Jazzbones have shared a passion for innovation and multiple design collaborations with Richard James Estate Agents over the past 15 years, but our latest work for Swindon’s most successful agent is a real game-changer when it comes to branding.
As 2018 progressed, most estate agents – indeed, most businesses – would have looked at Richard James’ handsome branding and concluded that “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. However, the marketing team at Richard James prefer to live by the dictum “standing still is the fastest way of moving backwards in a rapidly changing world”.
That boundless drive to stay ahead of the game led to a wholesale rebranding exercise that involved several top London agencies over a number of months, but when it came to the nitty gritty of the actual design process and roll-out, Richard James looked closer to home and their tried and trusted Old Town neighbours, Jazzbones.
Richard James and their franchise brand incentivised.com, asked us to rollout their branding, creating a new people-focused campaign. Their chosen slogans - “We’re a people business” and “Incentivised.com – motivated to move you" - are based on the idea that Richard James estate agents are run by real flesh and blood people who want to do their best for you, unlike some of the impersonal online estate agents you see on the TV. In terms of the bigger picture, the idea is that other estate agents can buy into the new Incentivised brand / franchise and evoke this new fresh style moving forward.
Previous Richard James campaigns have used photographic images of both their team and a variety of satisfied clients. To break the mould and launch a campaign that is genuinely eye-catching, we were asked to create a set of bespoke illustrated portraits, featuring appealing new home owners and tenants accompanied with witty quotes and slogans.
We used a flat-graphic/vector technique to create these portraits with a contemporary Deco-esque finish. This approach is very different from that of other local estate agents and resembles a more London/big city approach, (trendy, fresh, bright and exciting).
A series of bold illustrations use a refined colour palette that draws influence from the existing Richard James branding (gold/dark blue) whilst pushing towards a new exciting direction. Over time we will expand on these character illustrations creating a diverse set of portraits showing people from all backgrounds, creating ‘a Richard James family’. All of these images will be used on many different marketing assets and distinct campaigns - For Sale / Lettings boards, billboards, stationery, promo materials etc.
As well as the illustrations, we are working on the overall brand style for Richard James / Incentivised - refining layouts, use of imagery, colour etc. as part of a comprehensive set of brand guidelines.
If anything, the bold new branding evokes the visual feel of Pop Art, though in Richard James’ case, we are convinced that Andy Warhol’s belief that anyone can be famous for fifteen minutes is too conservative by far.
With one thousand for sale boards springing up in Swindon alone in just one March week, this new branding will be grabbing the attention for the foreseeable future.