The Copyrights Group
Franchise Brand Identity,
Brand Architecture Strategy,
Sub Brands Development
We recently sat down with Demi Patel, SVP Creative Services at The Copyrights Group, to chat about the work we did together on Paddington’s branding. Here’s the inside scoop of how we gave the bear a brand to wear.
Please look after this brand
“It was about understanding how, strategically, we could create a new framework for the brand and take it forward into the future.” Demi Patel.
When Demi joined the Copyrights Group in 2014, she became the custodian for everyone’s favourite marmalade-loving bear. Her job was to protect the brand, especially with the upcoming movie that would soon introduce Paddington to brand new audiences around the world.
Over 50 years of incremental growth meant a brand that worked perfectly at the time, but was jumbled when you looked back. Different types of merchandise each had their own brand, their own Paddington. It was confusing for everyone in terms of which assets should be used where. Something needed to be done…
From brand whys to franchise
Paddington’s instant recognisability is a strong asset for a brand to have, but it also posed a problem for commercial partners who were looking to the future. They didn’t know which Bear to use in which context. The result was a lack of consistency and clarity across product categories and target markets. Cross-category retail installations were virtually impossible. The Copyrights Group needed someone to come in and help shape a new future for the brand.
Turning Paddington into a franchise brand was a big deal for the team, and everyone was feeling a little nervous at the prospect. A lot of agencies came and pitched ideas that would completely disregard Paddington’s heritage - an asset that the team was keen not to lose. Enter Skew. Having worked with Demi before, she knew she could trust Skew to develop the Paddington brand appropriately and with the care it deserved.
Mapping the family tree
Skew and the Copyrights team dived right in, exploring Paddington’s heritage and Copyrights’s aims for the future. The process took something that’s usually instinctive and codified it so a wider team of partners could access it. It also helped bring more of the team and stakeholders on board with what everyone was attempting to achieve.
The end result, a clear brand identity for the Paddington masterbrand, gave the Copyrights Group all the confidence they needed to push Paddington forward into a franchise and communicate clearly with commercial partners.
A brand with many hats?
For Demi and the team, the masterbrand had unlocked a whole
new world of licensing opportunities. But there was still some work to
be done on each individual sub-brand.
The long-lasting Heritage brand essentially consisted of a catalogue of different illustrations that commercial partners could lift from in any way they wanted. This wasn’t always clear, and often resulted in designs that didn’t do the brand justice. By creating a style guide and giving the Heritage brand its own space, Copyrights were able to explain exactly how to apply the style across different contexts.
As for the Baby brand, commercial partners were deciding on the direction it was taking. Copyrights needed to get in front of that, take ownership, and build it for them. After a spot of modernising and a lick of simplification, the Baby brand became much stronger and partners fell in love with it immediately.
And then came the branding for the new TV show, The Adventures of Paddington. The show re-tells Paddington’s story and communicate his values of curiosity and compassion of preschoolers. It needed a brand that could live alongside the TV show, flexing to meet the needs of a demanding audience.