We Analyse, We Question, We Think, We Imagine, We Evaluate, We Create. We Create Actionable, Business Building Marketing Strategy.

We create marketing, brand, and audience strategies that can be applied widely, and which build business.

 

We can do this because we have class-leading experience in the world’s best clients and agencies.

We understand how strategy impacts on everyone from a marketing manager, to a salesperson, to a creative team, to a production manager, to a curator, to call centre staff.

We work with the world’s most sophisticated clients in multiple sectors, across the world. We have worked on some of the most commercially successful and creatively awarded brands of modern times. We bring that experience to bear on all our projects.

What people say about us

“We engaged them to work on a youth targetted music project. They suggested specialist input might help. They ran a co-creation process with DJs, club promoters, music journalists. The work evolved significantly and sailed through research”

O2
“It was a great presentation today, thanks Rick. I was excited, inspired and also a little scared- it reminded me of the need to aim really high with this. A great call to arms!”

Royal Academy of Arts

“The workshops run by Simon and Kiran were extremely valuable. My team felt it was the best training they’d had. It provided theory backed up by real examples, and processes that have given us a framework which is being used daily. Thank you very much”

Tesco

“You are the best agency I have worked with”

Vera Levitskaya
Pernod-Ricard

(Groucho’s is in Soho’s Dean St, and the venue of a workshop we ran for Vera.)

Examples of our work

(Click on the image to find out more) 

Nestle

Nestle impress us. Of the multinational FMCG businesses it is the most flexible and adaptable, maybe along with Pernod-Ricard.

We were appointed to identify portfolio priorities and define key brand propositions.

V&A

Big initiatives hadn’t resulted in big growth in visitor numbers.

We were appointed to find out why and propose actions.

Stella Artois

Stella Artois has long been one of Britain’s most successful beer brands. But it hasn’t always been plane sailing. It has gone through several periods of decline. We got involved during the last one. A repositioning was planned. The ad agency wasn’t sure that was right. They suggested we have a look.

Minette Walters

Our first publishing project.

Defining audience, brand, and communications plan.

Very successful.

We are based in Soho, London. We work in the UK, multinationally, and in individual overseas markets 

 

To see some of the places we’ve been working in, click on the image below:

The library of the Condesa DF hotel, Mexico City

We were there doing insight research into pain relief for McNeil / Johnson and Johnson.

Mexican doctors were surprisingly knowledgable.

Unlike the Chinese doctors we met in Shanghai shortly afterwards: they used Wikipedia as a source of advice. Really!

In their defence, they had grown up in a culture of natural remedies and training in pharmaceuticals was very limited, they told us.

 

“I wanted to write to you in appreciation of our recent time together. They were some of the more enjoyable hours spent in recent months thanks to your refinement, the quality of the process you had worked out and its worthy goals.  All were quite delicious to my intellectual palate.  I congratulate you on a job extremely well done.”

Email to Simon from Stuart Denenberg,
Denenberg Fine Arts, West Hollywood, USA

The excellent Avalon hotel, Beverly Hills. Scene of our stay in L.A.

To answer the question “Why are you called Muse?”

A detail of the Doges Palace, Venice. Scene of a Muse conference presentation

Our name is Muse because of its meaning as a source of inspiration, and the value of inspiration to businesses.

But it also has classical references to quality and endurance, which are characteristics we seek in our output.

We didn’t want to be embarrassed by a transitory, fashionable name that didn’t reflect our values.

So the Doges Palace seemed an appropriate venue for us.

Someone told us it implied ‘old fashioned’.

Perhaps they lacked a bit of discernment?

The Penny Farthing is old fashioned. One of the world’s most iconic buildings isn’t. There is all the difference in the world between being permanently relevant and old fashioned.

We think that truth applies to brands every bit as much as it applies to bikes and buildings.

We’re in the heart of Soho, London, and so we’re in the heart of some of the most culturally influential and inspirational places in modern history. As one writer said:

“Soho needs to be seen to be believed, a beast unto itself, a stage fully dressed with a full cast of actors, professional or otherwise. By day, a warren of streets thronged with film directors, ad agency ‘ideas people’, Chinese porters, Booker Prize-winning novelists, sober ponces, nonces and fakers, Irish vagabonds trying to scrounge a penny to keep the wolf from the door, and everything in between. By night, a neon-lit labyrinth through which courses a virus, infecting tourists and barflies alike, a sickness that makes that one last drink never the final one of the evening and always the first of many more which will maroon a man in London’s heart until the birdsong of dawn, his braces looped by his knees, office eyes zombified, glazed by the debauch, strung out and skint, his wife back in the burbs already flicking through the local Yellow Pages for the numbers of family lawyers. And the hookers in the side street walk-ups, the kind you never see, but who keep the red lights burning in windows whose iodine curtains hang sadly with the scurf of a million johns.”

(The image at the top of the page is of the John Snow memorial, near our office. That groundbreaking, inspirational doctor traced the source of London’s cholera outbreak to the site of the memorial in 1854. It amuses us that the much better known memorial to him is the ‘John Snow’ pub, in the background!)

Recently from our blog:

Brand Definition: Ask Not For Whom The Bell Tolls

It’s at times like these that the benefits of a well articulated brand, the proposition that encapsulates it and the ways in which that brand is manifest all become the focus of attention. And the values that were easy to put down on paper suddenly have to pay their way when held up to the harsh glare of negative publicity. A strong brand should be able to act as both weather vane and litmus test for any potential and real time problems regarding potential or current corporate partners. And whilst the role of corporate social responsibility continues to grow, marketers should be the first in line to articulate, guard and engage staff with brands.

Sex, Lies and Tunbridge Wells

This week’s blog mourns the death of the silly season and celebrates creatives for keeping us on the straight and narrow. A curious side-product of today’s ‘post-truth’ world is that it has made the Summer silly season for news a redundant notion. Sadly, there’s very...

Congratulations!

Congratulations to The Hepworth Wakefield, (above) on being awarded Art Fund Museum of the Year 2017.   Very well deserved winners of the prestigious £100,000 prize. We have worked extensively with The Hepworth Wakefield for a number of years and consider them to...