With almost three decades of experience in curating the global business conversation, Catalyst is CNBC International’s in-house ad-sales commercial agency. CNBC Catalyst has partnered with Dixon Baxi to relaunch the brand and reinforce the network’s positioning in the global advertising landscape. The Brandberries interviewed Aporva Baxi, Co-founder and Executive Creative Director at Dixon Baxi, to get his insight on this rebranding hit.
BB: DixonBaxi has partnered with CNBC to revamp its full-service in-house commercial ad sales agency, CNBC Catalyst, to connect the world’s top advertisers with the audience. How can rebranding help in making CNBC on top of advertisers’ minds ?
AB: CNBC is a marque brand in its own right, known around the world for finance, business news, insight and analysis – With almost three decades of experience of curating the global business conversation, the network remains the number one choice of the world’s most powerful business leaders and investors.
The rebrand was commissioned to firmly reassert the network’s commercial position in the global advertising marketplace.
To help make this happen – the heart of the project was to clarify and unify the service and purpose of the B2B sales and content creation teams. Creating a simple, coherent narrative that amplifies the experience and expertise of the team – from data and insights to content creation. Along with a refinement of messaging that gives context to the case studies beyond the numbers to demonstrate cultural value as much as business success.
Max Raven, Senior Vice President, CNBC International, explained, “Advertising platforms have multiplied to the extent that you can talk to an audience in a thousand different ways. But engaging that audience – creating a two-way dialogue that moves the needle – is a much more specialist art. Catalyst will help clients practice that art, so they spark the desired reaction with our affluent business and investor audience.”
BB: The rebranding of CNBC Catalyst came with the tagline “Spark Change”, can you elaborate, what does this tagline reveal from the new brand purpose, tone of voice and personality attributes ?
AB: The new positioning focuses the brand and service that CNBC Catalyst provides around active change. This pro-active approach means leaning into business challenges with a creative mindset to spark a reaction with CNBCs affluent business and investor audience.
All the while moving away from sales as a commodity, to one built on smart joint ventures and partnerships that are mutually beneficial.
As the ‘rights holder’ to the world’s most powerful audience the brand look and tone of voice has a highly premium, exclusive quality. This is not aimed at everyone – only a select set of high-end brands that would benefit and value the relationships that CNBC can foster at a very high level.
And Spark Change is essentially the ‘catalyst’ for that potential.
BB: Brand Agility is now a make it or break it criteria in creating strong brand identites, How Agile is the revamped CNBC identity?
AB: Agility for CNBC Catalyst is in the form of approaching each potential opportunity through creativity – rather than a one-size-fits-all sales approach. To invent and craft, rather than package.
The identity itself feels solid and confident to build credibility and a premium feel. This is achieved through the lens of an exclusive members’ club. The design language has a confident, less-is-more approach from its stylish photography to its refined, bold typography.
The stylish monochromatic look is punctuated by a vibrant ‘catalytic heat’ that reflects the creativity at the heart of the new agency and to move it away from simply being a data-driven business. The palette is born of the iconic NBC ‘peacock’ colour that have been remixed to create an ever-changing liquid-colour effect.
BB: How can the rebranding of CNBC Catalyst reinforce its positioning as a commercial ad sales agency in the global advertising marketplace ?
AB: The rebrand takes separate expertise and functions and unifies them under one approach, service and brand. That in itself demonstrates a confident understanding of who they are and what they stand for.
By knowing exactly what makes their elusive audience tick, they provide their clients with an array of opportunities not even they thought were possible.
And the rebrand helps to refine that message. Moving it away from a purely data-driven, clinical approach to one built on ideas, people and creativity.
Additionally, the brand can leverage three decades of experience of curating the global business conversation and creating an exclusive experience that makes CNBC Catalyst the secret door to the C-Suite.
BB: With the rise of new trends such as “the digital transformation”, do you consider the revamped brand a “digital-friendly” brand ?
AB: The brand’s role is to provide coherence and context around the CNBC Catalyst service. It has a confident and under-stated digital presence which will evolve with the service – but its primary purpose is a flexible, premium toolset for the team to create tailored presentations and opportunities for their clients.
BB: Branding is no longer just about creating identities and narrating stories, now its all about creating an engaging experience, Can you please elaborate on this in terms of the brand-new experience that the CNBC Catalyst identity aims to reflects?
AB: For Catalyst – the experience is driven by smart simplicity, access to world-class expertise and creativity. With a much more refined and simple brand look, the CNBC Catalyst experience has power of purpose and this extends to the evolving way in which the team have started to use and develop the brand system and process. One that feels custom-made and tailored to each advertiser. A bespoke solution for a bespoke audience.