Earlier this year, Studio North scooped another hat-trick at the prestigious annual Transform Awards Europe 2020. For those of you unfamiliar with the Transform Awards, they reward excellence in rebranding and brand strategy across the entire continent. The programme, established in 2010, recognises best practice in corporate, product and global brand development work in the region, with categories that focus on strategy, execution, content and evaluation.

Measuring impact

For the past decade, we’ve used these awards as a way to externally benchmark our own commercial impact on clients’ businesses and consequently our own sense of relative performance outside internal measures.

This time we proudly achieved a commendation for best brand architecture solution and two bronze awards for best corporate rebrand following a merger or acquisition and the best visual identity from the property, construction and facilities management sector. Given the likes of Coca-Cola, Kellogg’s, Carlsberg and Tesco were also in attendance on the night, we’re always happy with any kind of haul.

No.1 brand consultancy (outside London)

These added to our current tally of 18 Transform Awards since the inaugural ceremony in 2010. This puts us just outside a Top 10 league table which includes global brand consultancies such as Landor, Interbrand and Lippincott. In fact, we’re quite happy for Studio North to rank No.1 – not just within our region – but outside London.

A retrospective look down the years

We wanted to take a short wander down memory lane and look back at some highlights of a decade of transformation. Some clients stay for life, others come and go but you never forget the big achievements and special moments you shared together.

2010 – Parasol

GOLD Best use of copy / tone of voice
SILVER Best rebrand in financial services sector
SILVER Best corporate rebrand to reflect changed mission/values/positioning

We made our debut at the inaugural Transform Awards and were humbled to be in such esteemed company. Having worked closely with CEO, Rob Crossland and Marketing Director, Suzie Lee-Kilgariff, we were delighted that our rebrand of umbrella company, Parasol Group won gold in one category and was rubbing shoulders with Citroen, Aviva (Norwich Union) and Grant Thornton on the other podiums. A sub-£100k rebrand budget punching very hard with multi-million pound projects. Lovely job.

2012 – Merseyway

GOLD Best rebrand in property sector
SILVER Best corporate rebrand following a merger or acquisition

Two years later we were back in the capital to collect two more awards for our outstanding contribution towards turning around Merseyway Shopping Centre post-recession, after it had gone into administration. Against a backdrop of a declining sector in the face of rising e-commerce, the rebrand for our client GVA (now part of Avison Young) repositioned Merseyway with the brand promise ‘famous brands, fabulously close’ after an extensive consumer research exercise. The centre came back from the brink with empty units filled, new tenants attracted and footfall back on the up mid-decade.

2015 – Simplyco

GOLD Best rebrand in financial services sector
GOLD Best corporate rebrand following a merger or acquisition

Simplicity is an important test of any successful brand. It’s the surest way to cut through any competitive marketing noise. So we devised a new brand, Simplyco, to pull together three accounting and payments businesses of our client and parent business, NRL Group. Their slogan? A life less complicated.  

Growth rocketed (turnover immediately grew from £1.1m to £3.7m) ahead of an eventual sale of the business and an incredible ROI on the brand creation. Exactly the kind of outstanding commercial impact Transform Awards look for.

Nowhere near our biggest client project but as impact goes it was right up there.

2019 – NHS Resolution

SILVER Best brand development to reflect changed mission, values or positioning
SILVER Best brand consolidation
SILVER Best naming strategy

This significant project began with discussions between the Secretary of State and the Department of Health to consider proposals for a new name for the NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA). They wanted to bring clarity to its evolving purpose, role and multiple service offer. The strategic focus was to move towards an organisation focused more than ever on prevention, learning and early intervention to address the rising costs of harm in the NHS. The preferred new name was NHS Resolution. Full case study is online here.

Gary and Nick celebrating more awards success in 2015 with Paul Murphy of Simplyco.

A full list of our award wins across multiple sectors and branding disciplines

2020 BRONZE – Best corporate rebrand following a merger or acquisition (NSS)

2020 BRONZE – Best visual identity from the property, construction and facilities management sector (NSS)

2020 HIGHLY COMMENDED – Best brand architecture solution (NSS)

2019 SILVER – Best brand development to reflect changed mission, values or positioning (NHS Resolution)

2019 SILVER – Best brand consolidation (NHS Resolution)

2019 SILVER – Best naming strategy (NHS Resolution)

2018 BRONZE – Best rebrand in healthcare & pharmaceuticals sector (Evergreen Life)

2017 BRONZE – Best rebrand in property sector (High Access)

2015 GOLD – Best rebrand in financial services sector (Simplyco)

2015 GOLD – Best corporate rebrand following a merger or acquisition (Simplyco)

2014 HIGHLY COMMENDED – Best visual identity in property sector (Equity Housing Group)

2014 BRONZE –  Best brand evolution (Equity Housing Group)

2013 BRONZE – Best rebrand in leisure & tourism (Brio Leisure)

2012 GOLD – Best rebrand in property sector (Merseyway)

2012 SILVER – Best corporate rebrand following a merger or acquisition (Merseyway)

2010 GOLD – Best use of copy / tone of voice (Parasol)

2010 SILVER – Best rebrand in financial services sector (Parasol)

2010 SILVER – Best corporate rebrand to reflect changed mission/values/positioning (Parasol)

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