What makes a brand refreshingly different?

PKF Cooper Parry is the number one business advisor in the East Midlands. The company had a strong internal brand, influenced by deeply embedded values. Its bold, colourful visual style reflected the overarching concept of ‘Life is for Living’. But the demands of a fast-growing business meant that existing brand assets had run their course.


A refresh was needed in time for their expansion into the West Midlands. Our brief was to reposition the business as an iconic brand in their sector.

We were tasked with creating a challenger brand that would support their development into new markets. Everyone agreed that the business needed to stay true to its entrepreneurial roots and sense of being ‘different’. But its visual and verbal identity needed to reflect this better. It had to express the exceptional experience and impact the company brings to owner-managed businesses.

How can you show that a brand is different through both verbal and visual language?


We started our journey by thoroughly exploring what worked about the existing brand and what didn’t.

It became clear that getting the company’s ‘difference’ across was about more than vibrant colours. We had to add substance and order to their message, to give it the strength and longevity it needed.

Our solution came from the phrase ‘discover the difference’. Now the emphasis was firmly on the brand promise.

To support this, we refined the tone of voice of their communications to emphasise a straight-talking approach. When used with our new approach to imagery and graphic patterns, we created the ‘unexpected’ essence of the brand. The core message was emphasised, rather than lost.


We pride ourselves on being different – and the team really got under the skin of the ingredients that constitute this difference. They added the order and the intellect we needed to help our brand grow up in line with our business. Importantly, they’ve just made it all a bit easier for us to manage. We love our brand and we love the support we have from the team.

- MELANIE CAMPBELL / Marketing Manager

We had just eight weeks to promote their arrival in the West Midlands through an outdoor advertising campaign. In that time, we defined new brand guidelines and created templates for their in-house team to use. Since the launch we’ve created more advertising, including a direct mail campaign. We’re currently developing their ‘wealth’ brand and planning a new corporate website.


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