How Packt Achieved Brand Consistency Across GTM Initiatives

How Packt Built a Brand Prioritizing Consistency and Endurance - Superside
Reduction in design iterations

10X - 20X

Design support

Full Stack

Brand consistency



Helping the World Put Software To Work in New Ways

Packt is a UK-based publishing company specializing in educational books and video courses for IT professionals. Packt prides itself on bridging the difference between software's intended use and its real-world application, ensuring users maximize their tools' potential.

Oliver Huggins, the Product Director of Publishing, sought to refine and standardize Packt's visual identity to better appeal to their audience. Catering to detail-oriented developers and digital creators, Huggins faced the challenge of blending a refined brand image with a unique identity.


Outgrowing Brand Guidelines and Overcoming Agency Burn

Since its founding in 2004, Packt has undergone a handful of brand refreshes. In 2016, Packt worked with a local marketing agency to develop a set of basic brand guidelines as a one-off project. After over two years of scaling, it became clear they had outgrown their brand guidelines—ah, the inevitability of growth.

Good news: you’re scaling.

Reality check: your brand is at risk of being unsustainable and will eventually slow down your ability to build brand equity.

For Packt, this manifested in inconsistencies across their digital properties. It showed up in mismatched, off-brand book covers and a lack of visual cohesion on their website. Brand consistency was quickly fading away because essential brand elements were missing in the 2017 guidelines, leading various teams to produce marketing material with different interpretations of the brand.

With no way to re-engage the agency to fill these holes, and no scope to hire a brand manager or creative director, the brand became chaotic.


A Sustainable Approach to Visual Branding

Superside combines the attributes of an agency and the range of skills of a global company all within a self-service platform.

Oliver Huggins
Oliver HugginsProduct Director at Packt

Packt used Superside to create a more polished, more complete set of brand guidelines. This time, Huggins would have full stack support to execute those brand guidelines properly across all their marketing touchpoints and into their product—helping to maintain the personality of their brand while building on its versatility.

Because Packt deeply understands its audience, through this refresh, they made data-driven decisions allowing its brand to resonate more deeply with its community.

The updated direction of their visual brand resulted in a strong minimalist look with thoughtful, “easter-eggy” touches throughout the buyer journey. The refresh provided the space and direction for opportunities for brand expression that reinforce their authority in software development.

Aside from polishing their visual brand elements, the gaps in their guidelines now have firm rules and guardrails.

Superside does all the heavy lifting from a design and creativity perspective and then I’m able to bring those templates and frameworks into our internal team and turn more repetitive design tasks into a more streamlined process with more junior designers who can then easily deliver brand consistency.

Oliver Huggins
Oliver HugginsProduct Director at Packt

Subscribing to a Design Team That Feels In-House

Superside is purpose-built for teams like Packt to be able to get 24/7 coverage across 19 time zones from a talented team with global perspectives which means faster response times and more frequent communication.

One of the biggest benefits of Superside is the asynchronicity, the frequency of communication, the ease, all of that.

Oliver Huggins
Oliver HugginsProduct Director at Packt

By mirroring the way most global and remote companies like Packt are now structured, Superside feels like a natural extension of the Packt team, giving them access to a creative director, a creative project manager, and a plethora of creatives with the skills they need, without needing to increase headcount or onboard a new team member to their brand.

"What stands out to me is the responsiveness of the team and designers we work with. I could have a request come in from my team, message Magnolia [Packt’s Creative Project Manager] and she’d respond to me in about five, ten minutes so it’s more akin to working with someone within your organization."


Packing Quality and Consistency in the Brand-Building Process

With Superside, Packt has a reliable, fully stacked design team that always delivers on-brand because they are the same people who conducted their brand refresh. Rather than collaborating with one entity for brand identity and another for its execution, Superside ensures that your creative needs are met while maintaining your brand's integrity.

There’s a kind of democratization of the IP that comes with working with Superside that you don’t get working with traditional agencies.

Oliver Huggins
Oliver HugginsProduct Director at Packt

Working within this relationship to produce creative and design provided Packt with:

Speed of production

“Before Superside, requesting creative designs internally meant 10-20 different interactions before we were happy. Since then, there’s very rarely a time where I look at Superside’s first pass at a project and it needs more than a few tweaks and it’s good to go.”

What’s more, projects are completed faster as creatives work on requests even after you clock out.

Quality and brand alignment

Previously, Packt faced challenges with their brand's visual consistency, leading customers to question the authenticity of their new products. It was difficult to achieve the brand cohesion you need to maintain authority and build trust amongst your audience.

Huggins, in collaboration with Superside, addressed this issue by developing templates and image libraries for Packt's book covers, ensuring uniformity across both physical and digital products. As a result of these efforts, such negative feedback has significantly diminished.

Initially, Huggins was the sole point of contact with Superside. However, as Packt's brand expanded, their engagement with Superside increased, leading to more teams using the service for their design needs. Consequently, Packt has not only empowered its go-to-market teams to foster a consistent brand but has also set a foundation for integrating brand best practices throughout the company by making quality design readily available.

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