Istanbul Innovation Conference

News: Events

Istanbul Innovation Conference

Jacob was in Istanbul last week speaking at the Istanbul Innovation Conference to an audience of over 4000 on the new zeitgeist - as we see it - and the increasingly acute need for innovation in a world where consumer’s habits are changing almost before our eyes. He touched on topics like 3D printing, the sharing economy, and the rise of the Producer-Consumer – and what shifts such as these will mean for brand fighting to remain relevant in a radically new context. Lastly, he touched on our work with the Turkish Exporter’s Assembly and how Turkey’s history as Masters of Change has tremendous value in a world where the frame of reference is almost constantly shifting. Jacob was, again ...
EarlyBird hits its crowdfunding target

News: EarlyBird

EarlyBird hits its crowdfunding target

We're delighted to announce that our favourite startup, EarlyBird, hit its funding target of £75,000 on Crowdcube - and is currently overfunding to the tune of nearly £95,000. Testament to the hard work of the EarlyBird team who've managed a huge amount in not much time - and the brand we developed together. Onwards and upwards from here on out, we hope!
The power of ‘silly stuff’

Views: Guest Article

The power of ‘silly stuff’

This is a guest post written by Saffron-Brunel Prize 2014 winner Sebastian Grenzhäuser. Earlier this year, my mobile phone contract was up for renewal, an event rivalled in its excitement and efforts only by Christmas. Not wanting to easily part with my money, I decided to shop around a little, and was soon engulfed in a myriad of choices; fortunately, when it came to choosing a network provider, matters were simpler, with only 4 major players occupying the market. One of them is THREE, which admittedly I never dared even poking with a stick due to fears of abysmal network quality or coverage – how wrong I was (my THREE-loving friends quickly reaffirmed)... As one of the most recent players in ...
And the Saffron-Brunel Prize goes to...

News: Awards

And the Saffron-Brunel Prize goes to...

After a few years of guest lecturing at Brunel University’s MA in Design and Branding Strategy, we are now taking this collaboration further and announcing an exciting new initiative. Launched in the summer of 2014, the Saffron-Brunel Prize for Excellence in Strategic Design and Branding was initiated by branding module leader John Boult and aims to promote the most promising young branding professionals taking the course each year. After a selection process involving an individual paper on the future of brands, a one-day masterclass for the shortlisted students with the Saffron London team, and one-to-one interviews with the finalists, the 2014 Prize finally went to Sebastian Grenzhäuser. He has impressed our team us with his design-led approach to understanding ...
Celebrating the past or the future?

Views: Brands and heritage

Celebrating the past or the future?

I recently got to spend a couple of days in Bucharest, my home city. Every time I go there I find it fascinating to look at local brands and see what they’re up to. The brand scene in Romania is, like in any emerging market, an amalgam of good, bad, and ugly, with huge potential, but with little real vision or business mindset. There’s always plenty to pick on, but on this occasion I’ll choose an intriguing trend, which I feel is rather valid internationally – or at least in markets similar to Romania. Many Romanian organisations have started building their brand around celebrations. 555 years from the founding of the city. 60 years since we started operating ...
Jacob at Internet and Mobile World 2014

News: Heading East

Jacob at Internet and Mobile World 2014

On 8-9 October our CEO Jacob Benbunan will be in Bucharest, participating as a keynote speaker at Internet and Mobile World, one largest events in Eastern Europe dedicated to the digital world. Jacob will talk about the deep impact that the digital revolution has had on both brands and consumers and about the future of brands and branding in the digital era. Drawing insight from Saffron's latest research and client work, he will share his views on the opportunities traditional brands have faced with the disruption of the new technologies. Check out the IMW website for more information.
A brand for Turkey

News: Place branding

A brand for Turkey

Over the last two years, we've been working on a brand for Turkey. The central question guiding our work together has been what "Made In Turkey" means in a global context. How is it different or better than "Made In China" or "Made In Germany"? What competitive advantage can Turkey claim for itself as it competes with these nations? And how can a stronger national brand help an emerging country forge lasting international relationships? On Sunday, our work, seeking to answer those questions, was revealed in Istanbul by President Erdoğan, Minister of Economic Affairs Nihat Zeybekci, Minister of Culture and Tourism Ömer Çelik, and Chairman of the Turkish Exporters Assembly, Mehmet Büyükekşi. Erdoğan, speaking of the need for a ...
World's Number One!

News: Baker & McKenzie

World's Number One!

