How Hillier Hopkins approached a re-brand

Hillier Hopkins LLP

Chartered Accountants & Tax Advisers

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Mike Denny, Roundel founder and one of the team behind Railfreight’s iconic identity, helped Hillier Hopkins rebrand – taking us from

In marketing we are always looking for powerful ways to get our message across and communicate the essence of our organisation. Our tag line “Friendly Expertise” which sums up our approach, but our rather staid and boring logo didn’t really convey anything other than our initials. In fact, you might have thought it was a bit cold and clinical in contrast to the warm and friendly feel of the firm.

One of our clients Mike Denny, good friend to the firm and who had previously owned and managed a world-renowned brand consultancy, offered to help us. He and his colleague Ross Shaw came up with three very different concepts which they presented to the Principals. When we saw them, it was immediately obvious which one was to be our new brand. The concept used our initials, as did the old one, but transformed them into a warm and welcoming “Hi”, which we knew was right for us.

When you go through a rebrand you fully expect that there will be a lot of work involved in getting everything ready. The timing was tight as we only had a couple of months to create a brand new website, social media profiles and new set of literature, not to mention all the stationery and office signage! What you wouldn’t expect is for anyone outside the firm to really notice, let alone comment. Why should anyone care that we have changed our logo?  In February last year we launched our new identity and website with a postcard mailing, animated gif emails and social media campaign and we were surprised to receive so many compliments. We have Ross and Mike to thank for that, their concept is clever and beautifully designed. It has, on occasion, been a conversation starter when I meet people at events. It reminds me of one of those optical illusions where you see two heads or a vase depending on how you look at it. This happens with our logo – some people see it right away, others need a second look.

We launched the brand internally with a series of events at each office and a podcast on our intranet. Our staff have been amazing in helping to really embed the new brand and it seems to have taken on a life of its own now. Our managers had an away day and focussed on how our brand affects the way we work with each other and our clients. We’ve always had strong values but now we have an identity to match those values.

The best thing about our new brand identity is how strong and eye-catching it is – it’s an identity to be proud of and it’s exciting to work with. It is hard to quantify the value that a rebrand brings, but after all the time and investment that has gone into this, we can clearly see our brand working much harder for us now and doing exactly what it was meant to do: get us noticed.