18 March 2016

Creative Talk with Jonathan Sagar, Creative Director of Voice

Voice Creative Talk


This month we talk with Jonathan Sagar, creative director of brand development agency, Voice. Jonathan has been a champion of brand creation for 35 years and is grateful that he’s able to earn a living doing what he loves.


Voice has been in the industry since 1993, what was the inspiration behind the creation of Voice?


When Voice launched in the early nineties, we realised that in a world of sameness difference sells and brands must find clarity to get it right. And today, this remains our guiding philosophy. It’s easy for businesses to lose sight of what they’re trying to deliver to the consumer. Only by delivering it right can a brand be heard and brand preference gained.


What’s a recent project you have undertaken that you’re proud of?


Coming up with a brand to capture the uniqueness of Ponsonby Road wasn’t an easy task given that Ponsonby encapsulates so many things, but I believe Voice cracked it. Working with the Ponsonby Business Association, we created an honest and simple brand which reflected Ponsonby’s rich, colourful heritage yet was also authentic, eclectic, creative and cool. There’s an inherent ‘hipness’ in Ponsonby Road that no other suburb can claim. We tapped into this to position the Ponsonby brand and develop its identity. ‘Ponsonby: Auckland’s Hippest Strip’ is working to entice visitors and making businesses feel proud to be a part of it.


Do you have a brand or market sector that you would love to work with?


At Voice, we work across most sectors from FMCG to property, industry and corporates. We value our diversity across all sectors and thrive on making a difference in all of them.


Do you find your clients struggle to keep up with the fast changes of the industry?


We live in a fast pace world with accelerated digital technology enabling people to access vast amounts of information quickly. Many businesses feel overwhelmed and do struggle to keep up with what’s going on. We work with our clients’ to digest the relevant information and trends so that they can find the clarity they need to hit the right note with consumers.


As an agency how do you keep on top of change?


We have an insatiable appetite for information spanning both the obscure and infamous across all genres. We constantly look at latest trends, not just in brand development or within our clients’ sectors, but consumer trends and behaviours across the board both in New Zealand and globally. Global shifts impact on businesses, even the seemingly unrelated, and it’s important to stay on top of them, be relevant and connect the dots for the companies we represent.


Can you describe your agency in a memorable, differentiating way in 30 words.


We are a brand development agency dedicated to helping businesses find the answers to complicated problems. We believe that in a world where consumers are confronted with choice and massive amounts of information that having a clear brand point-of-view matters even more.


What’s your favourite font?




Do you find the majority of clients seek you - or do you seek them?


To be honest, it’s a mixture of both although we have done very little to market ourselves as an agency. I strongly believe that reputation is earnt and our clients’ trust us because we genuinely understand their business and work hard to get it right. I never underestimate the power of ‘word of mouth’, but in saying that we watch companies within most industry sectors closely and make approaches when we know we can add real value.


Where to from here?


How long is a piece of string? Business is amazing. We’ve seen double digit growth in the last few years and increasing opportunity in Australia.  The world is changing and shifts in popular culture fascinate me. You don’t see the major shifts in genres and fashion like you did in the seventies and eighties, but trends are still shifting. We take stock on behalf of our clients’ so we can stay ahead of the game. Brands today, more than ever, need to stand for something and be authentic. Our approach is no different than when Voice was formed in 1993; the world is just faster, there’s more going on and more noise, but our job remains the same – to help brands get there.


To find out more about Voice - visit their site