In SMPL Q+A, we interview our practitioners on all things relevant to branding, design and simplicity. Here, we speak with our brand experts about our work with global leader in audience measurement, data and analytics Nielsen. Read more about the launch of Nielsen’s new brand identity in their press release.
Why did Nielsen engage Siegel+Gale?
Over the past few years, under the leadership of CEO David Kenny, Nielsen has refocused itself on audience measurement, content and marketing ecosystems in the media industry. They sold off parts of the business that didn’t support this vision, invigorated the leadership team with additional perspectives and experience, and re-invested in technology and solutions with an eye to the future. The ask of our partnership was to tell a clear story of who Nielsen is that would help the brand reflect who they are today: a tech-forward, innovative leader in the media industry.
Can you explain the new brand strategy?
Through our immersion phase to understand Nielsen’s authentic strengths and areas of differentiation, there was a strong and consistent theme around being a force for good in the media industry. Being more inclusive and representative in audience measurement; giving clients the insights they need to make more confident decisions; connecting audiences and storytellers worldwide. As the currency for media measurement, Nielsen plays a vital role in helping do all these things, which in turn fuels the transformation and relevance of the media industry. We encapsulated this idea in the purpose statement: Powering a better media future for all people.
What role did research play in this partnership?
Kristen Berry-Owen: Nielsen understands the importance of listening to audiences. We had the opportunity to partner with Nielsen to create a customized research plan that included exploratory discussion groups and several rounds of quantitative and qualitative validation with current and prospective employees. By listening to a wide range of employees globally, we learned what aspects of the Nielsen culture, opportunity and experience are most relevant and used this to ground the strategic directions. These sessions were also instrumental in engaging employees in a more collaborative environment, leading to greater investment and involvement in the process.
Because language connotation varies based on geography, culture, background, expertise, age and education, we took our strategic directions for the Employee Value Proposition (EVP) into qualitative and quantitative testing. Current and prospective employees expressed their associations and challenges with the content and word choice, then evaluated concepts on alignment with the Nielsen brand and communication effectiveness. We used these findings to determine the best way forward and revised language to ensure the EVP connects with the audience.
How is Nielsen activating its new Employee Value Proposition?
There’s a lot of excitement and curiosity around the new purpose: what it means and how each employee helps deliver on it. And at Nielsen, that’s leading to some great discussions around the employee experience because the population—their roles, needs and motivators—is quite diverse across the organization and globally. So as an immediate activation, Nielsen is aligning around a new, core set of consistent values across the organization. This isn’t just making sure everyone knows what the values are, but what the behaviors and expectations are around them. What does it mean to ‘begin with trust’ or ‘show grit’, and what does that mean for a data scientist vs. a field associate? Through these discussions, which will be supported by complementary trainings and tools, Nielsen is moving to a more collaborative culture that fosters growth, learning and excellence from anyone and anywhere in the company.
How does the new communication pillars & messaging strategy elevate the positioning of Nielsen in the market?
Because Nielsen’s footprint expanded over the years in capabilities and reach, it was more important than ever before to tell a consistent story across businesses and to every audience. This doesn’t mean Nielsen says the same thing over and over, but it has the toolkit to tell its single story in the ways that matter to each audience. We helped Nielsen codify those messages and adapt them based on an in-depth understanding of each audience, the challenges they face, and the way Nielsen delivers for them.
What was the final concept behind the visual identity? Any inspiration you would like to call out?
Simrit Brar: Our inspiration for the Nielsen visual identity was the gamut of emotions we feel as we consume media. Quiet moments, like listening to a piece of music or a podcast; being silly watching a movie on a subscription service with your kids; playing high-energy online games with your buddies and more. Nielsen brings those millions of moments together, accurately capturing them as data and insights that make media more powerful and relevant for a range of global audiences.
The new visual identity expresses Nielsen as a modern, bold, dynamic brand. It is grounded in the brand purpose: ‘Powering a better media future for all people.’ The symbol is constructed using a set of play buttons and ratings as up and down arrows in a multitude of colors, speaking to diversity and richness in media. At the center of the symbol, a transparent’ N’ helps convey Nielsen’s role, powering it all forward. The logotype in sentence case is approachable and bold.
The graphic style called the motion spectrum is built with multiple, vibrant triangles coming together with a movement of color, a beautiful, flexible gradient that also captures within it the precision of data. Each triangle represents a piece of data, a piece of music, a show, a content creator or a member of the audience. The triangles are also used as visual framing devices, moving media forward. Energetic, constantly moving forward, the color palette is bold, fresh and distinctive, created for screens, expressing the diversity of content and audiences and the ever-shifting momentum in media. The design system combines the rigor and precision of data and the expressive vibrance of media and Nielsen’s diverse audiences.
Nielsen’s photography is a crucial brand element that conveys humanity, warmth, and emotion. It is a strong storytelling tool that brings the brand to life. In the selection of audience moments and entertainment key art, the focus is to bring in authenticity and energy.
Brand-Led Change + Activation
Why is this investment in brand such an important milestone for Nielsen’s future?
Thom Wyatt: For nearly 100 years, media decision-makers have relied on Nielsen for their objective expertise in audience measurement. But the media world has exploded. And today’s audience is streaming, surfing, texting, posting and more—often at the same time. And today’s audience is in charge of their experience—accessing the content they want—representing their interests and reflecting their world—when, where and how they want it.
New Nielsen technology, data and analytics are illuminating and empowering the audience. Today’s Nielsen doesn’t just measure the audience; Nielsen also helps connect audiences to more of what they love. From macro-movements to micro-moments across multiple media platforms, Nielsen is at the cutting edge of audience behavior.
Now more than ever, “audience is everything,” and Nielsen is keeping media decision-makers at the cutting edge. Nielsen’s independence, inclusion and insights across all media ensure a better media future for everyone. That’s a step-change proposition and one worth demonstrating to the world through a new Purpose, identity and storytelling.