How can a law firm make $2.5 bn? Our client Baker & McKenzie has the answer – ‘be passionately global’ and have a clear proposition that aligns everything you do across the world. Today Baker & McKenzie officially became the world’s biggest law firm, posting revenues over the $2.5 bn barrier for the first time in history. We are proud to be part of their phenomenal success. We helped Baker & McKenzie define the true value of being a global law firm, with the idea of ‘fluency’ overarching everything they do globally in the way they think, work and behave. It’s their ‘fluency’ that enables the firm to navigate the complexity across practices and borders, with ease and second-to-none expertise ...
Wally Olins-Saffron Award goes to IE University graduate

News: Awards

Wally Olins-Saffron Award goes to IE University graduate

Jacob Benbunan, CEO of Saffron, today presented the first Wally Olins-Saffron Award at the IE School of Communication’s graduation ceremony in Madrid. The award, which celebrates innovation and clarity in design thinking, went to Kim Palita Wielands for the gift-giving app concept, dibsy, developed as part of her studies on the School’s Masters in Visual and Digital Media course. The Wally Olins-Saffron Award honours the legacy of our late chairman, Wally Olins, the world’s leading practitioner of branding and identity, who co-founded Saffron with Jacob Benbunan. Kim’s winning project was unanimously selected by a panel of judges that included professors from IE School of Communication and people at Saffron. It was chosen for its originality, rigorous ...
Shaping the future of global tech

News: Fujitsu

Shaping the future of global tech

Fujitsu, the world’s third largest technology company, is on a quest to redefine the future of global tech. Led by our late Chairman Wally Olins, Saffron joined Fujitsu on its journey by developing the common vision and ethos for the brand – ‘shaping tomorrow with you’ – that enables the business to lead and compete with the likes of Google and Amazon. The first strand of work – communications, is on the way with the launch of the global campaign. More to come soon
From Philadelphia to the world

News: Dechert

From Philadelphia to the world

How does one of the oldest and most prestigious Philadelphia law firms go global? Our answer for Dechert: define your distinctiveness and stay true to your core, wherever you are in the world. For the past two years we worked with the firm’s partners, lawyers and staff on developing the brand that is rooted in its personality and reflects the firm’s successes for over a century. See the result here.
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 ...
Alfredo on the GM recall scandal

News: LatAm

Alfredo on the GM recall scandal

Our LatAm Director, Alfredo Fraile, was recently on NBC6 in the US discussing the fallout from the GM recall scandal, its impact on the brand, and their chances of recovery. Watch the full video here.
Are you our next strategist?

News: Working here

Are you our next strategist?

We're on the look out for a brilliant Brand Strategist to join the London team. If you're a seasoned creative thinker, persuasive storyteller and natural collaborator, please drop us a line along with your CV at hello@saffron-consultants.com. Only potential candidates will be contacted but thanks in advance for getting in touch!
The British luxury brand needs a focus

Views: Mulberry’s identity crisis

The British luxury brand needs a focus

With the launch of a new handbag last week the British luxury bag-maker, Mulberry, made international headlines. The Tessie bag, priced at a modest £495-£795, marks a U-turn from the doomed high-end strategy of ousted CEO, Bruno Guillon. The change comes as no surprise as Mulberry has revealed the extent of its failed pursuit of high-end customers, with pre-tax annual profits falling by 53% and sales falling by 15%. Founded in rural Somerset in 1971, Mulberry was originally known for its beautifully crafted leather satchels and accessories designed for hunting, shooting, fishing and other country pursuits. Since the late 1990s, with its iconic Bayswater bag and under the creative vision of Emma Hill in recent years, Mulberry has grown ...
IE School of Communication

News: Saffron professors

IE School of Communication

The IE School of Communications in Madrid conducted an interview with two of their professors - Luz Erhardt and Miren Martinez - who, when not teaching the Masters in Visual and Digital Media, are a key part of the Saffron Madrid team. Luz and Miren spoke about life at Saffron, our people, our heritage and our philosophy as a brand consultancy equally adept in strategy as well as design.
Spring into Polska

News: WIP

Spring into Polska

Saffron has been working with the Government of Poland since 2004 on creating first a national brand strategy and, more recently, a visual identity for Polska. The work is still being finalised (though some of you may have seen the launch video), so we'll have to keep quiet for a little while longer...but watch this space!
If you can make it there… Why New York matters

Views: Legal branding

If you can make it there… Why New York matters

The role of ‘successful in New York’ matters far more in terms of brand perception for top international law firms than a rational look at the data suggests it should. Unlike London (the other global city that really counts) New York doesn’t have a total stranglehold on the market for premium deals and disputes. Citi Group figures show that historically only around 40% of total US premium revenues are sourced from New York. In London the figure is much closer to 100%. Yet still fortunes have been won and lost over decades by firms attempting to maintain or build a New York component to their brand. Irrational exuberance At one level the attraction of New York is obvious: the ...
This is not going to fax well!

News: CXI_14

This is not going to fax well!

