Branding, Strategy, Place-making, Digital Design
To create a strong engaging identity for Sugar House Island, a large mixed-use brown-site development in East London, that’s rooted in a solid proposition and coherent strategy to help connect the site with the wider area and market the brand’s rental offerings.
The new brand has helped exceed residential letting targets and create strong leads for the commercial offerings. Web traffic increased 217% YoY following the new brand launched. Botanical Mews, the first residence, was one of the fastest letting residential phases in London last year reaching full capacity in 10months. Soapbox, the second resident on the Island, has let over a quarter of its 211 units in the first three months, even faster than Botanical Mews. Dane’s Yard, the creative commercial quarter, is also nearly fully let, and the latest Soapbox Ad creative saw on previous creative: 142.05% increase in CTR and 20.00% decrease in CPC.
"The results of this project have been incredibly well received both internally and externally. Our management team, employees and agents are all extremely pleased with the new branding. This new branding has helped us exceed our residential lettings targets and generate strong leads from our commercial and retail target audiences."
Megan Higgins, Marketing Manager, Vastint UK
Increase in website traffic following new brand launch
Units fully let in Sugar House Islands first residential offering within 10 months over the pandemic
Sugar House Island is a large mix-use development in the heart of East London, that had a brand that lacked coherence and clear messaging.
Inheriting a brand logo and the colour orange, KISS was brought in to consolidate and refine the brand into a strong engaging identity that speaks to its broad audience.
We immersed ourselves into the site's history; its past, present and vision for the future through team workshops, insight sessions and getting hands on at the site.
We dug deep into all aspects of the business from offerings, locale and consumer motivations. These insights helped inform the way we brought the brand to life, creating clearer communications and more engaging moments of interaction.
With such a broad offering and audience base spanning across commercial, residential and leisure it became evident that we needed to build a brand that linked the people and the spirit of the place together.
East London and in particular Stratford has been a host for collaboration and symbiosis between industries, businesses and people for centuries; it’s a place for opportunity. Vastint acquired this brown field site with the vision to revitalise and bring back this rich collaborative spirit and embed it into the culture and design of the buildings.
Whether you come to the island for business opportunities, drinks by the river, to put your feet up in a beautiful home, or just for more family time, Sugar House Island offers the opportunity to do just that.
We aligned our proposition to — ‘An Isle of Opportunity’ — which became the basis of the new visual and verbal identity.
KISS gave the pre-existing logo purpose; a triangle that sits at its core, representing the physical shape of the Island and the metaphorical device for the opportunity to be found there.
“It is great to have you on board. You have brought new energy and enthusiasm which is exactly what we needed. You have spent the time needed to understand us and our project where other, supposedly more established, brands got it totally wrong. I have been really impressed.”
Throughout the redevelopment, Sugar House Island has drawn inspiration from its heritage integrating original building materials, industrial architecture and reforming yards and alleyways, recreating an intimate way of living. The name itself is inspired by The Sugar House, a newly refurbished five-storey Victorian warehouse which now stands as a hallmark of its past.
For a development that will coexist with its inhabitants for decades to come, it was important to keep clear from a corporate straight jacket and create a more flexible and ‘human’ brand approach that will allow for adaptability for years into the future; therefore focusing on coherency over consistency.
Industrial ephemera and murals found on site inspired the imagery, typography and colour palette creating a ‘high street of shops’ look; each block, residence and commercial space having its own characterful take on the brand, creating a carefully balanced eclectic yet coherent identity.
Three expressions were created that flex over commercial, residential and leisure needs, each guided by their own set of principles while being tied together with consistent overarching themes; the island shape, the typography, the colours and a link to heritage.
Dane’s Yard is the first commercial area and Botanical Mews and Soapbox are the first two of the residential offerings with more to come.
The mural of a Great Dane still exists in the creative quarter, which Dane’s Yard is named after, a legacy of the Dane’s Group ink makers that used to be on site. We collaborated with animation studio Made Abroad to bring the Great Dane to life, playfully jumping into the island. This timeless style has been used to inform the illustration style used across the brand.
“We wanted to create an identity that would stand the test of time and have the flexibility to express to different audiences and platforms. Having a single master brand approach for such a charactful site just wouldn't be right. So taking inspiration from the past and bringing the eclectic nature of people and business whilst tying it together with the architecture and design, the Sugar House Identity has the freedom now to tell a wonderful story of hustle and bustle, proactivity and community spirit.”
The identity needed to fit seamlessly with the character of the location, celebrating the people, heritage and East London grit throughout the brand.
Our palette of colours such as ‘dog orange’, ‘granite grey’, ‘botanical green’ and ‘London stock lime’ came from the material found on site. Whereas the brand voice reinforces the everyman archetype typical of the personalities found in and around East London. The language talks to consumers’ motivations; it’s not just about a better apartment or high-spec workspace, but about what that extra consideration means; more time for good times, cosying up in a beautiful space and being surrounded by interesting and inspiring people.
The brand seamlessly flexes for residential, leaning on principles of quality of life and balance, allowing the brand to really speak to prospecting residents yet still be coherent with the overall brand.
We built tools and collateral for the team to capture the Sugar House island tone through every point of interaction and set their place-making project apart from the typical property world across their website, social media and marketing materials.
“Matt, Poonam and their team at KISS Branding are exceptional at what they do. They have worked with us to develop complex brand strategies for our developments, bringing the brand to life through digital, print and the physical environment. KISS brings a fresh, creative and strategic approach to each project and produces outstanding results every time. Not only that, their passion and excitement is infectious and they are an absolute dream to work with.”
With the new brand launched and more buildings soon to come, we’re thrilled to have helped Vastint reposition the Stratford site towards an exciting new future and be part of its legacy.
Thanks to Andrew, Megan and Lucy and thanks to Jenny for bringing us on board.
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