“In the world of ‘purpose’ driven marketing it is essential that we are clear about who we are ‘for’ and ‘why’ we are here. As the role, value and meaning of the ‘agency’ continues to be challenged it is clear to us that playing safe is the most unsafe thing in the world. We are here for the adventurous spirits that know that change is both inevitable and the source of competitive advantage".
Ian Millner, CEO & Co-Founder.
Iris has announced a new proposition and brand identity, ‘For the forward’, as it focuses on streamlining and strengthening its multi-specialist network offering for clients. Iris has grown 13% year on year since 2015 and predicts the network will generate £100m+ worth of revenue for the first time in 2018.
The 2017 growth is thanks to winning new clients like Starbucks, Haven, Formula E, Solarplicity and KFC, the growth of existing global clients like Samsung and Otis Elevators and acquiring growing businesses like atom42 which further deepened Iris’s digital skill set into online acquisition and digital media. It also comes as Iris celebrates its most creatively rewarded year, bringing home 37 awards from Cannes Lions, Creative Circle, Clios and One Show, among others.
For the Forward is a statement that reflects the network’s skill set and what it delivers for clients – the reality of how to approach and benefit from disruption. It also reflects the brands that the agency works with – the likes of Samsung, adidas, and LEGO. The new logo, based around the ‘I’ of Iris, is a significant move away from the existing identity, and a bold visual representation of moving forwards.
Ian Millner, founder and CEO of Iris said: “We asked ourselves, how can we be the most valued and valuable partners our clients can have? Networks are struggling to grow, consultancies are coming in, in-sourcing is growing… For the Forward is representative of our belief that in these unstable and disruptive times the last thing a client should do is play it safe. Our promise to clients is that we will move their business forward and navigate this new landscape. The ability to evolve and move forward is one necessary for survival - and it is something we share with the clients we work with.”
Founded in 1999 as an ‘alternative to the traditional networks’ by six founders looking to get away from big agency bureaucracy and the ‘broken media model’, Iris has been behind some of the industry’s more left-field ideas. The agency beat 100s of contenders to create the London 2012 Olympic mascots, put Jamiroquai in a Boeing 747 for Gig In The Sky, generated £3.6m additional revenue for Domino’s with Pizza Legends, and created one touch donation technology with the Save The Children Give Button. The agency was also one of the first to adopt management consultancy into its business with the acquisition of boutique consultancy Concise in 2008, and has since constantly evolved to provide more value for clients – more recently with the acquisition of Pricing Solutions, extending its consultancy capabilities into pricing strategy, and online acquisition with atom42.
As of this month, all offices within the network will work with the new branding, existing brands will be streamlined to offer more clarity of service to clients, and acquired companies within the iris network will rebrand to fully sit within the Iris ecosystem.
The Iris network now consists of Iris, serving as the integrated creative shop; Iris Concise providing management consultancy, data analytics and CRM; and Iris Culture specialising in sports marketing, brand experience and entertainment. Some existing clients will work with iris across all of these areas of the business, others will work with Iris on a specialist discipline level.
Pricing specialist Pricing Solutions (acquired in March 2017), digital acquisition specialist atom42 (acquired in November 2017) and creative B2B agency Founded (acquired in April 2016) will take on the new Iris brand, but retain their individual names due to the equity each business holds in its specialist market.
Claire Humphris, co-founder and CMO added: “People are disinterested in advertising, our clients’ markets are changing, platforms are evolving. Clients don’t want silos. They also don’t want to work with 100 different agencies, hoping that they can collaborate effectively without ego to answer the brief. We’ve been building that agency for 18 years and I can safely say – there is no agency on this planet that offers the deep range of specialisms iris does, or have the capability to weave them together to create real bottom line value for clients.”