Battersea Power Station

The project in summary

The situation

The world famous Battersea Power Station is well known for the number of times that attempts at redevelopment have failed, and the iconic building has fallen into increasing disrepair.

An Irish developer, Treasury Holdings, obtained the rights to redevelop the site. We know the property sector focussed design agency ‘Siren Design‘, who introduced us to Treasury Holdings and we were appointed to develop  a brand architecture for the development. Thank you Siren!

The Work

There were numerous stakeholders: the celebrity architect Rafael Vinoly, the placemakers, and the developers, all of whom had views about the development. To the developers credit, led by the CEO, Robert Tinknell they agreed to embark on a programme of research to get potential residents views. Insight research was conducted, followed by concept development and evaluation, from which recommendations were made.

The Outcome

The developers and placemakers had always been interested in a more progressive project than traditional redevelopments. Our work confirmed the appeal of a more creative / cultured development and gave some more focus to clients thinking.

This is possibly the most sophisticated property development ever, with regard to genuinely understanding the needs and wants of the potential end user / buyer, rather than presuming to know, as is so often the case in the sector.

We understand that the launch has been a huge success.

'A Discerning Community Without the Crap'

The work in a bit more detail, if you’re interested


Stage 1: Insight generation:

We undertook insight research to understand what various consumer segments thought of Battersea Power Station and of riverside developments.

The power station was either considered to be iconic or forgotten about. Riverside developments were considered to be monied but styleless. There was a desire for a more cultured, stylish, discerning riverside development.

For those that considered the power station to be iconic, and for others, once told of it’s significance, it was thought that the Battersea Power Station could provide that more cultured, stylish riverside development. However, there was some doubt that a property developer could ‘pull it off’ as they were considered to be money orientated rather than culturally orientated.

Based on this stage, some propositions were developed.


Stage 2: Proposition option development:

We developed a range of eight propositions, each comprising a description and mood board. Three examples:

Stage 3: Proposition testing and finalisation:

We put the propositions into research and we arrived at an optimal proposition based on the learnings from that research, which was summed up as:

‘A discerning community without the crap’


The proposition had to be ‘toned down at bit’ for investor presentations but it’s spirit was communicated.

Some slides from our debrief follow:

BPS db1

BPS db 2

BPS db 3va

Within the process, we defined target audience(s), a tone of voice / set of brand values, and some physical on-site features.


The site has subsequently been bought by a consortium of Malaysian investors but Robert Tinknell remains CEO and now, as the development takes shape, the implementation of the strategy can be seen, from the involvement of ‘Starchitects’ Norman Foster and Frank Gehry, to the site hoardings, to the use of a beacon first buyer.

The site hoardings:

The beacon first buyer:

And the latest news.

We provided a list of the top ten brands it would be good to attract to the site. Number 1 was Apple:

And after all of that CGI, here is the progress in reality. It’s going up extraordinarily quickly: the building to the right of the Power Station in the CGI above is almost complete.


The penthouse apartments

More examples of our work

Stella Artois

Stella Artois has long been one ofBritain’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, andcommunications plan.

Very successful.


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

We were appointed to find out why and propose actions.