An identity is a perception. It is built on design, content, and art direction. A logo is just the angular stone, but it isn’t what truly matters. The overall look-and-feel is. Runroom came to us with a need for an overall rebranding. This required a deep analysis of what a digital agency means today, repositioning the brand as a reference point within the field of technology and giving birth to a new Tech & Creative Consultancy, one that looks like what it offers.
Runroom is a company of doers. It has a strong list of clients and has been working for years building expertise in the fields of digital marketing, experience media, data & analytics to transform the customer experience for different companies, brands and institutions. They convey trust, delight and professionalism as their main values, but were lacking agility, creativity and a more conceptual vision in their approach.
“Runroom is our soulmate. They started at the same moment as Folch. Runroom represents for the digital environment, what Folch represents for the creative field. They understood that it was not a matter of identity, but a deep repositioning through a more creative and attractive approach across all the different stages and environments of their business.”
Rafa Martínez, COO and Head of Strategy, Folch
Overall, the communication was dated and did not match their vision. We needed to transmit a more creative and human tone, in synergy with the technological. This meant we had to aim for a more diverse brand identity, to offer a holistic approach where the communication is based on brand values rather than services. We fled from the tunnel vision of technology itself and instead based the communication on how, through technology and strategy, Runroom can transform a client’s business.
Besides the repositioning of Runroom, we suggested a new angle for the brand, a push beyond the practice itself and into the field of relevance and influence. To do so, we created an editorial header by bringing together the contents of the already existing podcast in a new section of the web and with its own channels. Through the use of illustrations, we could bring this section into a more editorial and dynamic environment. All in synergy with photographic aesthetics and overall graphic treatment.
Based on Roobert typeface from the great Displaay type foundry, we found the right amount of geometry, legibility and recognition in the characters to create a new typographic identity for Runroom. The unique terminals give the characters a digital touch, yet the rounded, humanistic shapes were crucial for the new image.
In addition to the balanced typographic use, we needed to find a colour treatment that would match our ambitions. Gradients –born from technology– were the answer. But not just any kind of gradients – again, we needed to find a way to convey creativity and humanism. By using a craft technique, the spray effect, alongside the use of one warm and one cold colour in combination, we could achieve this result.
Naturally, Runroom wanted to design their own website. Based on our branding guidelines they built up a functional website, highlighting their cases, the new editorial Realworld, as well as their new propositions. During two sprints (feedback sessions) with Folch they defined a new look with a comprehensive user experience in mind.
As a part of the repositioning, we needed to create certain guidelines for Runroom’s own communication. In an efficient way, we had to explain their projects, moving away from talking to c-suite positions and rather focusing on managers and influencers within the fields of New Technologies, UX/UI, Development, Customer Experience and Digital Business. We suggested guidelines in both tone of voice and visual mood for their cases and social media channels. The key was to treat them according to the functions they offer and the audiences they reach, creating a coherent mood across the platforms and unifying them under the same tone of voice and visual mood.
To attract any sort of media we need to tell a story. Media outreach is all about exclusivity, new content and disruptive ideas. To reach the desired media, Runroom needed to customise, extract and create tailored content for the right platform at the right time. Releasing a new project in conjunction with an insightful interview on the subject can give new life to a project that might not otherwise get media attention.
Hi Carlos! How are you? We are happy to see the new Runroom coming to reality. How has the process of the rebranding come to affect the company?
A pleasure, Folch team!
As you know, the four founding partners of Runroom are engineers, including myself. On one hand, this fact has given the company a very special character, and it has also given us an obvious competitive advantage… But on the other hand, it has brought a legacy of certain complexes in terms of our creative capacity.
For years, in spite of the great creative load that exists in our work, and of the recognition of clients and professionals in the sector, we haven’t dared to express our capacities in this sense. We have limited ourselves to underline our analytical, strategic, and executive abilities.
This rebranding is, among other things, an endpoint to these complexes. Of course, we are creative! Let’s place ourselves in the light that we deserve.
Your new claim is “Agile Digital Intelligence”. What does it mean for Runroom?
I will use an example: almost everyone can accumulate data. A few will manage to extract information from it. And only a truly qualified minority will be able to convert that information into knowledge.
We call this digital intelligence. To be able to provide this value to our clients, our view must be holistic, diverse, transversal and cross-functional.
It is essential to have a team of good specialists – but above all a culture that allows co-creation, collaboration, innovation and adaptation to change.
Five-year strategies are over. It is over to follow a plan completely. That, surely, was much more comfortable. But today iteration is crucial, listening to your customer’s feedback and having the ability to meet their needs frequently and quickly.
That leads me to the next question. Runroom works very closely with clients, keeping them very involved in the process through periodic sprints. How does this method define you as a company?
It is precisely this iterative and collaborative mentality that defines our way of working. We not only team up with our clients throughout the process, with total transparency, we also incorporate the end user in the definition of the solution itself. And this is really disruptive.
Traditionally, in the world of consulting, changes to the initial specifications are a risk of mitigation and the main justification of failure.
We embrace change. Adaptation, flexibility. The feedback is a gift because it provides learning, opportunities and is the best guide to success.
One of the main aims with the rebranding was to transmit the fine balance between man and technology, business and creativity. How do you think this has been solved in terms of branding and content guidelines?
One of the risks when it came to positioning ourselves in a territory that was closest to creativity, was to get away from our strengths at the level of performance and rigour.
From the beginning, you understood that the solution was to blur certain aspects on the definition of what we are, giving space to everything that is not strictly a project or a service, but that also defines and sums.
As part of the repositioning of Runroom, we suggested adding another layer of contemporary thought to the agency’s communication. Your in-house podcast The Realworld has been translated into an editorial header, with a completely new look and feel. What importance does Realworld have for Runroom? What value does it add?
The podcast is born as a personal exercise of mine. For me, it represents the way of comprehending what do I know and what do I not know. What value can I bring to others through my experience?
It is a way to expose myself and overcome my impostor syndrome, that is huge. Anyone who has tried to expose himself will suffer it.
The same conceptualization is both aligned with the positioning strategy of Runroom, as well as the tone and voice of our communication. That is because we are the way we are, and this is transferred to the brand in a natural way.
I think that a new stage has finally arrived where the podcast must nourish from more people of the team because that is precisely the basis of our contribution value. I guess it is a new stadium, more mature and broad.
What are the expectations and vision for Runroom within the next few years?
Since we were born, Runroom’s challenge has followed an immutable direction: from lifestyle to business. I would dare to say that we have built a successful business model, structuring it around a lifestyle.
It has always been and will continue to be a priority to keep the people of Runroom on that backbone and, even so, we have never stopped being ambitious. We want to work with the best clients, in the best projects, with the best people in our team.
We feel that we have consolidated our model and that now it is necessary to position the brand where it deserves, with those 16 years of track record in the back.
Finally, why did you decide to come to Folch?
Deciding to work with Folch was our way of telling ourselves that we were serious.
And I have to say that, although we considered other proposals from very good agencies, there was one fact that ended up tipping the balance towards your side: that since our beginnings, you were always a reference.
Part of our strategy to create another layer of influential information, linking Runroom with a platform that talks about customer experience and digital business, Realworld is a podcast by Carlos Iglesias, CEO of @runroom & co-director of the marketing and digital transformation program at ESADE.
Rafa Martínez and Albert Folch were interviewed for one of the episodes. They talked about their ideas, experience and knowledge around branding, mentioning some of the most recognized brands worldwide, such as Patagonia, Renfe, Correos and Sonar Festival among others.