Posts Tagged ‘branding’

Prince William in SkillForce charity polo match

Monday, August 5th, 2013

princes award

We were pleased to hear that Prince William’s first public appearance since the birth of baby George was a charity polo match in support of one of our clients SkillForce, of which The Duke of Cambridge is a patron.

SkillForce works in partnership with schools, drawing upon the skills of predominantly ex-Forces personnel, to inspire young people to succeed. We’ve worked with the SkillForce team for the last three years, developing the organisation’s brand framework and ongoing communications materials. Most recently, we created a unique set of bespoke awards for The SkillForce Prince’s Award which was presented by The Duke of Cambridge last year to ten young people in recognition of the contribution they had made to their communities (image above).

Though a worthy cause, we just hope he managed to get those nappies on his way home.

Have a look at the SkillForce website for more information on the work they do with young people.

By Rhiannon Hulse

Off the shelf: When is a brand not a brand?

Monday, March 4th, 2013

Brand for sale: previously unused, new owners must accept ‘Hessian’ as the name for their new or existing venture, yours for a cool $18,000, website domain included.
Hessian Brand For Sale
Designer Ben Pieratt has created a new brand, now he just needs to find a buyer. In an increasingly commoditised world, Ben is selling a brand as a product rather than brand development as a service… no development process to go through, just stick it on and away you go. What’s not to like? Well, the ‘Elephant in the room’ is that this bypasses the process from which clients derive much of the value of brand development i.e. involvement in developing a brand framework and brief that ensures a perfect fit between strategy and creative. With this process there’s no Eureka Moment at the arrival of a succinct & differentiated proposition and no debate as to the merits of the brand concepts that follow. It’s just there for you… on a plate… take it or leave it.

Of course, you could run your brand strategy development in isolation and just add a ready-made brand at the end. The words ‘Square peg’ and ‘Round hole’ come to mind though I’d prefer to ask the question ‘Do Fries Go With That Shake? (as I’ve wanted to use that song title in a post for a long time). I’m not so sure… if they do work together then it’s not by design, it’s down to luck and that’s not something I want to rely on when building an asset as valuable as a brand. The more likely scenario is that you’re left with a misfit, a brand that you begrudgingly like for all the wrong reasons…instead of one that you are proud of, have high ambitions for as well as plans for its nurture and growth.

The other slightly sad thing about ‘brand as product’ this is that it by passes the human interaction that makes great brands. The creative process is a fascinating mix of the rational and emotional; it feeds off people, the value of their passion, priorities and preferences cannot be underestimated. So, if you want to create a winning brand my advice would be to get involved from the bottom up, it’s enjoyable and valuable. As for Hessian, there might be a smidgen of PR value in taking it on and it’s started an interesting debate, but it’s not for me.

By Neil Perrott

Retro food – the taste of nostalgia

Friday, September 10th, 2010


Being a bit of a foodie, I have noticed a few food and drink fairs popping up over the country lately. So it was unsurpring to read an article on MSN yesterday informing me that it is British Food Fortnight. The article goes on to mention some of ‘The UK’s most iconic food brands‘: Lyle’s Golden Syrup,  Barratt’s sherbet fountains,  Birds Custard Powder – brands that typically evoke a feeling of nostalgia in Britons of all ages.

This nostalgic feeling about food brands has led to ‘retro’ sweets making a big comeback over the last few years. In 2008 Mars returned their ‘Starbust’ sweets to ‘Opal Fruits’ for a limited time, Orangina brought back their iconic glass bottle and Cadbury (though no longer a British brand!) brought back my favourite chocolate bar, Wispa. Recently, Neil who handles brand development here at Katapult mentioned he liked the old/new Monster Munch packaging, which has a ‘new’ tab on the corner of the packet which has been crossed out and replaced with ‘old’. We agreed it was a nice touch.


