Brand Magic – When the Client takes the wheel

Making Sweet Brand Music Together
There’s nothing so rewarding as the point in a brand project when the client picks-up on the definition work we’ve completed and begins to bring it to life in their own way, putting their own stamp on their brand communication and taking control of their brand’s destiny.

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The unfortunate reality is that not all organizations ‘get it’ quite to the extent that our client Blue Illusion gets it.

Blue Illusion is an Australian retailer of womens fashion and clothing. Blue Illusion caters for women over fifty through their French inspired boutiques located all over Australia. Our work with Blue illusion focused-on gaining clarity around the essence of their brand so the organization and all those responsible for bringing the brand to life each and every day could share the same rich vision. The central brand thought, values and messaging were wrapped-up in well written a narrative and launched to staff. This was not a re-creation of new brand meaning, but rather a process in identifying which elements of Blue Illusions Brand DNA contained the critical drivers of past and future success, draw those elements-out and string them together in a concise order, and sow those seeds throughout the organization.

Personally, I find few things as professionally rewarding as when a client takes our work and builds upon it to create new and wonderful expressions of their brand. The most recent Blue Illusion campaign is a rich example of what can be achieved when a client invests fully in the brand process.

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A Very French Inspiration
One of the unique qualities of Blue Illusion’s brand is its French inspiration, which is celebrated not-only through the design of their clothing, but also through their unique and store fit-outs. As you’d imagine, French inspiration requires constant trips to France – a task business owners Donna and Danny Guest take-on without complaint. On a recent trip to Paris Donna and Danny discovered a talented local artist – Nathalie Lété. They instantly fell in love with Nathalie’s captivating illustrations and hatched a plan to collaborate with her on a selection of apparel, homewares and accessories, all featured in this season’s collection. Nathalie Lété is known for her work with prestigious international brands such as Issey Miyake, Karl Lagerfeld, Galleries Lafayette and now our very own Blue Illusion. The artistic collaboration provides a rich opportunity for brand storytelling and a new layer of authentically French visual language.

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The real masterstroke though was inviting Nathalie to Australia where she performed Live painting demonstrations at a number of Blue Illusion boutiques in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney.
The bold brand gesture paid-off with mass-coverage of Nathalie’s store window painting in the press and spread across the web, not only promoting Blue Illusion, but richly reinforcing key brand messages of French Inspired Creativity.

The campaign was integrated through Blue Illusion’s catalogue, which was also beautifully illustrated by Lété. During the season, more of Nathalie’s creations will be featured.

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This wonderful collaboration between Blue Illusion and Nathalie is a rich example of how a business with brand clarity can take control of their brand communications, where the work we do can provide a springboard for ongoing brand gestures. Sure, as an organization with creativity in their DNA, Blue Illusion may have a head start over other businesses when it comes to brand expression, but I believe their real advantage lies in the level of buy-in from the top of the business. The high esteem in which the Blue Illusion brand is celebrated by founders and owners Danny and Donna sends a critical message throughout the organization about how important the values and essence of Blue Illusion are to the success of the business.

Even though this wonderful brand gesture for Blue Illusion wasn’t our concept, I feel proud of both our role in helping the brand find its way, but also of Danny, Donna and the Blue Illusion team for the way in which they have embraced the brand definition and brought it to life in their own rich way. Vive le France.

If you’d like to have a chat about bringing a whole new level of clarity to your brand, why not give us a call, we’d love to show you the way.

Dave Ansett, Brandamentalist
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  1. Great story. There is nothing better than seeing a client really embrace their brand and take it too the next level. It really looks like the Blue Illusion and Nathale Lété collaboration have delivered some beautiful results, building on the French style. This story shows some insight into how the brand framework is set up behind the brand expression to create memorable outcomes that are on brand.

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