Wally Olins CBE
1930-2014
Wally Olins CBE
1930-2014

Views: Wally Olins CBE

Wally Olins CBE
1930-2014

With immense sadness we announce the passing of our Chairman Wally Olins, who died on the 14th April after a short illness. Anyone who ever met Wally will remember him well and those of us who knew him well will remember him forever. A man who lived four lifetimes in one, he was insatiably curious, infectiously charming and occasionally infuriatingly impatient! A genuine pioneer, Wally was one of the leading individuals that helped carve out the business of branding – he would always say he did it ‘with colleagues’ but those of us that were lucky enough to have been his colleagues know that this is only partly true. Oddly for a man who was so defined by his prolific talent ...
Brand New Awards

News: Awards

Brand New Awards

We don't tend to enter awards very often, but when we do we like to think we have a good chance of winning them. So we're pleased to share that our work for Ipragaz Go and Oklahoma Contemporary have featured as one of the 'Best Comprehensive Identity Program' selections in Brand New Awards 2013. The competition, according to the organisers Under Consideration, ‘places as much importance on concept and execution as it does towards strategy and business decisions’. The winners’ work is judged by a panel of designers and clients, and celebrates graphic design by focusing on the work itself, the process, and the client’s involvement. More information at BNA 2013.
Brand New

News: Brand New

Brand New

Ahead of the release of his new book ‘Brand New: The Shape of Brands to Come’ Wally Olins discusses the inspiration behind his latest work, the book that is not just about branding, but for everyone interested in ‘the way the world is going’. The book will be launched at the open event at the Victoria and Albert Museum on the 13th of May. Book your tickets here.
The Future of Retail

News: L*unchBox

The Future of Retail

Last week Saffron strategist Andra Oprisan was in France to host L*unchBox, an innovation workshop, at École des Mines de Saint-Etienne. The not-for-profit initiative, devised in association with Brunel University, brings together Master’s Level Postgraduates and Final Year Undergraduates from different cultures and disciples – as diverse as branding and engineering – through design-led, experiential learning workshops. L*unchBox currently connects directly with Universities in the UK, France, Italy and the USA, drawing in students from around the world. It is beginning to act as a research platform for postdoctoral research within the wider education community. This year's chosen topic was "The Future of Retail" and the multi-disciplinary teams worked together to imagine and develop new concepts for retail ...
We are at Transform MENA

News: Awards

We are at Transform MENA

Are you going to the Transform MENA awards in June? Saffron will join our client, Doha Film Institute, in Dubai to discuss how regional institutions, originating in the Middle East, can develop and retain their cultural identities and heritage on a global stage. Catalina Zlotea, Visual Communications Manager at the Doha Film Institute (DFI), will showcase the journey the DFI – an organisation dedicated to nurturing stories about and from Qatar and the surrounding region – took to become an established international cultural institute with its own sense of national identity. Book tickets and more information here.
Wally Olins at V&A

News: V&A

Wally Olins at V&A

Wally Olins, Saffron’s Chairman, is taking part in a podcast series at the Victoria & Albert Museum soon. The series of interviews, organised by Damien Whitmore, the V&A’s Head of Public Programme, will provide insights into the ‘behind the scenes’ world of the world’s greatest museum of art and design. Wally will be speaking about the nature of museum branding and the role cultural institution brands play in shaping society. He will share his ideas on the changing world of branding and communications and how museum brands might evolve over the next decade. See more at vam.ac.uk
Saffron+Taylor Wessing

News: Breakfast event

Saffron+Taylor Wessing

Saffron today hosted the fourth in its series of breakfast seminars, where marketers from fifteen UK and US law firms discussed what it takes to launch and manage a successful rebranding program. Pollyanna Puddephat, Head of Marketing and Communications, at Taylor Wessing LLP shared learnings from her experience of leading the branding program that helped transform the firm into The Lawyer Law Firm of Year. She talked about the importance of visionary leadership, firm-wide innovation initiatives and offered tips on how to get 1,300 people all to speak with one voice.
First class jury

News: Awards

First class jury

The Laus Awards 2014 took place last Friday in Barcelona. Our Executive Creative Director, Gabor Schreier, and Senior Designer, Ritxi Ostáriz, were part of the jury for the Graphic Design and Students categories respectively. Also one of our current creative collaborators, Marcos Figueiredo, was part of the jury. The three of them agree that the high quality of the work presented, specially in the Students category, is probably the main highlight of this year's Awards, which made deliberations go on for over 12 hours; It was a full on day for our jury members who came back with appreciative words about the organisation and an interesting experience full of anecdotes. The awards are organised by the Association of Graphic ...
Good day at Brunel

