Tech Nation

Tech NationOn June 3rd, The Think Tank attended Tech Nation’s event at The Jones Family Project in EC2. It was an opportunity for a bit of networking and to gain insight into dealing with customers and leveraging technology to enhance the user and business experience.

The first Keynote speaker was Joe Middleton, CEO of PlayerLayer, which makes sports clothing usually worn as an additional layer. PlayerLayer garments are worn by professional sports teams and universities across the world. Joe’s insights on reaching customers and getting them to participate in the brand to push it to the next level were punctuated by his own examples that pushed his own brand into a current and in demand product.

Mark Wakelin, CEO of Tquila, a customiser of Salesforce software illustrated how simple changes and modifications can enhance the channels which reach and interact with customers wherever they are.

A speaker from, spoke of their growth from a four-man company to a multi-billion dollar organisation in 15 years. This astonishing growth is due to a commitment to servicing the customer and guiding companies to draw customers in on their own, customised, path to purchase.

Finally, we had a look at social retail with Dean Fankhauser, CEO of Nuji, a social retail startup. He spoke of the growing egocentric consumer and how their world revolves around them via their mobile device.

Think Tank Senior Account Manager, Steve Mancour, says: “This was a well organised event and sought to create a little of the vibe of Silicon Valley near Silicon Roundabout. The idea of networking, talks, wine and beer tasting, accompanied by some delicious food proved a winning combination and certainly seemed to encourage some great conversations from speakers, supporters and guests alike.”

A press meeting with Russian journalists

Formica Russian press briefingPR Account Manager Jana Pavelkova flew to Moscow last week to help facilitate and attend a special press briefing organised with our partner agency in Russia and client Formica Group.

The importance of meeting up with journalists face to face is still key in this world of email and online communication. It offers an opportunity to explore areas of mutual interest, and is critically important in some countries like Russia where press briefings are seen as a requisite for being perceived as a serious player in the market.

We have been supporting media relations with the Russian press for Formica Group over a number of years now, and the opportunity to get together was an important step in highlighting Formica Group’s activities at a local level.

Formica Group’s key representatives in Russia presented an overview of product ranges, surfacing trends and how Formica® laminate is being used and specified in buildings.

Jana says: “We invited the journalists to get involved and ask questions throughout the presentation, which led to some very interesting discussions such as the differences between country specific design trends, sustainability vs greenwash, as well as the latest advances in laminate manufacture and the material’s progression since 1913.

“The face to face meeting with journalists also helped to establish Formica Group’s presence on the Russian market and presented the company as an expert in their field.”

The Think Tank wins global brief from Asendia

AsendiaAsendia, the La Poste and Swiss Post joint venture which launched in 2012, has awarded The Think Tank the brief to plan and execute a series of campaigns for 2014, which include creative, production, digital outreach, and public and media relations.

Based around Asendia’s brand theme ‘The world is your address’, we will roll out campaigns targeting customers and potential customers of the company’s cross-border delivery solutions. The campaigns will be delivered in a number of countries around the world and will feature multiple language elements.

For 2014, work will kick off with a campaign directed at how Asendia can enable the growing opportunities for eCommerce business across borders. This will be followed by a focus on the company’s new global offering, a comprehensive range of international mailing and shipping solutions for business, direct marketing, internet retailing and publishing.

Campaign elements will comprise owned, earned and paid for media, with a focus on an integrated approach. Elements of the campaigns will also focus on employee communications.

The brief was won in a competitive three-way pitch at the end of 2013, with the first campaign due to go live in April 2014. A pilot project for internal communications was completed in December.

Asendia Head of Communication, Domenico Pereira said: “We selected The Think Tank because they combined a creative approach with a holistic view of our brief; we felt that they understood our challenges and would work effectively with the in-house team we have in place in Berne and Paris.”

The account will be led by our Directors Liam Bateman, Samantha Dawe and Shaun Madle.

Helping spread the word for Tackle, the prostate cancer patients’ charity

Tackle press coverageThe Think Tank has been working with prostate cancer patients’ charity Tackle providing some core PR support since the start of the year. In the past weeks this has specifically involved a critical announcement regarding the availability of a new drug for cancer patients.

The goal was to put forward Tackle’s viewpoint on the availability of this treatment which offers a vital lifeline to thousands of men facing ‘death sentences’ due to the very limited options for treatment if chemotherapy has failed.

