Icon Agency celebrates 20th birthday with new brand platform

A pile of polaroid-like photographs of Icon's history

This article was originally published in B&T.

National integrated communications agency, Icon Agency, is launching its new brand platform, ‘For people, with purpose’, to coincide with the agency’s twentieth anniversary.

The philosophy encompasses the firm’s commitment to creating positive impact on people’s lives in a socially and environmentally responsible way.

Co-founder and managing director, Joanne Painter, says the phrase encapsulates a belief system underpinning Icon’s operations.

“We’ve always had a great focus on our people; we started as a small family business and now we’re a business that treats all our people like family. By focussing on what we truly wanted to achieve for the business, our clients, and the remarkable people that make us, we’ve crystallised our core beliefs into four words: for people, with purpose.”

The firm remains proudly independent and family owned, led by its two original founders, Joanne Painter and Chris Dodds.

Joanne Painter said independence is a cornerstone of Icon’s history.

“Through twenty years of business, we’re proud to have remained independent. Independence is about more than ownership structure and shareholdings: it’s a state of mind that opens the agency to new possibilities and unshackles it from the constraints of larger companies.

“It’s incredible to remember the small space above a Richmond shop that Chris and I started in twenty years ago and compare that with the team and four offices we have now.”

The new brand platform was developed through a comprehensive review of the agency’s purpose and goals. To undertake the research, Icon drew on the expertise of its own team, having previously designed brands for organisations like KMD Brands and JANA.

“By turning our own brand and behaviour change methodologies inwards, and consulting widely with our team, we doubled down on our true calling – to make a positive impact on people’s lives, wherever they’re at on their journey, and to minimise harm to the planet.

“We’re really proud of the agency Icon has become: values driven, purpose-led and focussed on projects and clients that make the world a better place. But none of that would be possible without the hundreds of people who’ve built Icon together with us over the years.”

With nearly one hundred people across three cities, Icon combines size and agility.

“Icon’s longevity is testament to our integrated model and the appeal of indy agencies in the fast-changing Australian communications and advertising industries. We bring significant experience in solving complex communications problems, whilst also remaining agile and strongly connected with all our people.

“We’re fortunate to have an incredibly talented team whose passion and commitment to clients elevates our work to another level. We also have a large Icon Alumni of past employees, many of whom have gone on to have stellar careers and remain an important part of our wider family.”

The agency’s twentieth birthday caps a remarkable two years in which Icon won three Agency of the Year awards and more than doubled its revenue and size. The agency also opened a new creative production hub in Melbourne, The Content Garden.

Chris Dodds said the agency is driven by continual improvement.

“We closed out our first two decades with explosive growth, but we know how important it is to keep one eye on the horizon. Since Icon’s inception we’ve been driven by intense curiosity and continual learning, which has kept us relevant and open to continual change.”

“We’re always looking for new technology that will improve the way we operate. AI tools, automation, and the Metaverse are rapidly evolving and it’s our responsibility to understand how we can harness these innovations to provide the best possible service for our clients. Ultimately, we want to give our people a platform to do their very best work.”

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