News: Brunel

Good day at Brunel

Last Wednesday two Saffron Strategists, Andra Oprisan and Sahil Sachdev, spoke to design and branding students at Brunel University as part of a day of talks taking in product designers, semioticians, futurologists, and more. The theme of the day was, broadly and helpfully, The Future; with a nod to the history and heritage of brands and branding, Andra and Sahil touched on how understanding people and how they are changing in the 21C is fundamental to understanding how brands will evolve to match, with two major themes - authenticity and democracy - informing much of what might happen over the next several years. We very much enjoyed the day - and look forward to more visits to Brunel in the future!
The rise and fall of homogeneity

Views: Brand New

The rise and fall of homogeneity

In the latest in a series of extracts from his new book, 'Brand New: The Shape of Brands to Come ’(coming out 7 April 2014) Wally talks about how homogeneity impacts people and places - and how people and places are fighting back. Dnepropetrovsk is a large industrial city in Eastern Ukraine. It’s not outstanding for its wealth or its beauty or its history, or anything much else. But it has many of the same shopping malls that you will see in Dallas or Dusseldorf, or, for that matter, most of the world’s large cities. Inside these shopping malls and dotted around the smarter streets, you will find Zara, Benetton, McDonald’s and the rest of them, all looking ...
Saffron creates new brand for White & Case

News: New Brand for White & Case

Saffron creates new brand for White & Case

We are pleased to share our work for global law firm White & Case. In recent years the legal marketplace has adjusted to a 'new normal', driven by expansion, mergers and international growth strategies. Ambitious law firms are meeting this strategic challenge by looking to develop a more sophisticated – and focused – brand and positioning. After consulting with partners and clients around the world, White & Case and Saffron, led by our Managing Partner Ian Stephens, developed a new positioning for White & Case that stretches across the firm’s offices and markets. Part of a strategy that embraces White & Case’s truly global nature, it leverages both its traditional strength in developed markets and new strengths in emerging economies. To ensure the brand ...
Why branding matters for property companies

Views: Property Firms

Why branding matters for property companies

A focus on perspective rather than footprint With their roots in the Anglo-Saxon tradition of selling property and land at auction, the world’s biggest property companies have grown up from similar roots. It should come as no surprise then, that they have since pursued similar strategies for growth, and that they are facing similar challenges today. Mergers and acquisitions between these property companies have resulted in giant global conglomerates – with diverse businesses and cobbled together brands – navigating the tide of change. The internet has disintermediated access to information. The geographic centres of the property market have shifted and multiplied; but so has the number of people able to access information. The barriers to entry have been lowered, and the ...
Brand as a battering ram

Views: Law Firms

Brand as a battering ram

Most law firm client relationships are pretty robust and it takes a pretty powerful proposition to dislodge them. A strong brand narrative can help. Well served, thank you From talking to countless general counsel over the years about their law firm relationships one striking feature is that, on the whole, clients like their current lawyers and think they do a pretty good job. In short, clients are well served by their law firms. Of course this doesn’t mean that these same clients don’t often pull their hair out about eye-watering bills and perceived lack of understanding of the pressures they face – especially corporate clients. They do, but they also tend to think that these are problems with law ...
Tesco: Where's the love?

Views: Brand New

Tesco: Where's the love?

In his new book, 'Brand New: The Shape of Brands to Come’ (coming out 7 April 2014) Wally shares his thoughts on how Tesco, a truly remarkable brand, came to be deeply unloved by so many: There are organisations, which may appear on the face of it to be much more aware of their brand, much more concerned about their reputation, are in real life much less sure-footed, much more tentative. The supermarket Tesco is a business that tries to get it right, and quite often fails. The legend of its origins is a bit like a fairy tale. Jack Cohen, a Cockney Jewish ex-World War I serviceman (Tesco is nearly 100 years old), started out with a barrow and ...
IQ + EQ = £€¥$

Our Approach

IQ + EQ = £€¥$

Saffron helps transform brands and businesses with the clarity of rigorous thinking and the courage of bold ideas. We started Saffron in 2001 with a simple but compelling vision: to build a brand consultancy as strong in its strategic thinking as it was in its creativity. We believe that great brands that capture people’s imagination and make a difference to their lives are built on a powerful mix of IQ + EQ. The IQ part is the rational, evidence-based analysis – the fundamentals without which the brand simply couldn’t function. The EQ part is the emotional and more intuitive, judgment-based understanding – the insights that can propel a brand from simply being in the race to winning it. We see it ...
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