The Digital Agency Showcase has
already featured some fantastic examples of work from agencies
across the northwest. It is now the turn of integrated brand
communications agency, Studio North.
Studio North is based in
Manchester and specialise in branding, marketing and digital. The
agency is known for creating compelling brand experiences, which
spark genuine stand out interest and advocacy for brands of all
shapes and sizes.
Over the years the team at Studio North have
built a strong and supportive working culture which has maintained
a team of like-minded people who deliver campaigns that create real
business value for their clients. They are a down-to-earth and
friendly bunch of people, who are always ready for a new
Studio North are also
creators of the popular TwitFaced events in Manchester,
offering a very informal networking opportunity with like-minded
people, who love to play hard at the end of the week.
We talk to head of strategy and co-founder from Studio North, Nick
16 years' experience in the creative sector and is well-known as a
problem solver who thrives on creating brand and digital strategies
that deliver tangible benefits and results. Nick's
experience spans both digital and offline, and he has worked with
some great brands, which include; Sage, NHS, Stagecoach, The
Co-operative Group, AMEC and Sodexo.
1. Hello, and thank you for
letting us interview you for our digital agency showcase. What is
your main job role and responsibility within Studio
I'm the Strategy Director and
Co-founder here at Studio
North. I'm an ex-Creative Director who has made the natural
progression into strategy. I see myself as a problem solver,
helping our clients to develop brand and digital strategies.
2. Please could you pick a
case study from 2012, and explain why you have chosen it to
represent Studio North's work?
I have chosen our work for Brio Leisure (www.brioleisure.org) as I
feel it's a good example of how you can build a brand from the
ground up and accurately represent it online. We developed the
project under both time and budget constraints, yet it has become a
resounding success for our client and has really helped make a
difference to their organisation.
3. What brief were you intitially supplied with, and
what objectives did the Studio North team devise when briefed?
Our challenge was to create a new
sports and leisure brand for Cheshire West and Chester Council,
with a key objective to change people's perceptions of the public
leisure centre experience. Our aim was to capture the essence of
the offer, and win the hearts and minds of the public.
The strategy was to separate Brio Leisure from the
Council and create a whole new brand. Our job was to develop
everything, from the name upwards, accumulating into a new website
that would include the integration of a leisure membership portal
and events ticket booking system.
4. What strategy did Studio
North devise to answer the brief and objectives that were
As this was a leisure organisation
that consisted of many parts including sports, fitness, swimming,
events and theatre, right through to corporate entertainment and
weddings, we had two key challenges to overcome. Firstly, we had to
find the best way to structure these services into a logical and
evenly balanced offering. Our target audience was diverse, so
whether you were wanting to book tickets for tonight's show or book
a badminton court, the same three-click rule applied in our
Our second challenge was to change
people's negative perception of council owned leisure centres. This
was a multi-site community leisure organisation that needed to
reflect a private health club.
We began by developing a brand
positioning of 'At the heart of life', which unpinned everything
that followed. The sentiment was to let people know they had a new
centre at the heart of their community, which offered them
everything they needed in terms of leisure and entertainment.
5. How did Studio North implement the
We developed the name 'Brio Leisure'(meaning
vitality & energy), which gave them an identity, then went on
to develop sub-brands in order to package the groups of leisure
facilities. Once the identity had been developed we rolled it out
across all of the organisation's marketing communications both on
and offline. We designed and developed a new website on the Joomla
CMS framework and worked alongside a third party software vendor to
integrate a members bookings system and events ticket
6. Could you tell us what
results were derived from the strategy, and any positive feedback
that Studio North received from the campaign?
Feedback from the community and
leisure facility users has been excellent. People have been voting
with their feet as membership numbers have increased month on month
since the launch. The website was at 18,000 visits by the three
month mark and now consistently gets around 30,000 visits per month
with low bounce rates and excellent conversions.
7.Could you give a top tip
to any perspective digital marketing candidates who would like to
work in an agency like yours?
We're an integrated agency so we're
always keen on candidates who live and breathe digital but have a
solid understanding of branding. Digital in itself has an
ever-growing amount of channels, but what's key for us is finding a
candidate who understands brand communications well enough to know
exactly which channels are most appropriate for the brand they're
And finally, keep abreast of
technology and trends. Never stop learning.
The Candidate's Summary:
We would like to congratulate Studio North on an
excellent campaign with a well thought out and effective strategy
despite budget and time constraints.
A great agency with a great culture
and we would like to take this opportunity to wish Studio North the same
success for 2013.