Refreshing a FTSE giant

With the acquisition of UBM having such a large influence over the scale and structure of the enlarged FTSE 50 business, Informa asked Luminous to review their brand and change the way the media group presented itself to the world.

The brief involved developing a new brand platform to unite a diverse international team, establishing a coherent brand architecture that made sense of the enlarged organisation, articulating a clear customer offer and creating a fresh digital-first visual experience that captured the dynamic spirit of the business. The challenge involved reviewing everything across the brand spectrum apart from the logotype, which carried legacy equity.

Understanding the current culture
Working with a culture insight partner we undertook a two-month discovery and assessment stage to help us understand the cultural landscapes before the acquisition and highlight existing perceived differences between Informa and UBM colleagues. The assessment integrated findings from three key sources: Stakeholder interviews, with 40 executives and senior managers, 14 focus groups, segregated by company, with around 150 anonymous participants, and an intranet survey, where 1,876 colleagues gave quantitative and open-ended feedback. The culture assessment revealed ten imperatives and four priorities against which Informa needed to establish clarity and achieve alignment throughout the organisation. These objectives provided the fuel needed to drive fresh thinking around the new corporate purpose, positioning and values.

Defining new positioning, purpose and values
Based on the findings of the cultural insight survey, we evolved a fresh brand purpose and proposition that Informa could credibly own. A new purpose, ‘Championing the Specialist’ captured what made UBM and Informa unique as organisations. It was a ‘big idea’ that would resonate with all employees and help align the group under a clear proposition. With Informa and UBM having existing guiding principles and commitments, developing a fresh set of values for the combined business was key to the cultural alignment challenge. Through a series of workshops and interviews we created a set of four new values (entitled guiding principles) which highlighted a collaborative and united mindset.

Developing a new brand architecture
Post-acquisition, the group structure had become increasingly complex, with five divisions and a ‘bolt-on’ UBM. Some of the divisional titles carried the Informa name while others went to market as independent brands. To bring the Informa name to the fore, and embed UBM into the Informa structure, we developed a ‘branded house’ approach, established a new divisional structure of Informa Markets, Informa Intelligence, Informa Tech and Informa Connect. This approach helped create a sense of unity across the enlarged organisation.

Developing a dynamic creative experience
We used animation and movement to develop a agile and interactive visual experience, creating something that people could engage with across a range of digital applications. The core ethos of our approach was to develop an identity that could constantly evolve. It’s a brand that doesn’t stand still, with the agility to go forward as the company progresses. We developed a new graphic identifier, which we called the ‘Orbit’, which, when aligned with the legacy logotype, created an identity that reflected Informa’s strength of history and embraced its future opportunity as a dynamic and innovative business. With well over 100 pieces of collateral to develop, the strength of the creative idea lay in the agility of the Orbit graphic to be flexed in varying ways across different forms of brand communications.

Currently shortlisted for ‘Best Corporate Rebrand following a Merger or Acquisition’, Transform Awards 2020