Fusing brand and culture: Carey’s award-winning brand

“The final stage of approving our new branding during October 2018 is etched in my memory – a definite moment of pride in what we achieved after many months of journeying into a completely new world.”

Carey Managing Director and shareholder Jim Gilligan led the business’s rebrand project that was the ultimate expression of a wider initiative to define Carey’s internal culture and distinct approach to client relationships. The goal for Carey was to achieve an identity that was, yes, unique but also true to who Carey is today and, more existentially, why the business operates.  

This month Carey is celebrating winning the Best Rebrand bronze award at the City WealthBrand and Reputation Awards and Jim is very clear about the ingredients that led to the launch of Carey’s new look.

“I have never believed that one person has all of the answers and will achieve the best results on their own. Neither do my colleagues here at Carey. For us, open and creative partnerships, which encourage constructive challenge, achieve outcomes that are far beyond what one person alone can imagine. We’re a pretty distinct group of people and our clients are drawn to us because of how we collaborate with them to reach a result. This is the lead message in how we go to market. The funds, corporate and private wealth services we offer are a given rather than the driving force of how we’re presented through our new brand messaging.

Carey’s brand journey began with an exploration of the business’s culture alongside consultant Phil Eyre which included identifying the factors that inspire the Carey team, based on Simon Sinek’s idea that: “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it”.

Our work on the rebrand project began and quickly had our Why firmly wrapped around it. In rebranding we wanted the best possible result so, we partnered with specialists who we knew would be able to challenge our thinking and who would be comfortable with being challenged by us too with the goal of achieving a new identity that was not predictable.”

Enter The Potting Shed – the creative agency appointed by Carey’s board to build the creative concept that would articulate the Why messaging, deliver the Brand, and a bespoke Website. The creative and digital team, led by Guernsey Managing Director Tom Langford, journeyed alongside the team at Carey by creating different concepts and ideas to challenge their thinking. The final creative – presented in the form of kaleidoscopes developed from deconstructed flora - was selected because it spoke to the different perspectives that Carey are known for providing to their clients and the unique results they achieve by working closely together.

“Rebrands are often led by a marketing team. To have Jim involved so closely throughout the project helped us to get to the heart of the business quickly. Carey were keen to emphasise their culture and brand values rather than what they do...which is the ideal scenario. We quickly appreciated that for Carey finding the right partners who are aligned with their way of working was key as opposed to recruiting as many clients as possible. So we have presented a brand that leads first and foremost with why Carey exist and how they work coupled with beautiful creative that speaks to the quality and attention offered by the business.”

Emma Mauger from Lucid consulted with Carey throughout the project. In her consulting work, Emma places weight on building authentic brands and her work with Carey included facilitating a series of business model workshops across the whole business to investigate the values shared by the people within Carey’s business that then fed into the project’s brand values.

“Brands loose authenticity and ultimately trust when there are disconnects between what’s declared ‘out there’ in marketing messaging and what actually happens in practice. Trust is such a live issue for businesses and their leaders. Brand communications offer an absolute opportunity to continue building that trust. For a business model such as that of Carey, the team are critical to how the brand is experienced. By uniting what is true to the internal culture within the business with what is being expressed in the market, Carey is sharing a story that’s authentic.”

As with any branding project the ultimate test is in the response and Jim and the team are receiving fantastic feedback in the market, something he’s very clear about.  

“Together with transforming the Carey brand, the conversation we have begun is distinct within our environment and it’s a wonderful platform from which we’re continuing our growth story. By partnering with specialists who brought distinct skills to the table we were able to achieve more than we could have envisaged when we began our journey which was a richly creative experience”.