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TheBrand master


T e very name 1HQ stands for ‘one


After rejuvenating a multitude of global household products, CEO of 1HQ branding agency, Mark Artus, tells Matthew Fairhurst how asking one hard question can be the secret to a brand’s success


W


hen venturing into the business world, most people soon realise that strong brand awareness and good


advertising are key ingredients to success. However, this realisation is simply not enough on its own and the hardest task of all is to discover how advertising and branding works. One man who has built a career around solving this conundrum is Mark Artus, CEO of top European branding agency 1HQ. He states, “At this seminal time of economic


unrest, it seems many people are jumping quickly to fi nd solutions to their product branding. If you ask the wrong questions and leap to quick answers, the project will probably


54 waterfrontmagazines.co.uk


hard question, and it is this ethos which shapes the agency’s strategies when dealing with a project. T eir 65-person- strong workforce houses both academically and creatively gifted people who combine forces on each project – assuming a left side and right side of a metaphorical


working brain. Revealing the reason behind this symbiotic alliance, Artus claims, “By bringing the two disciplines together, we ensure we have a cognitive diff erence of people working together in the same room,


trying to fi nd one common solution. T e place between defi ne and design is where we use the term ‘mind the gap’ because if you don’t join those two things up – you could have a great strategy with no execution of what you’re supposed to do with it – or if an idea is too creative without enough strategic thought, it could be something which looks fantastic, but might not address the needs of the brand itself and who it is aimed at.” T is ‘mind the gap’ ideology is what sets 1HQ apart from its competitors, and in this fi nancially turbulent time, it is no surprise that global giants such as Heinz, Unilever, Coca Cola, Nokia and Nestle have chosen to utilise this 1HQ ethos to successfully rejuvenate their own branding.


not be successful. What is critical, is a big idea and a strong idea– we call this the ‘brand heart’. Once you have that, and understand who the target audience is then, no matter what the product is it should be successful.”


As most of us have grown up knowing, and subconsciously associating such companies with their products, one would be forgiven in thinking that re-branding the British institution of Heinz Tomato Ketchup may be a mammoth task – Artus however incorporated the 1HQ ethos to revitalise the household giant. He refl ects, “In trying to identify the


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