This nostalgia has extended further into brand advertising. For example the heart-warming Hovis advert with the little boy who picks up a loaf of bread in 1886 and literally runs home through the brand’s 122 year history stopping off at those memorable points in our British past. Voted advert of the decade by the British public last year, the ad clearly evokes the life-affirming feeling in us all. In a more personal way, the old red car/blue car Milky Way advert has a similar affect on me. I surprised myself by still knowing all the words to it even though I haven’t seen it for over a decade. I found three Facebook groups with a large cult following for the red car/blue car ad – an advertising legacy if you like.

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An article in The Times suggests that during hard times such as the recent recession, people revert back to familiar brands not because they are cheaper, but because they remind people of those ‘rose-tinted’ times in their past, when things were perceivably more secure. This recession-induced emotional eating is quite clearly seen by Asda’s reports that even through the recession, customers were still buying well known nostalgic brands over their cheaper own label products.

It has even been claimed that the relaunch of classic retro sweets has actually boosted the economy and helped lift us out of recession! That people continue to buy sweets even when they have no money is quite clear. Possibly another example of the classic ‘comfort eating’ we all know so well.

However, I think it goes further than this. The re-launch of some of these products are clearly great PR stunts when they work in this way. It was actually Facebook that was responsible for bringing back the Wispa proving that social media is a great way for brands and food producers to get some vital market research. The loyalty to such brands after so long is clear evidence that they are still meeting their consumers needs in a fast moving market.

What will be back next?

Charity Bike Challenge: The Finesse Collection’s James Blick

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

Following his successful Lands End to John O Groats challenge last year, one of our clients, James Blick – Managing Director of The Finesse Collection of hotels -  has decided to yet again embark on an adventure to raise much needed funds for the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (Chect), a charity personal to his family.

As such, James set off yesterday (12th May) from London to Paris on a 300 mile cycling challenge over 4 days.  James will then attempt to continue to cycle from Paris to the southern most tip of France, Biarritz.  Taking an extra 5-6 days and a further soreness of 502 miles.

You can donate to James’s Just Giving page which goes direct to the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust

You can also check out how James is doing by following his progress on the blog we set up for him -  james blick’s charity bike ride

Below is a map of the route showing both parts of his challenge.


Safer roads for everyone – TMS website live

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010


Having worked closely with TMS – a specialist provider of road safety and traffic management services, we are pleased to see the new website we worked with them on is up, running and generating enquiries.

Katapult ran a brand workshop with all staff at TMS  to build a clear understanding of the comapny’s ethos and positioning. This informed the development of a brand framework that clearly set out TMS’ positioning, proposition and values which provided a platform for the development of a new brand identity and design style. Including the strapline ‘Safer roads for everyone’, this reinforces a commitment to improving road safety and captures the company’s spirit and personality.

Lorna Charles from TMS said ‘ We think it looks amazing. So far we have had really positive feedback and we are sure this will continue over the coming weeks/months. Everyone at Katapult has been great over the last year or so and the rebrand has also received really positive feedback. The whole package we can now offer to our clients looks really professional and we couldn’t have done it without you.’

See more of our Katapult branding and digital projects

Derby’s Sinfonia ViVA Orchestra feature in the new Gorillaz Album

Friday, March 5th, 2010

We felt this worthy of its own post as we are proud as punch. Its another example of Derby’s cultural and creative talent taking to the world stage.

Sinfonia ViVA are featured on two tracks (and one bonus track) on the anticipated new album from Gorillaz which is released this Monday.

“This little symphony was recorded with the Sinfonia Viva orchestra, in Derby, around April 2009. I recorded with them in the old Rolls Royce engine factory, where they built the engines for the World War II spitfires. Which fits the soul of all this – a bygone era, the remnants of war and planes and decay” Murdoc (aka Damon Albarn)

See the video and the first track here.

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Read more at NME

Recent Work – Sinfonia ViVA Orchestra

Friday, March 5th, 2010



Audio Lens Performance at the Assembly Rooms, Derby on Wednesday 3rd March.

Sinfonia ViVA:  Audio Lens

Katapult developed the branding for the project and K-motion (Katapult’s motion graphics and video production unit) have been filming the project and are currently producing a DVD which will feature the final performance and a documentary of the project.

