Yorkshire-based branding agency, Aye Agency, has rebranded and relocated in a pivotal year for the company.
Ironically, the creative marketing agency, which often comes up with names for clients as part of its services, is now called Smith – the UK’s most common surname. The firm has also secured the sought-after domain Smith.co.uk to go with it. Simultaneously, the agency has relocated its premises from Huddersfield town centre to business members’ club, Empire House in Slaithwaite, and is now on the recruitment trail.
Founded by Oliver Smith and Andy Finnerty in 2014, the 8-person firm has grown 25% year-on-year and has 50+ retained clients. Initially established to design logos and websites, Smith now works at director consultancy level, helping to reposition strategies, customer journeys and highly differentiated packaging.
Speaking about the rebrand, Oli said: “We’ve changed a lot since we started, particularly over the last two years. ‘Aye’ is a word that signals ‘yes’. It’s not a bad name, but it’s not going to help us get where we want to be. The fact it means yes in Yorkshire doesn’t reflect us, as we regularly say no to our clients and challenge their thinking.
“Around 750k people in the UK are called Smith, and we’ve proven you can stand out from the crowd with simplicity – as we’ve secured the website domain smith.co.uk. The name isn’t sexy – but you can’t forget it.
“Today we’re clear on why we are here – to create brand impact. We’re here to transform our clients’ business, by offering strategic brand strategies and creative marketing. We feel that we are regularly ‘punching above our weight’. We’re a small but laser focused team, and we deliver huge brand impact.”
Smith has recently picked up several client wins including DIS Network, a B2B network solutions provider with several FTSE 100 customers; Hero Wellbeing, a PE-backed wellbeing business run by ex WeWork and Virgin Active director, Joe Gaunt and a major rebrand for an e-commerce group in Sheffield.
“The word Smith partly derives from my surname,” Oli continued. “It fits perfectly. The name Smith comes from a blacksmith, which was the profession that created a tool used to create the first version of branding, which was on cattle.
“The investment in our new domain showcases our intentions of growth. We are incredibly competitive, and we are focused on winning for our clients. It’s an exciting time for us. We’ll be hiring a number of experienced people in the next couple of months.”