Pentagram offers up Sage advice

Pentagram has been appointed to define the brand essence of global software group Sage’s UK and Ireland business, as the FTSE 100-listed company moves to ‘protect’ its market position.

The advent of Microsoft as a potential competitor last year is ‘part of the rationale’ for the brand review, according to Sage director of marketing Andrew Buckley.

‘We have a strong share of a maturing marketplace, [but] from a branding point of view we face complexity in the market we serve and the danger of fragmentation in terms of our brand messages,’ Buckley says.

Pentagram’s work is intended to deliver consistency of brand identity and customer experience across all of Sage’s accounting and business software products.

Strategy and concept development are the first two stages of the brief, says Pentagram business development manager Debbie Taffler. From the brand architecture work, specific design applications are expected to follow.

‘A number of products are called Sage and some products that have been acquired by the company have other names,’ Taffler explains. ‘[But] it’s less to do with what products are called than what the brand means.’

Taffler says the group ‘won’t be touching the corporate identity’. The aim is to consider how ‘the interpretation of Sageness’ applies to the ‘rest of the visual vocabulary’ – with packaging and literature projects likely to result.

Pentagram partner Angus Hyland is leading the creative team. The group pitched for the work against two other consultancies at the end of February.

North east-based Gardiner Richardson is known to have been one of the shortlisted groups and is likely to be involved in implementation, says Buckley.

Newcastle-based Sage (UK) is the market leader in this country, but its shares fell last week on fears that profits growth may not be sustained this year.

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