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BRANDING NEWS: Sage reveals rebrand with a 'human touch'

Sage is seeking to emphasise its service and customer experience offering via its new brand positioning, moving further away from its historical proposition as a pure-play financial software vendor. Sage has exclusively revealed its new brand positioning to B2B Marketing, which has been developed following 18 months of research and evaluation.

Unveiling of the rebrand is a prelude to a large-scale campaign, due for launch in the autumn, which will communicate this new look and positioning to its broad audience.

The evolution of its core brand message has resulted in the new strapline, ‘Living, Breathing, Business', which is based on three underlying drivers: that the company is committed to knowing about business; it is committed to living and breathing its customers business and service commitments; and it is committed to changing and evolving with the needs of its customers.

"After extensive research with a range of our customers and staff to find out what they thought of the brand and what makes us different, it emerged that it is our people and our service that makes us special," says Joanna Elliot, head of brand communications. "This is where fundamental vision came from - we want to tell our customers that we care about them and we can deliver great customer experience as well as helping them respond to a changing market."

Visual elements of the brand have been given an overhaul to reflect the new positioning. Previously, the colour palette consisted of white, green and grey - "it didn't have a huge amount of energy," says Elliot. Now however, all marketing collateral features vibrant colours, with organic shapes. Sage employees have been used in the photography to reflect the importance placed on customer experience and the human touch. "We want to talk to our customers in a different way. We don't necessarily want to be perceived as a software services company with the product coming first. We want to be known for our customer experience."

Sage also recognised that building an internal brand is critical to the long-term success of this vision, so the company's employee brand team created a programme to market this vision internally too. This involves workshops run by employees - voluntary brand champions. "This isn't an initiative coming from the ‘marketing department' adds Elliot. "It helps staff to understand what it means to actually be the Sage brand."




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