12th September 2021

Democratising Corporate Finance

Corporate finance experts, Shaw & Co has launched its new brand suite which was created by Design by Structure. The new work supports its ambition to position the company as a ‘disruptor brand’ in the corporate finance market.

Shaw & Co is on a mission to democratise the corporate finance (CF) market, often seen as an impenetrable and inhuman world for SME businesses, making it more accessible, open, and transparent – helping them to achieve greater outcomes for their businesses.

The brief

Founded by former GB cyclist Jim Shaw, Bristol-based Shaw & Co wants to make CF more accessible and has taken a more human and emotional approach to this brief.
By understanding how important people’s businesses are to them and focusing on the emotional drivers, the brand is offering a more differentiated business service.

Having already conducted a deep dive into the Shaw & Co brand, its Chief Marketing Officer, Paul Mills approached Structure with a brief to develop its proposition, positioning, TOV, visual identity, brand guidelines. In addition, the agency was asked to deliver a website, illustration style and both client and brand vision films.

Speaking about the brand work, Paul Mills, CMO Shaw & Co, said: “To support our ambitious growth plan, our brand needed a major rebuild to re-articulate our value proposition and competitive positioning. We’re winning bigger deals; we have a very loyal client base, and our net promoter score is 80+ so it was the perfect time to transform our brand strategy. The pandemic gave us the opportunity to conduct internal and external research to understand how our employees, business partners and clients valued the brand. We got some fantastic insight which allowed us to start building something that was different, authentic, and disruptive.

Mills continues: To bring our ideas, brand architecture, marketing touchpoints and client stories to life we engaged with Structure who immediately understood our strategic and creative goals. There has been a very strong synergy between us and Structure which has enabled the project to be delivered at incredible pace. We have been brave and let all of the creative decisions to Structure which has ensured agility and a strong end-result that everyone at Shaw & Co is delighted with.

A different approach to the CF sector – simple, clear and human.

For SME owners their business is a very big part of their lives. So, the creative strategy pivots on the human touch – simple, clear, and human. Structure looked to Shaw & Co’s clients to tell its brand story, using film to bring it to life, with people talking about their business challenges and how Shaw & Co has helped them.

This human approach runs throughout all comms touchpoints supported with language and messaging that is simple and clear, and using no industry jargon.

Driving Ambition

The brand’s new proposition is based on how Shaw & Co enables its clients to achieve their greatest business ambition – whether growing, funding or exiting their business – ‘We turn your ambitions into greater outcomes’.

The creative story brings to life the value the brand creates for its clients, Structure visualised and verbalised it by putting the spotlight on client success stories.

While the new brand work conveys both the functional and emotional side of the story, the creative solution continues the distinctively human approach across all elements, launching into the marketplace with a disruptive green colour palette, supported with vibrant accents, to create stand out in a sea of corporate blues.

The approach continues with a bold typeface to reflect ‘big ambition’ and a handwritten typeface to suggest human interaction. Hand-drawn devices (arrows, underscores etc.) will also be used throughout brand comms as emphasis points to hero key messaging.

Speaking about the creative, John Galpin Co-founder Design by Structure said, ‘You need a great client to do great work… and that’s what we got. There was a creative alignment and partnership between us and Shaw & Co from the beginning of this project. And because the team was very clear about the story they wanted to tell and what they wanted to achieve, this helped us accelerate our thinking and helped us do really great work for them’.





Published by: Fara Darvill in News

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