Independent specialist John Haynes Mercedes has the strapline ‘a passion for excellence’. In creating its new website, we knew the imagery would be crucial in capturing and illustrating this vital brand element.
As one of the country’s leading independent specialists in Mercedes-Benz servicing and restoration, John Haynes Mercedes had a pretty good idea of its capabilities. But when it approached us about a new brand identity, our first conversation began: “Remember, your brand is what your customers think of you, not what you think of you.”
Happily, it quickly emerged that we were on the same page. (It helped that we share the company’s devotion to motorsport and near-adolescent enthusiasm for cars.) Working closely together, we created a new brand around John Haynes’ core values of motoring heritage, experience, reputation, responsibility, and taking pride in getting everything just right. Having agreed a clear strategy on brand proposition, position and personality, we created a new logo and identity, which we carried across everything from stationery and advertising and signage to the technicians’ overalls. Then we turned our attention to the website (www.johnhaynesmercedes.co.uk), which we determined at the outset needed to be strongly image-led, demonstrating authenticity and showing skilled people taking pride in their work.
We began by compiling a detailed photography brief. As well as technical aspects – angles, crops, details, viewpoints, styles – it set out the brand values of quality, care, trust, experience and knowledge our images needed to capture. With mood boards, shot list and art direction finalised, we embarked on a three-day shoot at the company’s premises. The whole operation ran with suitably Germanic efficiency. We art directed shot cars from the 1940s to the present day, all brought in specially by their delightful and cooperative owners. We’ve never cleaned so many tyres, but the exhaust note of a 300 SL Gullwing rounding a corner was more than adequate compensation.
Back in the studio, there was intensive post-production work, including Photoshop retouching, to achieve the precise effect we wanted. Though we say it ourselves, it all came out rather well, as you can see below…