The Economist Group

The pursuit of progress

The Economist Group is best known for its rigorous reporting - delivered through The Economist - and its mission to pursue progress for individuals, organisations and the world. But its offer stretches far beyond journalism, bringing expertise to executive education, data and bespoke research, events, forecasting and beyond. The rapid growth of these services resulted in brand fragmentation, muddying their propositions and risking dilution of The Economist’s (strictly maintained and brand-vital) editorial independence. This meant The Economist Group needed a brand architecture and refreshed design system that could bring clarity to their B2B offers, without severing their link with The Economist. But this needed to be done in a way that didn’t undermine the editorial integrity of the iconic journalism brand.

Standing for excellence 

We identified the editorial approach of The Economist as the heart of their brand equity across the Group. So we needed to create brand architecture that allowed other parts of The Economist Group to communicate the same excellence that The Economist is known for, and to apply it to their respective industries and audiences. This was an exercise in radical simplification, bringing the Group’s portfolio of over fifty brands down to just four (including the creation of two entirely new brands, Economist Impact and Economist Education), united under a shared mission and brand narrative, all tied together nicely with the recognisable 'red thread' design theme. And by defining a Group-wide set of experience principles, we equipped each new brand to translate The Economist’s editorial approach into its own language.

A foundation for growth

Our approach enables The Economist Group to preserve the editorial independence of The Economist in the long term, without stymying the growth potential of its B2B businesses. New value propositions and a design system for each part of the simplified portfolio makes it easier to articulate the richness of the offer, helping them create the conditions for progress to prosper.

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“Wolff Olins was a true partner in our effort to drive change for our organisation. They deeply understood the DNA of The Economist, our unique businesses and the need to bring our brands to life in a different way. Input from our customers, clients and prospects was at the heart of this fantastic work."

Kim Miller

Chief Marketing Officer, The Economist Group