Paul Stephens is a small, British company specialising in buying, selling and restoring air-cooled Porsche models built between 1965 and 1997. It’s probably best know, however, for its bespoke modifications to classic cars to fulfil customers’ individual requirements.
The company, based in Essex, is owned and run by Paul Stephens, a lifelong Porsche enthusiast. As is often the case, the company has grown largely on the reputation and person of its founder. While positive in many ways, this can place a natural limit on growth; it can also make it difficult for the owner to delegate, or devote time to long-term, ‘bigger picture’ issues away form the day-to-day running of the business. One of our key tasks, therefore, was to create a brand that could stand on its own: to separate it from Paul Stephens the man.
Adopting our proven methodology, we began by holding an all-day, off-site brand workshop with the business principals. This was an opportunity to gather information, gain first impressions and clarify the project scope. From this, we produced a summary report, outlining the brand proposition and personality, and first thoughts on specifics such as brand, mission and vision statements, and tone of voice.
With this initial work completed, we started developing the brand itself. Our approach was inspired by the experience of driving, owning and connecting with a classic air-cooled Porsche. In words, images and design, we seek to capture the way it looks, sounds and feels – the dream the company’s customers are buying into.
The first large-scale application of the new identity was the company’s stand at the 2017 London Classic Car Show in February (to read the full story and see images from this project click here). Meanwhile, we’ve continued our development work with complete set of Brand Essence Guidelines. This includes a new, rationalised brand architecture, with three sub-brands: Autoart (fully bespoke creations) Works (modified cars based on specific themes) and Originals (factory-standard restorations). Each represents a different type of product, aimed at a particular audience, so has its own bespoke logomark and strapline to differentiate it clearly, while anchoring it securely within the overall Paul Stephens brand. We also produced a subtly different tone of voice for each one.
Our colour palette is dominated by white, with black, red and greys as accents. Red is, of course, a classic sportscar colour, while black and grey lend weight, precision and a cool, refined clarity. This is in keeping with the Germanic character of the Porsche brand, the nature of the Paul Stephens product, and the ‘seriousness’ of the clientele.
The new identity is now being applied across all communications, including a new website, brochures, email newsletters and templates, stationery and other collateral.