From parent-company bankruptcy to new brand model, identity, and launch campaign in just four weeks.
Following the bankruptcy of its parent company Intu in 2020, Eldon Square, Newcastle’s premier shopping and dining destination, found itself in need of new branding and an urgent communications campaign. The centre appointed us to engage with stakeholders, develop a brand model and deliver a new brand identity, logo and guidelines in just four weeks, to hit the deadline required for the relaunch by its new ownership consortium and to communicate to the public that Eldon Square was very much still open for business.
To inform the new brand strategy we engaged with a range of stakeholders including the centre management team, property management company MAPP, APAM financiers and Newcastle City Council (40% shareholders). We then tailored a fast-track version of our ‘think, create, deliver’ brand development process to define and design a new brand identity at speed.
This first stage was delivered through:
- A series of online stakeholder workshops, which also included tenants’ association representatives
- Brand workshops to gain insight from stakeholders about the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats facing the centre
Analysing the findings, we concluded that:
- The changing nature of retail and the impact of online shopper behaviour actually posed an opportunity to be safely integrated and connected better with the wider city – for Eldon Square to be part of something bigger – within the Council’s city transformation plan.
- The possibility existed for Eldon Square to become a community hub with social impact and social value.
- Being part of a large corporation had previously led to a lack of identity, due to a centrally directed strategy that served the corporation, not the community.
- There was a need to disassociate from the Intu brand and build a distinctive identity – a focus for the ‘support local’ agenda, with community spirit and pride at its core.
- There was a desire among all audiences for a sense of place at the very centre of Newcastle, which could be achieved by evolving the scheme long-term, factoring in retail, leisure, office and residential opportunities, and offering a premium experience from a wide variety of local independents alongside flagship brands.
That all added up to one big opportunity for change, and it inspired an equally big vision, personality, and story:
To be the most-loved mixed-use scheme in the North East, for Eldon Square’s customers, communities, partners and employees.
Eldon Square. Heart and soul of Newcastle.