Chances are you’ve sent more than a few cards in the last few weeks to wish friends both far and near a merry Christmas or a happy New Year. You might even have gone the extra mile to personalise your cards with pictures, inside jokes or loving messages. And it’s far easier to do these days (and give something truly memorable) with the help of companies like Moonpig.
Creative Director James Turner was on the panel at our last WBI Dinner discussion around brand psychology and neuroscience, and is impressed at just how far the company has come since it started in 2000. He’s behind the latest rebrand which has been a resounding success, so we asked him to share the process behind it all.
Moonpig, based at Metal Box Factory has always had a pretty iconic logo; a cartoon, grinning pig wearing a space helmet isn’t something you see every day. James explains: “The logo was very ‘of the era’ in that it came from the early noughties around the .com boom, when exciting start-ups were all the rage. Our worry was that after doing research, we found that people thought it was gimmicky and the playful nature of the website could sometimes be interpreted as gimmicky too. But you can’t just get rid of an icon like that. There was big fear of a backlash, so we thought very carefully.”
The company set about conducting extensive market research to get a creative brief in place, they also set up brand advocate teams to ensure the whole company was on board with ideas and tested it out in the market before launch. “You can’t just go on instincts when you’re running a business of this size,” James says. “We felt we needed to update, but we weren’t just going to update for the sake of it.”
Moonpig asked themselves some important questions: what’s the meaning behind this rebrand? Why would we do this? What does it mean to our customers? How can it make us more attractive to the people who have discounted the brand already, can we make them reconsider?
But the equity turned out not to be in the pig logo, but the jingle. “What customers remember is the song. The first thing people did when we asked them about the brand was sing the ‘Moonpig dot com’ tune, not say ‘oh the cartoon pig in a space helmet with a big grin’, so we knew we could actually do this, but we also had to be quite prepared for it as well because it’s a big change for a brand,” says James.
James talking at Workspace’s WBI Dinner on Brand Psychology and Neuroscience at Barley Mow
Knowing it was going to be possible to head in a new direction was half the battle for James, but he still took three major considerations into account:
- Recognition — “Do people still recognise you visually out there? You have to take steps to mitigate that.”
Moonpig were letting go of a part of their identity and had to be make sure that existing customers wouldn’t be alienated by the changes. Moonpig still needed to be a brand people knew.
- Internal buy-in — “A company has to make sure the staff are fully behind it,” insists James.
That’s why Moonpig had the brand advocate teams working internally at every step of the process. It was important that new ideas were communicated effectively throughout the business.
- External — “Be ready for a backlash if it’s potentially going to happen.”
The PR team at Moonpig had all the answers ready. One response to the new logo that Moonpig actually hoped for was ‘my five-year-old could have drawn that’. “The response,” James laughs “was to be ‘here’s a picture of our new creative director’ and it was a member of staff’s child drawing the logo!”
But Moonpig’s PR team didn’t have to use all their prep after all — the new direction for the company was a resounding success! “It was received really positively” James is pleased to say, “and I put it down to testing and taking feedback to inform our decisions.”
Moonpig are currently based at Workspace’s Metal Box Factory and love the space. James believes in the power of collaboration and the building certainly helps with that element of doing business. “I was actually based here before I worked at Moonpig, so I’ve watched the Metal Box grow from just a few offices to the big building it is now with a café and breakout space,” he says.
“Not only is the building helpful in that you can have meetings in multiple locations, but Southwark is a great place because it’s transformed over the last five years,” James goes on. All the businesses at Metal Box benefit from fantastic transport links in the centre of London, as well as plenty of restaurants and attractions popping up nearby. There’s a real sense of variety.
Measuring in Moments
So just how many millions of greetings and presents have been sent from Moonpig in the 17 years since it first started? James is happy to share the figures, they’re certainly impressive!
“63million birthdays, 30million Christmases, 11million Father’s and Mother’s days, 5million Valentine’s 4.5million anniversaries, 1.8million weddings, 5million gifts and 2.5million flowers. All these cards gifts and flowers that have been sent over the years, they’re all moments and they add up to 100million moments and celebrations that people have shared with each other, and we’re delivering more and more every year.”
Metal Box Factory is just one of the fantastic spaces we have available. Featuring breakout spaces, super connected tech and offices that will impress your colleagues and clients there’s something for everyone. We guarantee you’ll love coming to work. If you’d like to find out more about bringing your business to Workspace, why not have a look at what we do and the space we have on offer? We’d love to hear from you.