IMA Group is an end-to-end product partner to the global auto parts industry. Through leading market insight, unparalleled technical product knowledge and complete control of its vertical supply chain IMA listens to, predicts and responds to the evolving needs of their customers in numerous markets around the world.
With established operations but little-to-no brand awareness – and having grown exponentially in recent years – the IMA team recognised the need for a new group brand that would hold all of the various parts of the business together, while helping customers seamlessly navigate its offer.
IMA approached us to do exactly that – so we set about crafting a bold positioning, future-fit brand architecture and fresh visual identity that does justice to the progressive and ambitious nature of the business.
IMA Group is proudly 100% family owned – growing from humble beginnings to a multi-million pound company.
IMA serves over 35 markets globally – and has plans for further expansion.
A bold new promise
With no pre-existing group brand, our first job was to get under the skin of the various businesses that together will make it up – understanding how they serve customers, as well as how the group will deliver benefits that trickle down to the product brand level, and vice versa. After numerous stakeholder interviews, we soon had a motivating and meaningful positioning established, which featured a bold new promise at its heart: Think Forward.
This, along with a newly created set of values, informed the creative direction of the brand and the approach we took to architecture, tone of voice and other elements of its strategy, identity and expression development.
Recognising the need for the brand’s architecture to make sense to its customers, as well as allow for the group brand to grow in the future, we considered a simple and common-sense led structure to IMA’s portfolio. With the logic decided, we set about bringing each of the architecture’s key areas to life – giving the group and product brands their own distinct identities but making them fit intuitively and cohesively together as a single visual system.
Linked together by a 45 degree angle, each of the brand’s identities and expressions tie directly into one other – while having enough play and flexibility of their own to stand out and make their presence known within their local markets.
The use of consistent primary and supporting typefaces helped to create stronger visual unity between the different parts of the group, including Shipman Bildelar, while colour palettes were developed to ensure everything linked together seamlessly – especially through the use of blacks and neutral greys across the different toolkits.
We crafted the IMA identity to represent the Think Forward idea wholeheartedly – with each of the three single letters of the name making up a dynamic symbol, anchored with a typeface that features a technical aesthetic.
Introducing a bold and punchy colour palette and supporting signature typefaces added personality to the brand. The addition of animated blurred backdrops, all created bespoke, added further dynamism and energy – while creating further depth to the brand’s toolkit and wider expression.
The IMA expression applied the core colours used across the group’s key product brands – Shipman and Amity – bringing about visual harmony while subtly tipping a nod to each part of the group’s architecture.
We designed the IMA website to represent the business and its new brand as simply and as easily as possible. Featuring animated components, and subtle elements of parallax scrolling, the web experience feels intuitive with easily digestible content, just as intended.
We rolled the brand out across numerous touchpoints, including the design of a large-scale exhibition stand, brochures, stationery and numerous other supporting marketing materials.
The result is a new group brand that makes sense to existing and future customers – and which ultimately puts IMA and its product brands in a position to advance with confidence.
Cubic helped us clarify our vision for the future of our business, before bringing it to life with creative strategy and inventive design. The confidence we have in our new brand, and in turn the difference it will make to how our business is perceived, reflects the level of commitment Cubic put into the project. We're delighted with the outcome.
CEO, IMA Group