This was a hugely enjoyable assignment for us in The Panel. Philip Barlow and his wonderful team in Barlo gave us guidance, inspiration and a roadmap to get the result we all wanted.
This was a very personal mission for me and our project team in The Panel, It was also very personal to Philip and the Barlo team and that is testament to the commitment they gave us in getting this right.
Thank you all in Barlo, we are delighted with the outcome!
Paul McArdle, Managing Partner, The Panel.
The Panel is a long established and successful recruitment business operating in Ireland for over 30 years. In 2019 they approached Barlo to work with them in refreshing their brand identity.
When a business is successful it can be difficult to step back and assess where things can be improved. But that is what Managing Partner Paul McArdle and his senior leadership did. They felt that the business needed to re-focus and look towards the future.
Their business had grown and developed very successfully and their consultant profile was an excellent mix of experience and youth. But they recognised that their brand had become tired and did not reflect their ambition to be seen as a dynamic contemporary company.
A significant part of The Panel’s success story was the quality of its candidate and client network. Their mantra had been “we know the people you want”. To maintain the quality of their network they needed to re-position the business in a manner that engaged this candidate audience of the future.
Being consistent in relation to what you say and how you say it was also a key component in the process. We wanted to create consistency across their multiple channels. We also wanted the new brand to help knit their team together and enable them to deliver a more consistent customer experience. Their business has always been very people focused and we wanted to retain this strength but to harness a new and better way of delivering a great CX.
Our first set of tasks was to audit their current brand, positioning and reputation. This involved detailed interviews with clients, candidates and staff. We examined their communications and what their competitors were offering. We looked at best practice from other markets. From this data we were able to understand all of the many positive attributes of their business and also where improvement was needed.
From our data analysis we established the characteristics we wanted to retain and the new elements we needed to introduce to make the business more relevant.
As an established and very successful business, there were many excellent attributes to develop. The business had a proven track record, deep knowledge of their sectoral areas and a very strong network. They were hungry to evolve and were famous for their agility and client responsiveness. These were all very positive themes to work with for the new brand.
We also identified that their approachable and friendly nature was an important part of their brand – we wanted to retain this. A significant part of their role with candidates and clients is to guide and advise and not just look for the easiest job placement. This commitment to being a guiding partner was important for the future.
Collaboratively we identified and articulated a new strategy for their brand. We established their brand framework and essential layers as a business and brand. We articulated their essential differentiators which would help them separate themselves from their competition.
An essential aspect of this process was to identify their new brand values. Our solution was captured in the Irish word CLAN, meaning family. This sense of family was important to all at The Panel. CLAN stands for;
A new tagline creating exceptional futures was created to capture the essence of the brand and to articulate their unique vision for the future. This is their commitment to all of their candidates and clients.
After a very detailed design concept and development process the new corporate identity emerged. The new logo is confident and young and captures their new envisioned future. The iconic and modern ‘P’ shape holds the name and the new tagline sits comfortably alongside. The ‘P’ depicts an abstract opening door shape, a very appropriate metaphor for career progression.
The primary colour palette consisted of a vibrant, youthful magenta married with a dark purple. These colours captured this mix of established and forward thinking very well.
The secondary colour palette were developed to signpost the different sectoral offers, while working with energy and harmony with the primary colours.
We identified unique fonts for the new brand. The new brand mark worked with the distinctive Oscine coupled with the clean lines of Roboto. Both modern sans serif types. The digital font established was Tahoma.
Another important layer in developing a distinctive visual language for The Panel was the choice of imagery and illustration.
We wanted to depict real and diverse people working in a range of environments and situations. This broad spectrum of image content reflected the breadth of the types of clients and candidates The Panel work with . We looked to capture these real life working scenarios through this type of lens.
We wanted the illustration style to be modern and energetic. We chose a style that delivered this and offered the opportunity for flexible content for their vast range of job types.
Creating a dynamic expression of the new logo was also important and we designed and developed a unique animation of the new logo which can be used in email signatures and other dynamic media channels.
A new suite of stationery and document templates were designed capturing the new brand resulting in a fresh range of communications tools which will ensure good brand consistency.
New external signage was developed to signpost the new brand.
An integral part of the brand execution was the new website. We worked with the team at The Panel to establish a detailed site architecture and wireframe before any design work commenced. In this way we understood the functionality and content requirements early in the process.
Foremost in our minds when designing the site was to create a great user experience (UX). A lot of time and effort went into understanding the different visitor journeys and the outcomes we wanted them to have at each part of the site.
A significant aspect of the website design and build was its integration with the different recruitment tools The Panel use. The technical integration was demanding but all of the required functionality was delivered. We partnered with BMC Design and Squarechilli on this challenging back end build.
We are delighted that the new website reflects the brands ambition so well.
From the outset we had identified the office as an important space to capture and showcase the new brand message. We develop new internal wall elevation designs for their offices depicting the new brand, the values and their ambitions for the future. This has helped bring the brand to life for staff and make their building a more engaging space to interact with.
Another important piece in their brand launch strategy was to create a corporate video depicting The Panel’s new vision. We partnered with Oddboy Media in this production. [See below]
We are very proud of the work we have done with Paul McArdle and the fabulous team at The Panel. Their commitment to the project never faltered. They were determined to do the right thing and go the extra mile to get things right, even when this made them uncomfortable. Their level of engagement and collaboration was excellent throughout. Another important aspect was the focus on including their wider staff at key moments on the journey so that there was a feeling of collective ownership with the final brand. We know they are as excited about their new brand as we are. Here’s to the next 30 years of success for The Panel.