PR Senior Account Executive Kate Stewart said: “It was critical that Tackle was seen to be involved in the news debate, and we issued a statement saying the charity was giving a cautious welcome to the turn-around by NICE* on the availability of this new drug Enzalutamide.”

“The statement was issued under embargo and we followed up with as many of the key press writing on this subject as possible, and who we have been in dialogue over past months, offering spokespeople from Tackle for comment.”

The PR initiative paid off and Tackle received online coverage on several high profile websites, including The Mirror, ITV, The Daily Telegraph, Nursing Times, The Courier, Daily Mail, and the Huffington Post!

An article also appeared in print in The Daily Telegraph.

*National Institute for Health & Care Excellence

UK-GBC launches new ‘Pinpoint’ website

The UK-GBC launched their new ‘Pinpoint‘ website this week.

Pinpoint is an online resource for the green building industry which gives industry professionals the opportunity to share their insights on a digital platform.

The new Pinpoint offers users a number of ways to filter their way through resources – from simple tick boxes to a Google-like search bar at the top.

Pinpoint is completely free both to sign-up and post your own resources or to read ones other users have uploaded.

The Think Tank is very pleased to have been involved in this project and are proud of the new website which has been built.

Take a look at  the new and improved Pinpoint here.

The Think Tank unveils ‘the best pool table in Clerkenwell’

Having already featured on this blog, The Think Tank has been able to get their hands on their own Fusion Table.

For those that don’t know, Fusion Tables are able to double as a pool table and as a dining/meeting table.

The addition of this table acts as both a meeting room for the team, and also a pool table to help the guys relax after a busy days work.

You can enquire about a Fusion Table of your own here, and tell us if you would one of these for your office.

WEBINAR: Amplifying PR through social media channels – considerations in the B2B context

The Think Tank director Samtha Dawe teams up with Andrew Jackson The Marketing Director of SAS International to present this live webinar.

Focussing from both an agency and a client persepctive the experts discuss the best ways to channel your PR messages in the digital world.

The presentation uses actual examples to provide an insight into the most effective strategies for digital PR.

You can find out more or attend this webinar here.

A brand identity for a new way to power LED lighting

Isotera Brand IdentityThe Think Tank was recently appointed to develop the brand identity and launch a new way of powering and controlling LED lighting from a start up company, Isotera.

The challenge was to develop a clear identity and messaging that allowed audiences to gain a quick understanding of what the company offered whilst explaining a completely new concept in installing LED lighting.

We worked with Isotera to develop their brand values and positioning and then created an identity that represented these and communicated the core offering of the business. The Think Tank developed a marketing strategy to bring the new product to market and launch the brand combining Press Relations, Direct Marketing and Events.

The initial response to the launch of this innovative new system has been very positive and it is set to change the way LED lighting is installed both in the UK and beyond.

for more information please view their temporary website here. A new website will be launched early in the new year.

The Think Tank joins Formica Team at the Great North Run

Kelly-Anne Steenbok and Michelle Plett joined the Formica Team at the Great North Run on 18th September 2011 to raise money for Shelter. Along with 50,000 runners they took the half marathon challenge and have so far raised almost £4,000. Well done to all.

If you would like to support the team please visit

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The Think Tank contributes to RIBA North West Magazine

The Think Tank’s Liam Bateman has contributed an article to RIBA North West’s magazine ‘A’, which has recently been distributed to local practices.

The article discusses why Architectural Practices should use the services of a marketing or PR agency and the impact such a sevice can have.

View the full article by clicking on the link to the pdf.


RIBA North West Article

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Online v’s Offline Direct Marketing – A topic for RIBA Insight Consultancy Days

Blanket online direct marketing, on its own, is neither cost-effective nor sophisticated enough to engage today’s customers, argues The Think Tank’s Liam Bateman who will be speaking at RIBA Insight’s Consultancy Days in November.

It needs to be combined with other activities, on- and offline, to optimise your return on investment.

Direct marketing has gone through many changes in recent years with new online opportunities and more sophisticated segmentation of data. The boundaries are becoming blurred; what does direct marketing now include? How do the various digital channels impact on other marketing channels? Where does it cease to be one marketing technique and become direct marketing?

This blurring around the edges has become more extreme with the introduction of online relationship marketing, or social media marketing, which has now pulled public and media relations into the mix.

The importance of direct marketing has increased in the last two years as budgets have been squeezed and margins cut. Its targeted nature has provided levels of accountability and quantifiable return that other activities cannot match, and as a consequence has led many companies to switch from press advertising to communicating directly with existing and potential customers.

