Paradigm Norton is a successful and fast growing financial planning service with an ever-expanding portfolio of clients and services.
When we were first approached about the brand, their brief was based on their need to raise the profiles of their advisers and create a unique space for the brand and to show the company to its full effect in all of their marketing material.
Following some initial research into the company, it soon became very apparent that they have uniquely strong relationships with their clients. It was clear that we were dealing with genuine experts in the field and this needed to be communicated from the start when working up the brand.
We created a clean and memorable brand mark with the vertical line to the left of the brand name, giving the ability to feature a number of sub-brands which all incorporate the main branding style.
As we developed the brand the issue of imagery became a challenge. There really are very few images that haven’t already been used a thousand times before for the financial services industry, and we were keen to avoid the usual clichés. We established the concept that in actual fact it’s not the money that’s at the bottom of all this, it’s the people – people with skills, empathy and understanding, and given the company’s strong connection with their clients, we wanted to portray the human element of their service – a component that is often missed in financial marketing.
To effectively portray this concept to potential new clients, we decided to use hand-created imagery across all the marketing material. This included images of explorers plotting the fauna and flora of the world, maps, old book etchings of Lords cricket ground to name a few. This beautiful, strong imagery underpinned the unique and personal service that Paradigm Norton offers.
Our next challenge that is indicative of the financial services industry was how to create a sense of approachability for the brand. Financial service brands often try to communicate and stress their expertise but ignore the people behind the service, and fail to show an approachable team of people that potential new clients can easily connect with and relate to. This is of paramount importance in this industry as the relationship between the financial planner and the client is a very personal one, which can be more aligned to the traditional family doctor.
One of the solutions we came up with was to lead all communication with videos of the advisers so that clients are able to immediately see and connect with the person they will potentially building a strong relationship with. Allowing potential new clients to see the adviser in the flesh breaks down a lot of the approachability barriers and brings a human focus back to the brand. Statistically, more people will watch a film on a website rather than read an article so we wanted to make use of this growing area to a powerful effect for our client.
In keeping with the portrayal of the person behind the company, we developed a series of different images for the backs of business cards, which the team could choose from to fully personalise their business cards and create a sense of personality and individuality within the team. We also created custom made wallpaper for their various meeting rooms, each representing different stories and values, and emphasising the personal element of the brand.
One new innovation we developed was in making use of their very willing clients to provide testimonials and be featured on the website. We created a series of over 10 ‘life’ films, which celebrates the passions of their clients and focuses on the life that each client has, as apposed to direct endorsement of Paradigm Norton. These have proved very compelling pieces of communication, which take the brand much wider than normal marketing channels allow.
Paradigm Norton have several sub-brands that also needed their own identity, look and feel, whilst still having a clear visual link back to the parent company branding.
One of these sub-brands is Plan4, a bespoke service to companies, helping them develop an employee auto enrolment program.
For Plan4 we developed a very minimal and clean brand, paring colours down to almost none and employing strong areas of white space and clear typography. The use of video was again at the forefront of most of the communication and a mobile friendly web platform makes the use of the system more accessible for individual employees.
One of the challenges we faced was that the development of the Plan4 brand was happening hand-in-hand with the development of the company. As well as coming up with the name itself ‘Plan4’, we also developed the brand’s look and feel, creating the first animated film communication and developed an icon set for communication purposes.
During this time the company was undergoing seismic changes as it grew into this new area, so we had to be very flexible in the working of the brand and always be prepared for things to change day by day and grow together.