Fresh news

Brand ReFresh: The story of CGA’s evolution and the importance of changing with the times

We probably understand far better than most, and hopefully you’ll excuse the bias, the value of keeping things fresh. In a globally connected, technologically-driven world, it is essential for business to be constantly growing, shifting and evolving in line with the latest social, financial and technological trends, and failure to do so can spell the end for even the biggest of businesses.

Keeping up-to-date and on trend is often far less intimidating than one might imagine. It might just be a case of tweaking your pricing structure, expanding your stable of products and/or services, or simply updating your website. However, there comes a point in every businesses life cycle where it becomes prudent to ask the tough questions, to critically analyse what the business stands for and how it fits into the context of the contemporary market/s in which it operates. Subsequent to such deep introspection a business may come to the somewhat unpleasant or oft-inconvenient realisation that their brand has become dated, and that the way they look and present across various channels no longer reflects where they are in their journey. It is at this point that the business has to make the difficult decision to refresh their brand or to rebrand entirely.

A refresh or rebrand is not exactly a quick and simple decision. Although it is often highly necessary, essential even, it can be an extremely disruptive process if not handled correctly. Additionally, and particularly for businesses that have been active for some time, a rebrand needs to be lead properly and introduced to one’s customers in a way that doesn’t clash too violently with their internal cognition of one’s brand. Remember, a business that has looked, felt and sounded one particular way for a long time has built up a certain persona in the hearts and minds of its clients, the public and the marketplace at large. Whether entrenched brand colours, a fondly-recognised logo, a particular way of communicating or a host of other identifying factors and properties, the outside world already has a set view of the business, and a rebrand is going to come in and shake that all up. It’s no wonder that many businesses are so hesitant to stir things up in this way!

So when CGA, a company with a 16-year pedigree, came to realise that it had become necessary for them to refresh their brand image, it was, needless to say, a carefully considered, strategically driven move. Founded in 2011 by Chris Garthwaite, a pioneer in the field of customer experience, CGA is a recognised leader in customer experience management, on both a national and international level. Operating in an industry in constant flux, in which the changing customer demands and digital capabilities drive change and innovation at a relentless pace, CGA had found that they too needed to evolve with the times.

Making the decision to refresh the CGA brand proved to be the hardest part, as the next, most logical choice was to call in an expert to lead the change both internally and externally. Having worked closely with us in the past, CGA had full confidence in our ability to give the brand a Fresh new perspective on life and we delivered in style (if we say so ourselves).



The old CGA logo


 A Fresh new perspective



Variations of the new logo

Our first and most important step was to breathe new life into the old CGA logo, without losing the invaluable intangible value associated with this iconic visual property. We adopted a subtle, ‘less-is-more’ approach in refreshing the logo, retaining the iconic red circular holding shape, but opting for an entirely new typeface for the wordmark.  The ‘C’ hugs the ‘G’ in a visual metaphor that conveys working closely in partnership with the client, whilst the descending tail of the ‘G’ also forms the smile of a satisfied customer. The existing brand tagline ‘moving customers together’, which was seen as too passive and somewhat underwhelming, was reworked to the far more powerful and active ‘Transforming Customer Experience’, positioning CGA as the definitive authority in this area. 



Visual properties and colour palette


With a Fresh new logo and bolder, driven new direction firmly in place, the next step was to develop the brand look and feel, with a focus on the usage guidelines for visual properties and graphic 

devices, along with a new colour palette. Again opting for the subtle integration of imagery into the holding shape focus ring itself, we developed a visual style that was at once bold and powerful, yet understated. The bright, distinctive colour palette helps define their unique methodology – with a logo and colour assigned to each process in the methodology.


The CGA customer journey methodology



The Heartbeat logo

Utilising this subtle approach to the brand refresh we successfully managed to bring the CGA brand and its visual properties into a new era of customer-driven service. We gave the brand a bold new approach that didn't move entirely away from their roots or distance itself from the business’ proud heritage, thus ensuring minimised cognitive discomfort for CGA people, their customers and the market at large, in which CGA continues to be a definitive leader amongst its contemporaries.

A brand refresh or rebrand can be an extremely disruptive process and, handled incorrectly, can result in the loss of brand recognition and customer affinity. However, that shouldn't distract you from the fact that a refresh or rebrand is often a critical stage in the business life cycle. The differentiating factor is the partner you choose to lead your business through this defining moment and ensure that your refresh or rebrand achieves the identified outcomes and cements itself in the hearts and minds of your target market.