The Team steps in with National Ballet identity

The English National Ballet has appointed The Team to review its 15-year-old brand identity, following a pitch against two unnamed consultancies.

Led by creative partner Roger Rundle, the consultancy will work with ENB to develop a refreshed marque and visual style in time for an unveiling at the London Coliseum in December.

The Team was formally appointed last week and will be retained by ENB for ‘two or three years’ to develop promotional campaigns for the ballet’s productions, according to consultancy client partner Viv Wilcock. The group will work on the creative for free – as a ‘sponsorship’ of the ENB – but fees will be charged for the production of ‘specific items,’ he says.

ENB competes principally against the Royal Ballet and the Birmingham Royal Ballet, as well as a host of foreign and regional ballet companies, adds Wilcock. ‘It really needs to define itself in the marketplace. While the Royal Ballet might have a promotional poster showing champagne-sipping, the ENB wouldn’t do that, as they’re not that elitist,’ he says.

The review of the ENB brand follows the appointment of Craig Hassall as its managing director at the beginning of the year. ‘[Planning] to refresh and consolidate the brand, it became apparent what a comprehensive and essential task this is due to our multifaceted nature,’ according to Hassall.

The Team’s work will rationalise communications internally, as well as externally, to improve brand consistency across the organisation’s constituent groups. These include artistic, wardrobe, technical, education and administration departments, as well as the 47-member Orchestra of English National Ballet.

‘ENB has a strong brand heritage, but is a bit disparate in bringing the different groups under the main brand,’ says Hassall. ‘The Team’s job is to pull them all together, creating a strong company identity but allowing hero brands within that. Some branding consultancies try to steer you toward their house style, but The Team had a very altruistic attitude to our company.’

Christmas productions of The Nutcracker (pictured above) and Sleeping Beauty will be the first to sport the redesigned branding at the end of this year.

ENGLISH NATIONAL BALLET

• Formed in 1950s as London Festival Ballet, with a vision to take high quality classical ballet to the widest geographical audience

• Renamed as English National Ballet in 1990

• Tours the country, unlike Royal Ballet, which is housed at the Royal Opera House in London

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