Rebrand brings about a new Union

Full service digital agency Federation Media has rebranded as Union, a change that “reflects the company’s focus on the strategy, delivery and analysis of insight-led digital campaigns” and also aims to remove a bit of confusion in the market about its offering. 

“This is an exciting step for us, and represents a milestone in an ongoing programme of change and growth in the agency,” says chief executive Geoff Devereux, who moved to the indie agency in November after a few years as general manager at Tequila, started online media company Paperaeroplane and co-founded leading digital creative agency Delete (check out our interview with him a few years back). ”We now have a much bigger team covering a wider scope of digital service from strategy through to creative and production, campaign management and analytics.”

He says the change of name was partially linked to confusion in the market, with Federation being another independent ad agency and the term media being largely redundant. 

When he started late last year, he says a rebrand was already underway, but, as he encountered some confusion himself, he says it made sense to “take a look at the whole thing”.

“A name should pop out of that process,” he says. “But it wasn’t a major thing for us.” 

In the great traditions of agile/lean startup/mvp the first version of www.uniondigital.co.nz has launched and it will be iteratively enhancing it over the coming weeks. 

Union used Leone Murphy and Tana Mitchell to create the brand identity. 

“We work with them on a fairly regular basis where clients are after brand work,” says Devereux. “Leone had just come back from the Stanford d.school course, so she took us through the process. It involved a lot of internal thinking and input, but we’re really happy with the result.” 

He says Mitchell went directly from working on this project to playing a lead role on the soon to be relaunched rebrand of quirky.com in New York.

Adding to the new look, Union also has some new faces and has appointed Todd Wackrow, former chief executive of PocketVouchers, to lead the client services team. 

“We’re really excited to have Todd on the team. He brings ten years of digital strategy and specialist mobile marketing experience from working with a wide range of local and international brands across New Zealand and Australia.”

Union now employs 15 people, with more recruitment expected in the coming months. It is currently searching for a new independent director (Interested? Apply here). 

Devereux doesn’t think it’s unusual for a company of this size to have an independent director. And he says Union is very fortunate to have Simon Telfer as board chairman, because experience and good governance is crucial to give businesses direction and create growth. 

At present, Union’s client base includes large corporates such as DB Breweries (it made the first Tui website and is now the lead digital partner), Telecom, Fisher & Paykel and PwC, as well as a number of ambitious, mid-sized New Zealand brands.

“DB Breweries has worked with Federation Media for seven years now and enjoys an integrated relationship with Geoff, Matt, Richard and their team,” says Rachel Broadmore, communications manager at DB Breweries. “DB has benefitted from Federation Media’s expertise in relation to our online brand work and also our corporate DB website, and we wish them the best of luck in the launch of their new agency brand Union.” 

Here’s the mission statement: 

The more digital becomes a core part of our daily lives, the better we need to understand how to combine things in a way that creates value for users and consumers. It is not enough to have a website and 50,000 fans on Facebook, it’s how we bring them together to create a meaningful experience that is important. This is Union.

Data is everywhere, and social media has largely become noise. The brands that flourish in the next wave of the digital revolution will be the brands that listen and understand. Monitor, evaluate, analyse and plan.

This is Union…

We always have, and always will employ smart people – people who know the medium and who work hard to get results. But this is only one part of the picture. Another {big} part is the clients we work with and our understanding of them. Good results come from knowing an industry and knowing what our clients customers need – we build up this knowledge over time, using insights to create better results – consistently. Campaigns generate insights; insights generate better campaigns – again, and again, and again.

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