I’ve collaborated with David Kimpton, brand and graphic designer, for nearly 20 years. Before redesigning the website for Kimpton Creative, David decided to apply the process we use with our own clients… to his own agency. I ran a brand strategy exercise from scratch. No corners cut.
This is something, in my experience, design agencies rarely do.
What we did
This process revealed that at the heart of the many, many things of deep value that Kimpton does for its clients sits something that seems to be galvanising everything else: a real passion for “inspiring change”. Either its clients are doing great things to change the world, or Kimpton is doing great things to change its clients, or both. This is where all the uplifting energy seems to reside, for organisations, creatives and the wider world alike. More: it’s an understanding of how change comes about, and how to use that to his clients’ advantage, that makes Kimpton Creative so effective at delivering commercial benefits to the organisations it works for.
The process also revealed a huge education gap in the marketplace. Branding itself is misunderstood. Certainly a high proportion of people seemed to be unaware of its capacity to drive change, and not conscious of the business value that high-quality work can generate… until late in the process or even afterwards when they could see the results for themselves. To have a high proportion of potential clients not fully aware of what exactly they were buying, and therefore on what criteria they should judge an agency… was a risk. Reducing or eliminating that risk would be to Kimpton’s advantage. And, arguably, of benefit to their future clients, too.
The process also showed that an opportunity is most likely missed if one assumes that everyone is as visual as a professional designer. Amazingly, some people out there actually process things better if they are helped with – heaven forfend – words.
What happened next
Business benefits – of which there have been very many over the years – were given a much higher profile on the site. The same for Design Effectiveness/Transform-style awards. An area was set aside on the website for education. Words, as well as images, were used to draw people into this world in a way that could help inform decisions and inspire confidence. We explained how some of the things Kimpton Creative really stand for help bring about change.
Fear not, visual people, the rest of the site is still a riot of imagery, check it out here!