Branding for film companies: why investing in design leads to better clients

For film and television production companies to stand out and win prestigious projects, a professional brand is essential

Branding film companies

Moving images have come a long way in the last decade.

Once monopolised by cinemas and TV screens, video content has been revolutionised by the rise of online streaming and social media, providing new opportunities for the people who produce it. It’s estimated that by 2021, 80% of content consumed online will be video-based.

With an infinite array of visual material available online and a new generation of content creators to compete with, traditional film and television companies must work harder than ever to stand out.

High quality, award-worthy work remains an essential element of success for companies in this industry, but making the right first impression with impactful, professional branding is also a crucial component.

Film companies that fail to reflect the calibre of their work with a brand that matches their ambition risk losing the attention of today’s design-savvy audiences, not to mention the clients who can make or break the success of a film or television project.

Staying relevant in a crowded marketplace

To say that the internet has changed the film and video production industry would be a huge understatement. On YouTube alone, 400 hours of video content are uploaded every minute, providing limitless choice to viewers.

Elsewhere online, paid streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and soon-to-be-launched Apple TV+ provide new platforms for film and TV companies to reach a global audience. National broadcasters like BBC and Channel 4 are also moving their efforts towards online content, with dedicated streaming services and exclusive digital programmes becoming commonplace.

Such monumental, industry-shifting changes have opened the floodgates for digital content creators, while simultaneously posing a challenge for traditional film companies.

Commissioning organisations are increasingly on the hunt for production teams who can keep up with the changing habits of consumers, and who can produce content that’s worthy of audience attention.

By investing in professional branding, film companies can position themselves as relevant to today’s audiences, demonstrating parity with the platforms and channels that shape viewer tastes.

Professional brand, professional reputation

Film companies that want to land high-profile commissions from high-paying clients, win awards and attract the best talent need to think carefully about the branding they use to position themselves.

When tasked with rebranding London-based independent film company Oxford Films, one of our key objectives was to modernise the organisation and help it to achieve parity with the likes of Netflix, BBC and Channel 4.

Despite a noteworthy portfolio of film and TV production work, the business’ previous brand was failing to reflect the team’s high level of expertise in making documentaries, drama and arts-based programming.

By analysing competitor organisations and commissioning channels, we came up with a brand identity for Oxford Films that presents them as authentic and original storytellers in their specialist genres.

The new brand and website draw parallels with well-known channels, while setting Oxford Films apart from less experienced companies by focusing particular attention on the projects that have attracted high viewership, critical acclaim and respected industry awards.

To ensure that the Oxford Films brand remains harmonious in all future marketing materials, we produced a clear set of brand guidelines, covering areas such as typography, colour and photography style.

The Co-Foundry helped us rebrand and design an aesthetically pleasing and functional website that reflected our core values and positioned us more effectively in our market.

– Alice Kent, Oxford Films
Since rebranding, Oxford Films has worked on prestigious projects such Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy – a film that has been broadcast by ITV and HBO and received praise from reviewers at The Telegraph and The Guardian.

Designed to attract better clients

Investing in design has helped Oxford Films to attract well-suited projects with clients who value their expertise. In a visual industry such as film and television production, branding and design serve as indicators of quality, which commissioning organisations undoubtedly take into account (recent rebranding efforts by Channel 4 and Netflix illustrate the continuing importance of design to such companies).

Perhaps due to the creative nature of the industry, some film companies assume that their own team will be able to design a suitable brand identity. This not only risks undermining the body of professional work that a company may have spent years accumulating; it also serves as a distraction for the talent within an organisation, who could be putting their creative efforts into award-worthy projects.

Conveying professionalism and originality through design is best left to specialists who have spent their careers developing the craft of impactful branding.

At The Co-Foundry, we specialise in helping film and television companies to stand out from their competitors and achieve ambitious business targets through design and branding. Our facilitated brand workshops get to the heart of what makes your organisation unique, helping you appeal to the clients you’d most like to work with.

Contact us today for a chat about what great design could do for your company.

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