Starting 2009, Maxus India has been making quiet a buzz in terms of acquiring new businesses. Recently, the agency announced a global re-branding exercise that involves a change in logo and other office stationery change. Neil Stewart, CEO, Maxus Asia Pacific, exclusively shares with exchange4media the thought process and rationale behind the re-branding exercise for Maxus.
According to Stewart, the re-branding rollout would be quick. “We are already using our new visual identities and language internally, in our business cards as well as mails,” he said.
Some of the fundamental changes in the structure of Maxus have already been on-going, that was followed by Stewart’s appointment itself. The agency also has plans to recruit resources to head digital and strategy at both worldwide and regional levels.
Explaining his point of view, Stewart said, “We are a media agency. What we are looking at is to enhance our product offerings, and that’s going to involve additional new skills, thereby including the steps in re-branding exercise.”
Speaking on the decision of re-branding and the thought process involved, Stewart explained, “There was a conscious decision towards the end of last year when Kelly Clark was appointed as Global CEO. From a GroupM and WPP perspective, the focus is to invest in Maxus as another brand within the GroupM family. Maxus in some markets like India has done some terrific, well-managed strong businesses. But in some other parts of the world, it has not done so well. So, there was an assent that if the groups needs to take this brand seriously and grow it as a global brand, it is necessary to focus on what the brand needs to stand for, that includes its identity and positioning. I think there was genuinely a sense of the logo and the identity change being one of its first steps in a concrete change.”
When asked why this change at this time and not any other time, Stewart explained, “There was recognition toward the end of last year and with my appointment at the start of this year, that Maxus as a business within group deserves investment, attention and focus. Thus the re-branding of the visual identity was just the first step from the number of other steps that we will go through. And from the timing perspective, someone has very wisely said ‘Let’s not waste a good recession; it’s a great opportunity to look at yourself’. Thus, we make ourselves and our identity a bit clearer as the step one process.”
Stewart further said that being a part of the WPP network, a WPP agency called Lambie- Nairn had designed the identity for Maxus. The agency has done a lot of work for the UK media brands like BBC and others. He quipped, “So, it is fortunate to be part of a big family. You can draw on your brothers, sisters and cousins to get those skills and expertise to the table.”