How do you unleash an all-new brand across a Microsoft 365 employee experience?
“It is essential that our brand is fully accessible on digital platforms and supports our diverse communities’ needs – AddIn365’s Creative & Page Kit is able to deliver on that.”
Digital Design Lead
Protecting money for over 30 years, FTSE 100 company St. James’s Place has built a global reputation and brand to be proud of.
Although leading experts in financial advice, they had not undertaken a brand refresh since their change from J Rothschild Assurance Group to St James’s Place Wealth Management in 2000.
Rightly proud of a culture of being authentic, empathic, confident, and contemporary, St. James’s Place decided it was time their brand reflected that.
In January 2022, following the appointment of a leading global creative agency, an exciting, refreshed identity was unveiled, remaining true to heritage but embodying a personality that reflects the business as it currently stands.
St. James’s Place vision has long been to create a vibrant place to work, where difference is recognised as a strength and where talented people can flourish and achieve their highest potential.
In 2021, AddIn365 was engaged to design a personalised communications experience, owned by the business, to support the 16,000 people within the SJP Partnership and employee community. This platform was designed in line with the brand guidelines in place at the time; elements of which had been in use since the company was founded in 1991 as J Rothschild Assurance Group.
This refreshed brand unveiled in January 2022 gave a balance between:
- Recognition and reconsideration.
- Pride and Purpose.
- Heritage and Contemporary.
- Being a big FTSE100 and a company with a human heart.
- The formality of regulation and the highly personal experience their Partners offer.
Visual changes to the refreshed brand included:
- New corporate logo and monogram.
- New role for an updated venetian lion – an iconic visual element of SJP’s heritage.
- Positive and proactive approach to telling SJP’s story through imagery.
- Dropping the Wealth Management element of the SJP name.
- Adopting the phrase ’embrace your tomorrow’ to acknowledge SJP’s aim to give people confidence in their financial future.
“We were excited when we took receipt of the refreshed St. James’ Place brand. It feels fresh, current – and unique.”
Suzy Dean, AddIn365 CEO
St. James’ Place then needed to align the look and feel of their employee experience platform, with the refreshed brand guidelines, without repeating their communications platform delivery project.
Employees and Partners
Weeks to deliver a new brand across the M365 digital employee experience
Year of last brand refresh
Aligning ambition with innovation
AddIn365’s Creative and Page Kit is an add-in for SharePoint Modern and designed to ensure employee experiences convey the look and feel of an organisation. Exciting visuals, delivered by a variation of rich media options were needed to convey St James’s Place’s powerful brand message. Equally important was SJP’s desire to deliver an inclusive, usable site; with accessibility a core requirement for the digital user experience.
“The user experience looks great, and we can now convey the look and feel that we want to support our culture and brand on every page.”
Director of Corporate Communications & Events
The AddIn365 design team got to work translating the refreshed brand guidelines for digital, placing accessibility at the cornerstone of the approach. AddIn365’s designers worked with St James’s Place Digital Design Lead, Will Leicester, to produce exciting concepts which would bring the refreshed brand to life.
St James’ Place had already invested in the Creative and Page Kit product from AddIn365, which is designed to help organisations achieve brand alignment in SharePoint Modern. The Kit had been used to deliver in 2021 and could be used again to deliver the updated new look and feel required.
“Our Creative and Page Kit product is capable of delivering radically different looks, which is required because we have different clients with different brand guidelines. The Kit is also useful as it can support a brand refresh like the one undertaken by St. James’s Place.“
Addressing the needs of today, preparing for the future
With a new set of screens designed to reflect the refreshed St. James’ Place brand, the next step was to apply this look and feel to the existing communications platform, built by AddIn365 in 2021.
Knowing the new employee experience had to reflect their upcoming identity, to convey fresh messaging to their people, St. James’s Place had the foresight to invest in AddIn365’s Site Builder. Site Builder allows for a brand update across SharePoint sites, without affecting content or navigation. Site Builder is a tool that has provided St James’s Place the ability to deliver their rebrand with no additional implementation cost. Without the investment in Site Builder, the business would have been looking at a from-scratch rebuild. The cost and time implications would have meant a significant new investment.
“My team wanted to get on with delivering the new communications platform to our employees and partners in 2021, and we were aware of the rebrand that would be coming in 2022. As we carefully selected our chosen provider, we were on the lookout for a solution that would allow us to change the look and feel of our sites without additional costs. AddIn365 products fit the bill. Working with AddIn365 allowed for each stakeholder of the new brand and the new employee experience to simply get on with their work and deliver on their objectives.“
Director of Corporate Communication & Events
AddIn365’s templated approach has paid dividends. The project team were able to refresh the templates delivered to St James’s Place, and using AddIn365’s Site Builder product, deploy them into the existing sites, instantly updating the look and feel.
The new digital experience has allowed for an alignment between St. James’s Place new identity, and culture, with the environment their people are working in, promoting a business wide feeling of inclusion and engagement into the refreshed identity.
Aligning to a changing brand
St. James’s Place knew that embarking on a refreshed brand campaign for their 16,000 Partnership and employee network would be an extensive task, with several iterations of the refreshed brand being delivered as it evolved.
With a programme of research, preparation, planning and execution, and with consideration for the necessary communicating the evolving iterations, St. James’s Place wanted to ensure only a single version of the brand guidelines would be available to employees, to prevent outdated branding being used by the organisation. AddIn365 were engaged to provide a solution to ensure brand variations or pre-releases would not be mistakenly used.
The St. James’s Place’s Brand Team used AddIn365’s Brand Lite template to house the latest brand guidelines. This has provided access for all internal stakeholders to a comprehensive library of assets; including toolkits, templates, fonts, logos and messaging on the new brand.
“We are really pleased to have a single location we can send our users to, when brand assets are needed. It has saved us a huge amount of time, as we are no longer needing to circulate PDF copies, and we have found that the right version of our assets have been used by the team which was our big objective with this project.“
Digital Design Lead
The introduction of a dedicated site has allowed brand stakeholders to collaborate effectively on the refreshed identity and confidence that the business can operate with an evolving set of brand guidelines.
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