Using brand to uncover the Scriba ‘spark’

On the first page of any ‘Brand 101’ manual, you’ll find that there’s only one reason why any business decides to revisit its brand – and that’s to instigate change.

On the first page of any ‘Brand 101’ manual, you’ll find that there’s only one reason why any business decides to revisit its brand – and that’s to instigate change.

Of course, there are hundreds of reasons why you might want to alter something, and so that’s why we enlisted the help of strategic brand consultancy, The Engine Room, with our own rebrand.

Armed with a brief to help us underpin our organisational growth and evolution since being founded in 2013, the team began getting under the skin of our organisation to discover what truly made Scriba tick… or rather, ‘spark’.

Here’s what The Engine Room’s design director, Darren Evans, had to say about the project and importance of knowing when the time is right to evolve your brand…

When the Scriba team asked us to help them refine its identity we knew it wasn’t about wholesale change, this was about tweaking the dials to get the levels right.

Let’s face it, there wasn’t a lot wrong when we scoped the brief. This is a business that is not only growing in size, but in reputation, across the UK and also internationally – with a laser-like focus on delivering results in a B2B setting. You can’t get clearer than that.

This team was on fire, but just hadn’t had the time or space to explore what it was that made the brand so successful and how to tell its own story. That’s where a focused brand identity can really help to bring structure to communications.

So, with a backdrop of positives, herein lay challenge number one, what elements of the brand do you decide to change and what do you leave alone?

The second task was a bit closer to home. How do you create that core ‘idea’ for a business that is famous for creating ideas? Intimidating, right?

The third challenge concerned the fiercely (and widely) competitive market Scriba operates in. More and more businesses are selecting to work with partners based on shared values. So, emphasis needs to shift to ‘how and why we do it’ rather than just a list of ‘what we do’.  This is especially relevant for service businesses where the how is often shrouded in smoke and mirrors.

The key to solving such obstacles lies in the role of the brand agency not simply guiding a client through a process but facilitating it. Scriba is the subject expert in this respect, not us, and the answers were there in a raw form – they just needed pulling together in a creative and compelling way.

Therefore, it is essential that the process of defining a brand must be collaborative and co-creative, involving everyone in the Scriba team, to inspire new ideas and provoke open discussion about the soul of the business, and what makes it different.

It’s also important to take the external view from clients – what’s it like to work with Scriba? What does the team value? Crucially, does it match the internal picture?

The resulting creative insights led us to work with Scriba to define its purpose, principles, and personality – the three cornerstones of a strong brand.

The purpose was clear, it’s about the impact the organisation makes – it genuinely drives the team and business.

Scriba’s principles were already defined in a list of twelve ‘Scriba words’, affectionately referred to as ‘Scriba soul’. We loved this. However, four is a simpler number to remember, so we helped the team to rationalise the principles around the concept of S-O-U-L (smart, optimistic, uncompromising, listen). This means that soul isn’t just referred to as a name, it is the beating heart of who they are.

These cornerstones cover the why. The how is much more process-driven and strategic in approach. What makes Scriba different is the ability to take complex, technical briefs and make sense of them. So, it made S-E-N-S-E (strategy, engagement, narrative, shape, evaluation) that the process reflected this.

With a personality and tone of voice underpinned by a smart, determined, trusted, and playful demeanour, Scriba had the platform to define its culture internally and create an externally facing brand identity that reflected the team.

The final missing piece in the brand jigsaw? The intangible, the magic that you just can’t put your finger on – when you mix great people and attitudes with a great process it just works. It just sparks. So why not wear that as a badge?

Every Scriba team member had a role to play in taking ownership of the brand. Therefore, it’s only right that they have a hand in creating it. The spark has ignited an excitement as something to get behind.

The spark may be small, but it’s set to ignite a communications strategy that will change a lot of businesses. Change is good thing.

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Written by Katie Mallinson