Rebranding a branding business: MD sets his sights on a bright future for Sun Branding Solutions

* 4 min read

It might seem like a bit of a busman’s holiday, but there comes a time when a branding business needs a rebrand. Here, Sun Branding Solutions MD Paul Bean explains why he’s making some big changes to secure a bright future.


If there’s one thing you can say about our business, it’s that it never stands still. Since we started life as Gilchrist Brothers back in 1893, we’ve always been evolving and innovating, and have always led the way.

We launched the first ever digital artwork studio in 1984, introduced Apple Macs in 1993, had the first ever colour scanner, produced the first piece of digital artwork and were the first company of our type to introduce a dedicated creative design studio in 1998. And we evolved again when we became part of the Sun Chemical family in 2006; being part of the world’s largest graphics arts business has given us unrivalled support and helped us become the business we are today.

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We’ve evolved as our clients have, adding specialisms and services to meet the ever-changing challenges and demands of their high pressure markets. And we’ve made sure we’ve done it in a way that’s right for our clients, but right for our business too. We’ve searched out the brightest and best in each of our specialist areas and brought them in to the Sun Branding family.

In the past, our business areas have thrived in their own markets, holding their own as individual ventures. They’ve proved themselves more than capable of competing in their respective spheres, and now we’re bringing them back together to leverage the power of their combined insight and experience to create real benefits for our clients.

There’s been a lot of work behind the scenes and we’ve spent the last 18 months planning for our next chapter, making internal changes that will ensure we meet our strategic goals over the next five years and which put creativity at the heart of everything we do.

We’ve recently strengthened our creative offer, with the opening of our Parker Williams studio in the north. We’ve added to the already strong leadership team with the addition of Simon Gore, managing director of Parker Williams and Guy Douglass, who heads up Parker Williams north. We’ve also added extra retail and brand strategy experience, recruiting Sonia Whiteley-Guest as group commercial director and added HR expert Marie Guest to our exec board to lead our people and culture change agenda.

We’ve secured our own sites in Chennai and Bengaluru in India, aligning them with our culture and policies, and most recently, have opened a new creative office in the heart of Dublin to service our Irish clients.

We’ve restructured our teams and recruited more creative-led account managers across all of our account teams to support our creative and graphics teams and our clients’ teams in managing creative feedback and output more effectively.

We’ve created Sunrise – a smart product management system that can handle everything from asset management to artwork approval and video annotation, based on all the things we’ve learned from working with big brands and retailers.

And now, more than ever, we’re utilising all our teams many years of experience working with brands and retailers to create a joined up offer that gives our clients everything they need to take their big idea off the drawing board and get it in to their customer’s shopping basket in one seamless service.

In light of these advances, we felt that our brand, which has served us well for many years, was in need of a revamp to reflect where our business is now and where we see it in the future. As a business with creativity at its heart, we wanted an identity that reflected our ambitions for the future, while not losing sight of where we’ve come from.

But our brand is more than just a visual identity; it’s centred around a new proposition, Brighter together, which is inspired by how we work together internally and how we work with our clients. Each team is brilliant in its own right, but it’s when the teams come together that we’re at our very brightest. Of course, you can still choose to work with just one, or any combination of, our teams to get the support you need, but we believe we are at our best when we work together.

We’ve got ambitious plans for growth, in terms of clients and locations, between now and 2020 and we’re confident that our Brighter together approach will help us get there. We’re committed to engaging and developing our people to bring them along on the journey with us, encouraging them to challenge and ‘be brighter’ to help us drive our business forward.

It’s an exciting time and our new look is only the start. But I’m confident that with such a talented team behind me that we’ll achieve our goals… together.’