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FEATURE Fortus Business Advisors & Accountants


A distinctly


creative approach to building a new brand


‘binned’. We settled on – Culture (Knowledgeable), Clients (Ambitious), Voice (Passionate), Benefi t (Supportive), Value (Reassurance) and X-Factor (Courageous). Our already established brand values of


Before I tell you how we became Fortus, for those who don’t know us, it’s important you know who we are and what we do. In short, we’re business advisors and accountants collaborating


with business owners and their teams to help them achieve success through supporting them with anything from accounts and tax to corporate fi nance, property challenges and HR… and, in case you were in any doubt, we love what we do! So, just over six months in and am I happy? Well, for someone who


ashamedly admits to suff ering from low level OCD, is a perfectionist (also not good, but it has its place in my line of work) and believes ‘there’s no excuse for bad design’… yes, I’m happy – very happy! Fortus was ‘born’ in April this year – well, in its physical form at least, and without celebration due to lockdown. T e approach to creating any new brand requires ‘another level’ of creative thinking – What should we call ourselves and why? What colour palette should we go for? What font? How do we articulate ‘this, that and the other’ eff ectively over so many existing and future brand ‘assets’? What about legibility, print quality, screen DPI, colour match, colour mismatch? Social formats - Twitter, LinkedIn, Insta – it either works or doesn’t over the diff ering channels and platforms. And what about the web URLs, strapline, trademarking and ‘tone of voice’? Wherever our brand was likely to feature, it had to do so in a compelling way. Period! Our starting point was to scrutinise our competitors and also take


inspiration from brands outside of the professional services market as we didn’t want to be ‘just another player’. T en a ‘discovery session’ facilitated by an external partner for independence to help us analyse six crucial elements that would impact and shape our brand. Having done this, our challenge was to reduce 129 brand attributes down to just one per area – if there wasn’t unanimous agreement, it got


14 ALL THINGS BUSINESS


Distinctive, Inclusive, Valuable and Courageous, agreed in the previous year by our company-wide team of 200-plus, also came into play at this point, as we knew they’d impact both the name choice and ultimately inform the visual brand identity across numerous touchpoints. Choosing a new brand name’s tough, trust me.


Chris Dell Head of Brand & Marketing Fortus


We tabled and considered 24 in total and steadily narrowed these down against a self-imposed criteria checklist. Was it easy to say, hear and spell? Did it have an optimal blend of diff erentiation and market fi t? An inherent strength and esteem in its sound? And critically, did its meaning align to our business and organisational culture? On presentation to the senior team, we secured a unanimous 16/16 ‘blind’ selection for Fortus - our Brand, Creative & Marketing team’s fi rst choice – an earlier iteration of ‘fortis’, meaning ‘strong, brave, powerful and mighty’. So, you can see how our strapline ‘Where knowledge, strength and courage deliver on ambition’ evolved. So, now on to the design and visual ID. We chose


a heavy font to accentuate the strength attribute in particular, but we wanted even more distinction and if possible, a design element embedded in the font which could be exploited across the entire visual identity. We also wanted modern fonts to refl ect a modern business, so, for headings and body copy we went with Norwester, Montserrat and Century Gothic respectively. By slashing the bottom of the F and introducing


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