Pitch is a boutique recruiter that started out as a marketing and communications specialist. Working in that sector, I’ve known the guys from Pitch for a long time. In fact, I first met them when they’d just started out and have seen them build a reputation for integrity and trust.
12 years on and Pitch still work in marketing and communications but have added many more strings to their bow, bringing a more rounded offer to market. Having seen the work I’d done at the start of 2019 for SF Recruitment, Pitch asked me to put my brand lens on their business.
I started, as I tend to do, with a workshop session. The overwhelming theme that came across was that Pitch always strives to do business the right way. No shortcuts.
Thanks to overzealous practices from some quarters, the recruitment industry’s reputation is often not positive. Pitch tries to rail against this:
“Not arrogant” “Caring” “Honest” “Not ‘cowboys’” “Listen to people” “Most trusted recruiter” “Delivering on a promise” “Listening and understanding”
Being seen as a competent player in the market with a track record of placing senior roles also rang out loud and clear. But rather than ‘playing with the big boys’, Pitch felt that being ‘boutique’ was just fine. Pitch is not a big machine, it is an agile, independent, youthful business, free to be whatever it wants to be with no unseen puppet-masters forcing the issue. Fundamentally, Pitch wants to be perceived as:
• A trusted recruitment brand (not just a group of individuals);
• Renowned for its process in recruitment;
• That does things the right way.
The best companies have an undeniable truth at their core. Accurately defining Pitch’s truth would be a powerful tool to encourage and empower team members to perform at even higher levels. Crystallising the good things they do every day into something they can believe in and use as a benchmark for excellence. Using Sinek’s rule:
Brutally simple. The recruiters you can trust. When it came to creatively executing this truth in narrative, one word jumped off the page from the workshop notes.
Soul. I love this word.
To do something with soul means to commit to it absolutely. Not only to be dedicated to the thing, but more importantly to care for, love and cherish it. To be a curator and a custodian of the thing over and above your own input and tenure. 'Soul' came out of wanting to say something akin to ‘human’ without resorting to that overused cliché. It immediately felt accurate and believable for Pitch.
Personally, I also feel ‘human’ is turning into a bit of a dirty word these days… but that’s another conversation.
‘Heart and soul in every role’ said so much – not to mention some delightful and memorable alliteration. It speaks of the duty of care that Pitch puts into every post they fill. Be it junior, senior, full-time part-time, whatever the scenario. These six words were instantly loved by the client and gave us a solid foundation upon which to build.
We did debate the suitability of the name ‘Pitch’ and decided to retain it pretty much immediately. When the name was originally chosen, it was very much a marketing-centric term suitable to the company’s niche at that point. Now, in these much more entrepreneurial times, and largely thanks to the TV show, Dragon’s Den, the concept of ‘pitching’ is understood in the public consciousness. I also liked the duality in the word, aligning the idea of ‘perfect pitch’ with the business ‘harmony’ the company strives for as a supporting narrative accent.
So to visuals and when it came to the logo itself, I did feel that an evolution of the existing wordmark was the way to go rather than something totally out of character. Geometric letterforms are also very much my style! In my initial doodling, I made the ’t’ in Pitch a ‘plus’ symbol. This suggested a pleasing synergy that could bring the wordmark and ‘Heart and soul in every role’ together in an ownable way.
In development, the ‘+’ took on a life of its own becoming a useful asset in Pitch’s brand toolkit, extracted as a single mark or a repeating pattern. In terms of colour, green had been one of the dominant assets in Pitch’s past marketing efforts. I felt it was important to continue that but to demonstrate the brand change, I introduced a pair of complementary hues as opposed to using just one.
In colour psychology, darker shades of green are said to represent safety, stability and reliability. Pitch’s dark green signifies their longevity and pedigree in the recruitment industry. It says we are a trusted partner to both our clients and candidates. The brighter end of the green spectrum represents characteristics of growth, energy, rejuvenation and fertility. Pitch’s bright green celebrates them as an independent, agile business that is always ready to grow and improve by learning something new.
Read Pitch’s brand guide here.
The Pitch brand went live in December 2019 and kicked off with a Christmas charity initiative in support of local foodbanks and encouraging Pitch’s friends and clients to do the same.
This project represents what I absolutely love doing when I am in work mode. Getting under the skin of a business and working with the people that make it work to find out why it exists. What niche it occupies in a busy crowded world where everyone is screaming to be heard. Where brand is everywhere and where everything and everyone is a brand.
But the most successful brands have an advantage. They tell the truth. Maybe I can help you tell yours.