MacKenzie King’s Brand Story

MacKenzie King is an independent Ipswich-based consultancy specialising exclusively in accountancy and finance recruitment.

Supporting candidates and clients across Suffolk and North Essex, the MacKenzine King team are well respected for their specialist expertise, exceptional candidate/client matching, honest and personable approach.

The Brief

Entering their 10th year in business, MacKenzie King decided it was time to revisit their brand strategy as they had outgrown their existing brand. Although it had served them well over the years, the business had changed a lot in that time.

There was a big discrepancy between MacKenzie King’s brand culture, strategy and branding, giving rise to several challenges. Their specialist expertise and the way that they care for their candidates and clients was getting lost. As a result, rather than standing tall, they were in danger of blending into a highly competitive industry.

Their brand perception was at odds with their values and internal culture, which was not helping them in growing their own team (their employer brand).

Without losing sight of where they had come from, they needed a brand refresh to accurately reflect who they are today and the difference they make in people’s lives.

The Solution

A highly collaborative and methodical approach was required. Therefore, we divided the rebrand into four smaller projects: Brand Strategy, Identity Design, Website Strategy & Design and Branding Application.

Brand Strategy

Our first step was to redefine MacKenzie King’s strategy. Through a methodical process of research, analysis and discovery, we gained an in-depth understanding of them and their audience’s wants and needs. We analysed their position in the marketplace, how their clients and candidates perceive their brand, and experienced the consultancy as employer brand. Our process included:

  • Qualitative research through internal and external stakeholder interviews
  • Evaluation of MacKenzie King’s internal brand culture to gain insights into their audience’s challenges, goals and needs
  • Quantitative research, using candidate and client surveys to analyse how MacKenzie King is perceived and to validate and prove our interview insights  
  • Thorough competitor analysis and an extensive brand audit 
  • A Brand Strategy workshop (with the full MacKenzie King team) to clarify brand purpose, positioning, values, vision and to set objectives for the ongoing brand development.

Brand Identity

With an updated Brand Strategy and clarity, we delved straight into creating a new Brand Identity and Tone of Voice.

MacKenzie King’s old Brand Identity felt as if they were hiding behind a corporate mask, which was completely at odds with their values and how they work. Their new identity would place the focus back on their individual, personable, honest and transparent approach.

To embody how they make clients and candidates feel, we reworked MacKenzie King’s colour scheme to inject warmth and positivity. This involved embracing their yellow as their key colour, which is what they are known for and how they remain recognisable among competitors.

We decluttered and simplified the logo and introduced typefaces with open, spacious and rounded letterforms to create a joyful and friendly brand character.

To subtly identify MacKenzie King as accountancy and finance recruitment specialists, we created graphics reminiscent of graphs and financial charts.

To complete the Brand Identity, we also introduced a new suite of brand photographs to create a genuine feel for the team, their working culture and environment.

To ensure that the words used to describe the brand accurately reflect MacKenzie King, we also created a Tone of Voice. Our copy creation partner, On Point Content, joined us in the Brand Strategy Workshop to understand MacKenzie King’s brand character and create the building blocks for an authentic Tone of Voice. This was important to do before moving on to the next stage of the project, Website Design & Development.

Website Design & Development

To design and build a new website for MacKenzie King, we worked collaboratively with digital agency, SimpleClick, who, like us, take a very structured approach. Our process involved:

  • Auditing the current website to understand how clients and candidates interact with existing pages and content
  • Identifying what is required from a functional and brand perception point of view to provide more clarity of their positioning and how they add value
  • Carefully mapping out key messaging and content structure to produce a new sitemap and wireframes
  • Designing a new website for the best user and brand experience
  • Creating website copy in line with MacKenzie King’s new Tone of Voice
  • Supporting SimpleClick throughout their build of the new website in their own Content Managed System, Doddle

Implementation & Branding Application

MacKenzie King’s new website offers a true lens into their world, who they are as people, and the value that they bring to every client and candidate relationship. It also positions them as an employer of choice as they continue to grow their team.

Fully embracing of their new brand identity, MacKenzie King were also keen to introduce their new branding across a variety of touch points. This included all their communication channels, stationery, brochures, roller banners, social media, newsletter templates, as well as office signage and interior décor.

We worked closely with the team to ensure that the right brand colours and assets were chosen for each application and that the messaging was also spot on.

We’ll never forget the positive reaction we received as we joined MacKenzie King for the big reveal to the team. The energy within the room was simply uplifting as the brand spoke to the team in just the way that it should.

“It has been a great experience working with Angie and Franzi from Studio Brand Up. It’s been quite an immersive journey as we take the MacKenzie King brand to the next level. Every step has been carefully designed. We were guided in taking a reflective look at what we represent and the values that make us who we are so that we could introduce the right character, tone and language into our new branding. We’re still the same MacKenzie King, just with a refreshed identity that instantly makes the connection that we want it to. Angie and Franzi absolutely know their craft. They also care deeply about making sure that what they create perfectly aligns with our vision. We couldn’t be more delighted with the results. Thank you.”

MacKenzie King

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About Franzi Scheithauer

Franzi is Creative Director at Studio Brand Up and specialises in brand strategy and identity design.