How to develop your brand, products and services

You can add value to your business by developing your brand, products and services. Creative thinking is the key to unlocking the potential…”

You can gain maximum value by creating visual assets, bringing new products to market or launching new services. I will bring a fresh perspective to explore the possibilities, and deliver the solutions.

One of the high profile brand development projects I’ve been involved with and my claim to fame is I invented The Metrognomes. I was responsible for the character creation, brand development, product design, display and interactive experiences at intu Metrocentre.

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In 1997, Ron Woodman, Metrocentre’s Marketing Manager, approached Centre Design with an idea to create a single character called a ‘Metrognome’ to use in the Christmas promotion. At that time, I was the Design and Display Manager at Centre Design and saw this as a wonderful opportunity to bring together the talented in-house team, combine our skills, and let our imaginations run wild!

I’d attended an Imagineer course at The Disney Institute in Florida, and understood one of the keys to Disney’s success was to promote a collaborative culture to unlock the power of the imagination. I value different people’s perspectives so created an environment where my team could think outside of the box and develop innovative ideas. Applying these principles, I mind mapped all our ideas, no matter how crazy some of them sounded! These were then evaluated, curated and developed to come up with a viable solution.

At the end of this process, not one, but four Metrognomes emerged – Herbert, Sherbet, Maggot and Rusty. Along with a pet dinosaur for Rusty called Metroshopasaurus. Each Metrognome had a distinct identity and colour to highlighting the different coloured car parks and malls within the shopping centre.

For the concept storyline development we imagined a land beneath Metrocentre called ‘Metroworld’. This is where the Metrognomes live and is the location for all their adventures.

The Metrognomes were launched Christmas 1997 as they sailed in to Town Square on Maggot’s galleon. Christmas 1998 saw the Town Square transformed into a Victorian Village, featuring the Metrognome’s favourite pantomimes.  Then in 1999 we introduced Millie the Millennium Bug, an interactive robot. The atrium was lit up with a galaxy of stars and planets, featuring a huge rocket display which was built to launch her back into space in 2000.

The Metrognomes have proven to become a valuable IP asset for intu Metrocentre. Used for 20 years in marketing, promotions and events. They have increased footfall, prolonged visitor dwell time, and kept families entertained.”

“Metrognomes, meet your Mummy!

Herbert, Sherbet, Maggot and Rusty have become celebrities in the North East. the years the characters have evolved and grown in popularity. They have appeared as animated characters in numerous interactive Christmas grotto experiences, featured in story books and made into soft toys.

Every Easter and Christmas the Metrognomes star in the annual intu Metrocentre Pantomime, produced by John Lambert at Q20 Events

I recently met up with John Lambert to see the new fully integrated British Sign Language performance of The Metrognomes Easter show. It was lovely to meet up with my Metrognome ‘babies’ again. John introduced me to them saying “Metrognomes, meet your Mummy!”

I think they were pleased to see me…


#IdeasMapping Masterclass

I offer a range of brand development services to help you turn ideas into reality. Every project begins with an #IdeasMapping Masterclass.

Prior to the #IdeasMapping Masterclass I create a personalised digital #IdeasMapping Book where I research your business from an outside client or customer’s perspective and capture ideas to develop your brand.  During the masterclass session I will explore your vision, brand, products and services, look at the challenges you face and what you need in place to achieve your goals. This is all captured and presented as a digital #IdeasMap.

The #IdeasMaps aren’t displayed here due to the confidential nature of the information included in them. However I have some client recommendations on LinkedIn you can review to see the benefit and the skills, knowledge and experience I bring – See my LinkedIn profile here. 

Intrigued? – Discover how I can help you develop your brand, products and services.

Book a free 30mins Discovery Call >

Ann Sig Handwritten