Fortem & Mode
From temporary retail agency to luxury brand.
Fortem & Mode is a specialist recruitment agency providing elite temporary retail consultants to the luxury beauty and fragrance industries.
Those of you who have visited a beauty counter looking for new make-up (and the like) will know how lovely it is to happen upon someone who not only knows their stuff inside out, but makes you feel amazing. That’s what makes Fortem & Mode so special;
… they’re not your typical temp agency – they don’t just fill gaps, they drive business. The consultants on their books are part of a community who don’t just aim to fulfil staffing needs, but embrace opportunities to make a difference.
When Fortem & Mode came to us, they were in need of a complete rebrand, rename and website. Having been found in 2005, the agency had a great reputation but a dated look and feel. Now, under new ownership (a previous client of ours, actually!) they were ready to inject some vitality and class into their brand image.
Fortem & Mode
Changing the name
Previously named after the company’s founder, the brand needed a new and distinct name that not only stood out amongst competitors, but could sit alongside high-end brand names such as Chanel, Laura Mercier, and Nars.
We were keen to explore Latin; a classical language with bold-sounding words. We decided on Fortem, which means brave or strong, in order to convey a robust and distinguished business. Mode came about for two reasons; it means the manner in which something is experienced (a big part of this brand is the luxury experience they provide), but it can also mean fashion or style, which works perfectly within the retail industry. The ampersand, well, who doesn’t love an ampersand! It’s a stylish element that lends itself to interesting typography options. It adds a certain… je ne sais quoi shall we say?
Not your average agency
As with any rebrand, we started from the strategy up. Yes, the brand needed to look beautiful, but the company’s long-standing commitment to meticulousness, high-standards and human-connection needed to shine through. We created a brand strategy that would act as their manifesto to live and work by – a mantra and written reminder that it’s not all about numbers on books and mindless transactions, but about seeing the industry and the people within it thrive.
Look and feel
The brand needed to look high-end from the moment you came into contact with it. We created a bespoke typeface which was the perfect balance between modern and classic, giving Fortem & Mode a timeless and fashionable feeling without appearing dated.
The color scheme was put together to reflect the same level of sophistication, adding a pop of gold in for extra luxury and glamour. This use of gold lends itself amazingly to printed materials; something that was important to Fortem & Mode. From spot UV to foiling, adding this metallic colour to otherwise monochrome materials gives a sense of utter grandeur. We also indulged in some black on black print… delicious!
Speaking to different audiences
The website needed to target three types of audiences:
Inspired by print
We looked to print for inspiration in designing the Fortem & Mode website. The beauty retail industry is extremely tactile; often you sit down with a consultant who takes you through physical products before applying them to your face as you sit there meditatively.
With less of a focus on selling services, and more of a focus of providing an experience, we wanted the website to invite people in and learn about the brand at their own leisure, rather than see it as something purely transactional.