LONDON—College Group, the UK-based PR business founded in 1990, is rebranding as Instinctif Partners.
The move sees the group's various units, including College Hill, The College, College Public Policy, Policy Action, Green Issues Communique and Stockheim Media, all switch their identity to Instinctif Partners.
According to CEO Richard Nichols, no changes have been made to the group's management or structure. "Our brand was getting in the way," he told the Holmes Report. "We were building through all our little brands, and that was great. It was almost feeling as if we were talking to clients as separate businesses."
Nichols believes the single brand will help the business better "articulate our size and scale".
"We spent seven years taking College Hill, founding College Group, building these seven groups," he said. "We’ve quadrupled our business. Having the specialist name College Hill helped us in our evolution, but we’ve now got to the point where we’ve outgrown it."
Instinctif now owns 20 offices across 12 countries, employing 400 people and recording turnover of £45m. The firm has been backed by private equity house Vitruvian Partners since 2011, and founder Alex Sandberg stepped down in 2012.
Since the private equity deal, Instinctif has considerably expanded its overseas operations, last year opening in Dubai, Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong. Nichols noted that the firm would remain focused on international markets, including Africa and Latin America.
Managing partner Tim Fallon added that Instinctif would act as a "challenger brand" among corporate PR firms. "In our broad corporate space, there was a sense of staleness and a slight homogenisation."
The group's insight consultuancy, Truth, will retain its separate branding.