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Under the skin of the letting market

Here we share news and views on both the local letting market in & around Oxfordshire and all planned and recent legislation.

Our new Brand Identity in eight steps


1. The case for change

Like a property which had seen a lot of tenants but little investment, our logo looked tired, if not exhausted. The 3-dimensional design was a relic of the late 1990s. The dark green colour lacked the energy which we feel we embody. Quite simply, our business had become far more cutting edge than our brand identity.  All systems go…

2. The workshops

A professional ‘re-brand’ involves a company’s people and customers; hence we  ran a series of internal workshops on the business today and the market of tomorrow. We analysed our market positioning and values. A key finding was that staff felt the external skin of the business (logo, office fascias, window displays) was dated. People also felt that our values (Expert, Proactive, Human, High Standards) were correct in meaning but the words could be improved. 

3. The research

Landlords were chosen via random sampling techniques and interviewed by a 3rd party. The feedback was encouraging: every client interviewed would recommend us. The landlords felt our greatest strength was “finding high quality tenants” and that an interesting differentiator was “thinking ahead and planning ahead to keep a portfolio in good condition”. A number of points were made about how we can evolve our service. Three of the interviewees ‘won’ £100 from us to give to a charity of their choice. The chosen charities were BOB Air  Ambulance, Abaana (a charity for the children of Africa), and Helen & Douglas House.

4. The brief

We wanted something dramatic. We distilled the workshop and research insight into one image.

The doctor represents our bedrock: professional advice, integrity, honesty, reliability, high standards – doing a proper job. The razor blade represents the ‘edge’ we have and covet, for example, winning awards for innovation, launching a stunning website, campaigning to delay the flawed onset of HMO legislation in Oxford etc.

We also said “No lozenge shape, no dark green and no clichés.” This is bold and perhaps a risk. Normally you would evolve a logo over time and just tweak it. However, we felt that the dark green colour looks too tired in 2012 and that the lozenge had run its course after 39.5 years.

5. The breakthrough

Colours, colours, colours. We wanted grey / mauve and white as our main  colours, but we knew that grey / mauve would be too anonymous as a board on the streets. Then a breakthrough: why assume that an agent can only have one board colour? Why not do something more interesting and have several colours? Use these colours in subtle ways at times (eg, letterhead, logo) and overt ways at other times (eg, boards, cars). 

6. The final identity

Helvetica font with some bespoke sculpting. The ‘Keepers’ is now on the same line as ‘Finders’. The leaf was inspired by the illustration we already use on, giving us movement and energy amidst our rural roots. And the heart? It might polarise people but it is born from the fact we care and we are not ashamed in saying so, as old-fashioned as that notion might be.

7. The launch film

Click to watch the full video

Playing Spielberg, we made a little film in 2.5 hours at breakneck pace. Take a look at it is only 60 seconds long.

8. The roll-out

We went live with the new identity on Thursday 12th January. We hope you like it. Please send any feedback to (logo, cards, boards)