Landor expects a downturn in its corporate branding business across the UK and Europe, and has made a number of redundancies.
‘Our US offices have experienced a softening of corporate branding of late, and this is now affecting the UK,’ says Landor European president Cheryl Giovannoni. ‘Whether this is a wave that will spread to our European offices, we don’t know yet, but we are working collaboratively across the group to ensure business does not dry up,’ she adds.
Observers note that the downturn is being felt across the corporate branding sector, with blue chip clients said to be deferring projects and putting budgets on hold. Coca-Cola is understood to be ‘cautious’ about its design investment over the coming year.
Procter & Gamble remains one of Landor’s biggest clients globally, while Premier Foods, which recently appointed the group alongside Jones Knowles Ritchie, Vibrandt and Coley Porter Bell to its design roster, is understood to be making continued investment in its portfolio of brands.
Landor has made six redundancies across its corporate branding department in London, including design director, senior client director and client manager, as it attempts to ‘recalibrate the business’ in response to the market, says Giovannoni.
Design industry business analyst and head of Ticegroup Ian Cochrane comments,‘This is becoming increasingly common as businesses reduce their workforces in line with what’s going to happen.’
Fmcg, by contrast, is proving robust as brands invest in projects that have a more immediate return, says Giovannoni.
Andrew Welch, who became dedicated head of corporate brand at Landor in London in May 2008, will continue to manage the corporate branding team.
Key corporate projects for Landor:
• A £450m corporate identity overhaul for Morrisons that included store environment and packaging was unveiled last year
• South African grocer Pick’n’Pay unveiled a corporate identity overhaul in November 2007. The project included a new identity, colours, in-store signage, uniforms and more than 450 new and repackaged lines.
• Other corporate identity projects that have sustained Landor include Eon, Harsco, Union Properties, Volvo, BP and Diageo