are connecting and communicating with clients in Slack so is a universal language that is relevant and understood in addition to saving everyone time.

This comment appeared in Management Today.