Consultancies in South West urged to Stand Out

Design consultancies in South West England are being urged to join a new campaign to shake off the region’s “sleepy” commercial image.

Called Stand Up Stand Out, the initiative is led by Bristol-based design and communications consultancy Proctor and Stevenson. It is based on research which reveals that only 2 per cent of the UK considers the South West to be “innovative”, compared with 40 per cent which see it as “sleepy”.

Companies are being asked to brand themselves with a “based in the South West” logo, available free of charge from Proctor and Stevenson. Managing director Roger Proctor says: “The campaign is starting to gather momentum and we hope to get lots of design consultancies on board.”

Chloe Steers, director of Bath-based design group Steers-McGillan, welcomes the initiative. She says young consultancies find life increasingly difficult in London, and should be encouraged to move away, as it is easier to stand out. “The quality of life in Bath is fantastic, and clients enjoy visiting,” says Steers. “But it doesn’t matter where you are based now – modern technology overcomes most long-distance problems.”

BDG McColl relocated its financial centre from Bristol to London in February, but has kept a 12-strong design team there. Marketing director Jill Parker says the move was in recognition of clients’ location. The consultancy is keeping its South West office to support local clients, but Parker concedes most clients value expertise over locality.

Sophie Stinson, creative director at Bath-based Blue Marlin, says the main problem when it moved was recruitment, as young designers want to work in London. But with a higher profile, she says, it is easier to recruit.

The South West logo can be found on the website, netsolved.co.uk/southwest.

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