Last Friday myself, Mike and Rob were at Chepstow Races for the launch of a new business club called Fiftyone3. Sounds a bit dull doesn't it? Well, it was actually really exciting, as this is a shiny new business club aimed at young (under 35-ish), ambitious and fun professionals, designed to knock the socks off formal and stuffy networking events. Fortunately, we all just about qualified.
Whether you like it or not, if you're in business, networking is vital. It creates opportunities, connections and raises your profile. The problem with many networking events is that they're quite often large, impersonal and for the young guns, a bit intimidating. This is because there's a tradition of 'selling, not buying'. It can be a high pressure environment which is very structured and formal in order to get as many people as possible to exchange business cards. To be honest, that's just not cool. It's only hardened networkers that actually enjoy that sort of thing.
Fiftyone3 is here to offer a fresh way of connecting people. The focus isn't on who can collect the most business cards, it's about creating opportunities for younger professionals at various stages in their careers to get together, have a drink and make friends. The aim is to build lasting relationships that will invariably lead onto business opportunities in the future.
As part of our partnership, Toward are responsible for the branding, design and digital marketing of the club. We worked with the other partners to come up with a range of name suggestions and Fiftyone3 was the winner. To us, a good name creates interest and intrigue, gets people asking questions and is something that people will recognise when it's mentioned. Being based in south Wales, we all looked at local numbers that could be used and came across the coordinates for the area of 51 longitude and -3 latitude. And that was that!
The logo is made up of two main elements; the word mark set in customised Helvetica and the overlapping network of hexagons.
Fiftyone3 word mark and hexagonal logo inspired by a bee nest
The hexagon shape was a key part of the brand, which was inspired by the complex network of a bee hive - a symbol of working together and relationships. For the intersecting hexagon logo we used a range of bold, bright colours which symbolise the type of people the club is aimed at. The individual shapes overlap, which creates new shapes and colours representing the new relationships we hope to form. This also gave us a strong graphic shape that we used to create a design style.
Fiftyone3 roller banners and website
So far we've created a set of stationery, roller banners, a mini fold out leaflet and a temporary website where people can sign up for email updates, while the main one gets under way. We also styled the twitter page, which is going to be a key communication tool going forward.
So what’s next? Well, we’ll start by getting the website up and running and we have the next 5 events booked in (they happen once every two months) so we need to get planning for those too. This hasn't been an idea months in the making, but the level of interest and feedback so far has been pretty amazing.
The Fiftyone3 partners - Mathew Hughes from HSBC, Caroline Holmes from Working Word PR, Mike Jordan from Toward and Cennydd Thomas from UHY Peacheys
The future's bright. The future's a multicoloured hexagon.