The Old School House, 66 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4LW
Working out of studios in London, Istanbul, Dubai, Mumbai and Bogota, I-AM has a rich array of cultures, experiences and international insights to draw upon.
You could call them multi-disciplinary, and they are, but I-AM’s holistic approach means each carefully crafted element melds into one, with the aim of creating the best experience for the customer, wherever and however they come into contact with the brand.
Since their formation in 1997 they’ve built up a huge portfolio of clients ranging from Adidas to Carphone Warehouse, Diesel to Diageo, The National Trust to KFC, as well as numerous projects for lesser known, yet equally interesting brands – the emotional engagement between the brand and the customer lying at the heart of each project.
Their pop up projects are especially strong and encapsulate their approach succinctly. They’re often tasked with not only designing the physical space, but the overall strategy; creating branding and marketing collateral, sourcing sites as, well as managing and implementing events and social media strategies.
Amidst the large number of pop-ups that they have created, we love their recent pop-up for Hem, which was designed to introduce the interiors brand to the UK market. Hem had been available online, but the pop-up created a space where customers could get involved with the brand, even creating their own product with the multi-coloured Alphabeta lamp.
They’ve also completed a number of great projects in the hospitality sector including a concept for Pizza Union. Stripped back and raw, the interior is overlaid with a warm red glow of neon signage and subtle ambient lighting. It successfully mixes the urban with the traditional values of pizza making we all enjoy, with a large pizza oven and open kitchen providing an element of theatre, which together create a lively and bustling, yet relaxed vibe. In Soft Republic, they created new and playful and colourful incarnation for Walls ice-cream, which appeals to the inner child in us all. More recently they’ve designed a ‘fast-casual’ concept for KFC, both the interior design and graphic language create a step change for the brand offering customers a new interpretation of the brand’s heritage that is both vibrant and welcoming.
Working with Bawag bank in Austria, they’ve moved the branches from the traditional model to ‘advice centre’ with private and semi-private spaces for meetings as well as a community space for tutorials. Their concept for B Works (powered by the Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank), sees I-AM create a concept that is more relevant to the predominantly digital consumer as it provides a space for local consumers and SMEs to learn, work, bank (and exercise) as well as a wide range of free in-house facilities to transform the high street banking experience and re-establish the physical relationship between a bank and its customers.
With projects such EIB (Emirates Islamic Bank) and many other of their retail and banking commissions, the inclusion of technology is used only where it is right and fitting; giving the customers the best understanding of the retailer and the products and services that they are selling; engaging consumers and enhancing their journey.
The financial sector appears to be a growing area of expertise for the consultancy. Their latest concept for Société Générale used detailed customer research to inform the design and to create a new customer journey which is based on five key digital and staff-led Experience Modules that are designed to increase engagement.
Founders Jon Blakeney, Pete Champion and Pero Trivunovic now make up a team of 100 plus, and the future looks as exciting for everyone working there as it does for their clients.