Online direct marketing presents many new opportunities, but is it cost effective? Businesses that switch to online marketing often do so because they perceive it to be less costly, with its promise of reduced print and mailing costs. Online direct marketing can be a better route to take when budgets are tight, however it’s less costly for a reason. Response rates from electronic direct marketing can be very low.

Online direct marketing serves a particular purpose and needs to be combined with other activities to optimise return on investment. Blanket direct marketing alone won’t engage customers used to being flooded with marketing messages. Multiple touch points, where your customers have the opportunity to interact with your brand and products, combined with strong messaging and a reason to believe, are essential in cutting through the fog of marketing activity. It is the suitability of media and message to your audience that is crucial to developing a good relationship with existing and potential customers, not putting all your eggs in one basket for budgetary purposes.

Combining and integrating marketing channels will have the greatest impact on coverage and response. 

Liam Bateman will be discussing this, how social media marketing complicates matters and more at the RIBA Insight Consultancy Days in November. Click here for more information.

Riba Insight Logo.JPG ad searches for the best tradesman!

Great ad for but I’m not sure I would want them in my house. Commercial from Sell! Sell! on Vimeo.

Adaptable Structures opens in Clerkenwell

Adaptable Structures is an exhibition that presents models, drawings and a multiple-level brick installation by Toh Shimazaki Architecture. It opened this week in the Toto Gallery, 140-142 St John Street, London
 EC1V 4UA and is on until 8 October. Worth a look.

See more on Blueprint

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Formica launches new European Collection

Formica Limited has launched its new Collection including intriguing premium textures and many new unique designs.

Formica comments, ‘This new Collection presents a comprehensive palette of High Pressure Laminate (HPL) specially designed in response to European trends. With extensive colour families and co-ordination between ranges, textures and patterns, innovation and exclusivity are watchwords of this exciting offer.’  

The new Collection includes a unique new texture Rigato™ and new patterns Mode, Geo, Dogbone and Strand. The Formica Collection is a practical, trend led resource for Architects, Designers and Specifers and demonstrates how the Formica Group continues to innovate and lead the market in decorative laminates.

Click here to see more

The Think Tank

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Thomas Heatherwick installs Spun seats for Design Week

Designer Thomas Heatherwick has created an installation of his Spun seats designed for the Italian manufacturer Magis. Located in the  Southbank Centre Square it has been installed to celebrate the opening of London Design Week. Watch the video below.



Jaime Hayon launches Sé Collection II at London Design Week

Spanish designer Jaime Hayon has launched a new furniture collection for the design brand .

The brand comments, ‘Solid bronze side tables with fantastic curves. Bold colours applied to confident shapes. A sofa and armchair delicately proportioned but with a wit and presence that sets them apart from any other chair. The upholstery is refined, the styling almost classic but with a look of something very new, very now.’

This great Sé Collection by Jaime Hayon launches at the London Design Week and the series of chairs, mirrors, tables and sofas is Hayon’s first complete furniture range.

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Blueprint 100% Design Awards

The Blueprint Awards are back at 100% Design with a format that guarantees the best work receives a prestigious Blueprint Badge. Opening up the conventional awards structure, there is no limit on the number of possible badge winners for the Best New Products, New Talent in 100% Futures, and the Best Use of Materials. The Blueprint Badge winners were selected by Peter Kelly, editor of Blueprint, and design author and curator Max Fraser in late July.

See more on Blueprint



Murakami comes to Versailles

Takashi Murakami’s whirlwind exhibition of manga-inspired works comes to the Palais de Versailles, Paris, in a display of 22 bright coloured sculptures – does it work with the historic background of the palace? What do you think?

See more on Cool Hunting

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Industry Gallery, Washington DC, opens Nature/Data exhibition

The Industry Gallery, Washinton DC, is holding a new exhibition called Nature/Data by New York-based Italian designer and architect Antonio Pio Saracino. The exhibition features eleven chairs that are constructed in a range of materials including plywood, metal, carbon fiber and synthetics and in various forms such as molecules, leaves, blossoms, and crystals. Great furniture designs that inspire.

See the collection here


The Think Tank

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Just Amazing – Interior of the Mira Hotel, Hong Kong

Miami-based Interior designer Charles Allem has designed the interior of the Mira Hotel in Hong Kong. It is just simply stunning. See loads more pictures of this amazing hotel here. They speak for themselves.

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