The future of retail branding

In the above video, Dilys explains how Circus works in the field of brand definition: "We help companies work out what they want to be on their very best day," she sums up. Before setting up Circus 15 years ago, Dilys was worldwide marketing director at the Body Shop - and has also had stints at Habitat, Terence Conran and Fitch.

"The thing that has really stayed constant for retailers is the need to really understand what they stand for, and what their competition is," Dilys continues. "Initially it was hard enough to think about a physical space, but now we're talking about digital spaces as well."

Although several agencies might work together on a cross-platform brief, she points out, in essence you have one brand, and one end-consumer - so the experience must feel fluid from start to finish. "It was tempting in the past to think about those as two separate things, but those days have gone," she insists. "Clients are now thinking in a much more cohesive way."

Collaborative spirit

Virgin Atlantic is one such example, a unified project for which Circus worked on the brand strategy, johnson banks developed the identity and Y&R handled the advertising. "Often you're also working with different client teams, which requires a collaborative spirit within the client organisation as well as outside of it," she adds.

"Design companies are particularly good at that - the way the process works in stages enables them to involve other people. And it's the kind of thing that clients and other types of agencies can definitely benefit from."

Dilys will be discussing the issue in more depth, alongside Dalziel & Pow's Ross Phillips and Peter Williams from Cineworld Group, at the Impact Conference - a new one-day event from the makers of Computer Arts.

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