Yesterday we were at the annual CXI_14 Corporate Design Conference held at the University of Applied Sciences in Mainz, Germany. In front of an audience of over 500 design professionals and students, we delved into the nature of branding and discussed our work for our client A1 Telekom Austria. Our Executive Creative Director, Gabor Schreier, presented along side Tanja Sourek, Marketing Communications Director at A1 Telekom Austria, describing the project, the brand concept and the challenges faced, as well as the implementation process and most importantly how we continue to keep the brand relevant through time. You can find out more about the event here.
London cabbies make Uber mistake

Views: Uber

London cabbies make Uber mistake

Yesterday the streets of London's commercial and tourist district were brought to a standstill by one of the largest brand communications campaigns of all time for Uber, the app-based cab firm that's taking the world by storm. The irony is that it was organised and funded by their arch rivals the famous London black cab drivers, colloquially known as cabbies. Well that probably wasn't their intention. The incumbent cabbies are furious about their local monopoly being threatened by a challenger brand so to show their fury they decided to stage a collective day of action by driving super slowly around Central London yesterday effectively creating total gridlock. They achieved this. The trouble is that they also ensured ...
Making the intangible tangible

Views: Transform Magazine

Making the intangible tangible

What is it that makes one brand stand out more than another? Why do some people drink Coke over Pepsi, visit Lisbon over Barcelona, or fly British Airways rather than Virgin Atlantic? With very little setting these things apart from one another – whether that’s a liquid sugar fix, a hot coastal city or an airline that gets you from A to B – it becomes clear that we are talking about small amounts of variation, which make a huge amount of difference. The most successful brands do not focus on the 95% of their business which makes them similar to their competitors, but instead elevate the 5% which makes them unique. If articulated properly, this 5% becomes much more important ...
Apple brand shows cracks

Views: Apple

Apple brand shows cracks

Apple's decline starts with its acquisition of Beats Electronics - popularly known as Beats by Dr. Dre - the headphones and music streaming business. All-powerful brands have a life cycle (remember Pepsi?) and even the most hyperbolically successful ones fade eventually and sometimes fast (remember Nokia?). Today's announcement of Apple's purchase of the Beats business and brand marks the beginning of the decline for arguably the world's most successful and valuable brand. In buying Beats Apple is signalling that it has lost touch with the youth market - at least in terms of its music credentials - an area that once helped define Apple's coolness vs. the competition. The iPod defined the Apple brand for millions and then billions ...
Gold!

News: MENA Transform Awards

Gold!

We were at the inaugural MENA Transform Awards in Dubai last night and are very pleased to announce that our client the Doha Film Institute won the Gold Award in the category ‘Best visual identity from a charity/ NGO/ NFP’. It's been a real pleasure working with the DFI to create the brand, and it's wonderful to see some recognition for all the work they have done to bring it to life so well. Congratulations to everyone involved!
Viva CNN Chile!

News: Saffron in Chile

Viva CNN Chile!

Jacob popped into the CNN studios while in Chile recently to talk about brands, branding, and Saffron's adventures in the region. He focused particularly on how the digital world has changed the way brands have come to be perceived, touching on how the way people engage online has affected the dynamic and balance of power between brands and their audiences. You can watch the full interview here, in which he also discusses Saffron's alliance with Procorp Chile and the XXIII Chile Marketing Congress he spoke at while in the country.
Saffron's Latam adventures continue in Chile

News: Saffron in Chile

Saffron's Latam adventures continue in Chile

Jacob was in Chile recently formalising our alliance with Procorp Chile, one of Chile's oldest and most respected branding consultancies. He was there also to speak at the XXIII Chile Marketing Congress where he delivered a presentation on 'The shape of brands to come', which you can see in full here. He appeared later on CNN to talk about what he was doing there and touched on how the rise of digital has changed how brands have come to be perceived. More on that here.
Istanbul, The Great Festival of Creativity

News: Saffron Istanbul

Istanbul, The Great Festival of Creativity

Our Istanbul Managing Director Turgay Adiyman spoke today at the Great Festival of Creativity in Istanbul. The festival gathers together some of the most enterprising and exciting businesses and people from around the world ‘to get a deeper understanding of how creativity, from Britain and beyond, is playing a crucial role in business growth.’ Turgay joined Sir John Sorrell, Chairman of London Design Festival, and Julian Thomson, Creative Director of Jaguar, on a panel of speakers discussing how brands can project themselves in everything they do - and debating opportunities for iconic British brands. The 3-day festival is organised by the GREAT Britain campaign with support from the UK Prime Minister's Office and involves leading global businesses including the BBC ...
City Brand Barometer

Views: City Branding

City Brand Barometer

Our city brand barometer launches today in partnership with the Guardian. The study aims to examine which cities are best utilising their assets to generate awareness and engagement around the world - global buzz - and consequently to understand where the opportunities lie for cities who might look to better leverage their assets in creating a global city brand. The brand barometer examines a sample of 57 cities selected on the basis of where they rank in global indicators for tourism, liveability, doing business and attracting foreign direct investment. To evaluate a city’s assets, we looked at its infrastructure, safety, attractions, climate and economic performance whilst global buzz was measured using a combination of media mentions and social media. The study ...
Stand tall Saffron!

Views: A note from Gabor

Stand tall Saffron!

The day I met Wally for the first time I was scared to death. Jacob asked me to share some work that we were doing for the European Patent Office. I tried to explain to Wally every single detail with a certain pedantry – which in combination with my German accent wasn’t very fortunate. Wally cut me off saying, ‘I’m not stupid Gabor, just get on with it!’ From that moment I knew I was in for a bumpy ride. Since then, more than 10 years have gone by far too quickly and I’ve had the privilege to work with Wally as a designer and creative director at Saffron until the end. Like my colleagues, I’ve had ...
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