Composers and Workshop Leaders James Redwood and Jack Ross wrote a new piece for concertante (group of six ViVA musicians who will perform as soloists and form the workshop teams) with the wider ViVA ensemble which included moments for participation by the project participants; young people from one primary school, two secondary schools and Derby College.

This process began at QUAD as part of the Art and Participation season on 2 November 2009. The concertante team and composers came together with the project participants in the QUAD gallery to explore and develop some musical material which will be further developed to form part of the final composition.

A VJ artist worked with a small group of participants from Burton College to consider ways of presenting video and animations during the final performance.

The ViVA team, conductor and VJ came together with all the participants for the final two days of the project during which they put all the new material created during the project into one large piece on Wednesday 3rd March, at the Assembly Rooms, Derby.

Katapult have enjoyed working with Sinfonia ViVA since 2001 and you can see more of the recent video work  K-Motion has been doing with them below.

Sinfonia ViVA – ABO Conference Promo

At the recent ABO conference in Glasgow, a video was produed highlighting the educational work that Sinfonia ViVA undertakes. Phil Higgins interviewed James Redwood (Composer, Workshop Leader + Board-Director) and editited this together with interviews with conductor André de Ridder and composer Anna Meredith to create a promotional video highlighting the arrival of the ABO (Association of British Orchestras) conference in Derby, February 2011.  The video was mixed with the sinfonia ViVA ident, a motion graphics based introduction. The video was well received at this the ABO’s primary annual conference held this year at Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall; the major gathering of the classical music industry in the UK, with over 350 delegates drawn from orchestras both from within the UK and abroad, venues, agents, publishers and suppliers.

See video here

Client Testimonial:

“Thanks again for the film for our Association of British Orchestras pitch at the of last month. It was a great piece of work and  now everyone is talking about Derby, the conference next year and how they are looking forward to coming. As a colleague said afterwards – “gosh you guys really know how to do a pitch”. Of course this would not have been possible without the hard work you put in to create such a inspiring film. Yet another quality product from k-motion!”

Peter Helps
Chief Excecutive – sinfonia ViVA

Sinfonia ViVA – Big Screen Proms:
Phil Higgins of K-motion  interviewed conductor André de Ridder and violin soloist Ilya Gringolts performing with sinfonia ViVA for a quick teaser video which was played in the intro of a live broadcast on the big screen Derby.  Presented by Aleena Naylor form BBC radio Derby, the quick turn-around project was well received and gave the audience an insight into the musicians and with performances of Mozart’s Overture to Don Giovanni, Schumann’s Violin Concerto and the world premiere of Larry Goves’s Orchestral Short composition which has been specially commissioned by sinfonia ViVA.

See video here

Branding for the Times

Friday, April 3rd, 2009


The recent Jacqui Smith furore provides yet another reminder of the aspect of our society that has been most damaged by the seismic events of the last 18 months or so. This is also something that brand owners are hugely reliant on: trust.

The implications are clear – in an increasingly sceptical world where a Madoff or Stanford seemingly lurks around every corner, we are going to have to work harder than ever to restore, maintain and sustain trust in our brands. With belief systems being shattered on a daily basis, brand equity has a much shorter shelf-life and this is how it’s going to be from now on…the world has changed and people have long memories.

‘Trust’ is used in a number of contexts, the most frequent usage being in relation to hope and belief. As such, we also need to sharpen our focus – whilst hope is without doubt important (particularly in the current climate), what people need now is to be able to believe. In an environment where ‘low risk’ investments have lost 40% of their value (and in some cases much more), people need proof. Transactions of every nature and value (not just those in Financial Services) need to be built on clear benefits and total belief that they will be delivered.

So, ask yourself what you are doing to build trust in your brand. Do your customers know how hard you fight to deliver them the best products and prices?…Do your clients have a clear understanding of the expertise you deliver and hence the value you add to their organisation?…Do they hope or do they believe?

(CC image by photographyjournal)