A brand for change

  • CLIENT GL Hearn
  • SECTOR Property

Skills at play

  • Qualitative research
  • Strategic workshops
  • Brand positioning
  • Ideation
  • Brand design
  • Communication design
  • Campaign design
  • Digital design
  • Photography
  • Signage design
  • Project management

GL Hearn, a well-known independent property consultancy, felt that they had out-grown their old brand identity which had only been amended bit-by-bit over the previous 90 years of the Company’s history. Worse of all, it was hard to apply and use on modern digital mediums.

In 2012, JWDK was commissioned by a new management team to develop a new brand positioning for GL Hearn and design the new brand identity. The brand would launch later that year at MIPIM, a well-known industry event in Cannes.

Our brand defining workshop, with the Senior Board, prompted beneficial strategic conversations within the business. In the end, our brand definition provided much needed alignment for the future of the business.


Create / Develop / Protect / Enhance

The essence of the brand centres around GL Hearn’s approach to delivering value to its clients. Combined intelligence comprises four evolutionary parts. To create opportunities; to develop potential; to protect assets; to enhance value.

The new logo visually represents these value points. Created from four distinctive colourful parts, reflecting GL Hearn’s approach to managing and maximising their client’s assets.


Intelligent copy

External brand awareness was increased through a set of homophone-led advertisements and campaign images. The first print ad appeared on the cover of Estates Gazette. The campaign was rolled out throughout the UK property press, in print and online.

Thinking allowed, predicting the whether, time & a gain, to daze solutions, industry in sites – these witty homophones demand that viewers stop and read twice. Using these engaging puns was our solution to advertising for a business, whose projects might take 20+ years to come to fruition.

Where possible we photographed GL Hearn’s actual employees on site within existing projects or within the urban environment generally. Showing people who actually worked within GL Hearn made sense as so many property deals are down to the individual, over the business name.

These images were added to the brand toolkit for use across a number of communication tools we designed.


The results

Since the brand launch we have produced a variety of communication tools including targeted advertisement campaigns, exhibition design and strategic presentations on behalf of GL Hearn.

GL Hearn likened their rebrand to being given a new suit. They felt their new confidence was integral to them winning a substantial British Land contract, which more then paid for the investment in their rebrand.

The business has now been successfully been sold to Capita Real Estate.

We have been impressed with the methodology adopted by JWDK. They interpreted our brief in a very clear and concise manner; crucially they found a creative route to communicate our strategy to clients.

Brian Sloggett

Managing Director, GL Hearn