‘Brand Voice is the New Black’, says Principals
Principals has acquired brand language specialists XXVI (pronounced ‘twentysix’) in a bold move to consolidate their position as one of the leading brand agencies in the Asia Pacific region.
The only dedicated brand language specialist in Australia, XXVI has established a formidable reputation in the area of brand voice.
Tom Brigstocke MD of Principals, sees the marriage as a natural fit.
“Clients are desperately seeking differentiation from their competitors. And customers are drawn to brands that talk to them in ways that are authentic, original and insightful. Together with XXVI, we’ll have a formidable offer in the brand space. One where we marry up the power of words with the power of a striking visual identity. Managing both elements to express an enduring strategy is the big opportunity.”
Founded by Scott Lawrie in 2005, XXVI has worked with FOXTEL, NAB, Westpac, Macquarie, Subaru, Warner Music, UBank, The Australian Institute of Management, Toyota, and E*TRADE as well as many Australian agencies and, internationally, Philips, IKEA and Pernod Ricard. More recently, they are gaining considerable attention for their workshops and ‘un-corporate copy school’ courses.
“Last I looked, Australia had over 2000 design and communication agencies. We’re the only dedicated brand voice agency among them. As a country, we’re really good at making things look wonderfully consistent on a visual level – but when it comes to brand voice, we’re breaking new ground here” said Scott Lawrie, founder of XXVI.
“We create a ‘verbal’ identity for brands – how they talk, communicate and engage with audiences. We create a language style that is true to a brand’s strategy and makes visual identity twice as powerful”.
Lawrie states that some big brands have tasked up to 12 agencies with their writing work, yet he claims there are very few companies with Brand Voice Guidelines.
“Clients are starting to realise that a strong colour palette, a set of fonts and folio of templates don’t cut it anymore – they won’t bind all the product and service strands of the brand together. That’s where brand voice comes in.”
Brigstocke commented, “For Principals, this is the beginning of a new chapter in our story. We have built a solid working relationship with XXVI because we’re always looking for what’s around the corner for our clients. XXVI didn’t just bring the discipline of brand voice to Australia, they practically invented it for themselves. The marriage of what we do with what they do, is tried and tested with great results for our clients.”