Over the past two decades, something magical has happened to a roundabout in East London. A pop-up revolution and tech boom has fused with a rich heritage to remake the Old Street roundabout area into an alternative, cultured, edgy and eclectic hub that avoids conventional descriptions.
Earth recognised the potential of galvanising all the stakeholders behind a common goal: to collectively promote and steward the area. By bringing everyone together under one partnership, we created a new name, brand, and positioning.
Old Street. Brand Strategy.
Over the past two decades something magical has happened to a roundabout in East London. The edge of the city has transformed into the centre of all things new. Fuelled by the creative energy of its inhabitants, the Old Street District has emerged as a hotbed of talent and ideas.
A cultural crossroads, where tech entrepreneurs, Turner prize winners and fashion editors rub shoulders with eastenders of all stripes. And in the words of William Blake, “Life attracts life” as non-conformists gravitate to the area’s irreverent attitude. It means that today, the edge is where it’s at for art, design, tech and culture.
Our place branding not only promoted a specific location, but enhanced people's relationship with the entire area. This indicated a distinct identity with unifying characteristics and shared values.
The word “District” has several strong precedents: The Meatpacking District in New York and the Financial District next door. It also acknowledges a wider community that has transformed a local neighbourhood into an internationally renowned destination.
With this new name and brand positioning, we brought together twelve partners ranging from Amazon to Derwent London to create a sense of place between the City and Shoreditch. The resulting perception change made Old Street into more than a roundabout.
Tone of voice principles.
Don't just share the facts, share the experience.
Use active language to convey the diverse energy of the earea.
Avoid conventional description - swap a typical word for a less expected one.
Reflect the cultural richness of the surrounding community.
Feel free to use contemporary phrases and references (without trying too hard).
Explain clearly, but never talk down to your audience.