Bastion Collective rebrands to Bastion, launches new brand positioning

Bastion Collective has rebranded to Bastion, and has launched its new brand positioning, ‘Think Wide’.

As part of the rebrand, four Bastion agencies have also been rebranded: Bastion Effect to Bastion Amplifiy, Bastion RM to Bastion Reputation, Bastion EBA to Bastion Experience, and Bastion Banjo to Bastion Creative. All ten agencies within the agency model are now under a single Bastion banner.

Bastion’s rebrand

It’s a rebrand that Jack Watts, founder and global CEO of Bastion, feels is necessary to bring the agency model into a new era.

Watts told Mumbrella: “Of all the industries that have been disrupted by digital, that have had a new world player come through the pack, and come to dominate the market with a new world model that puts the customer in the heart. You think Netflix versus Blockbuster, Uber versus taxis, Afterpay versus credit cards, Amazon versus pretty much everything else.

“Every industry has had that new world player with the customer that’s come and dominated the market except the agency industry market. We are, as an industry, still stuck in the Mad Men era of advertising where the six multinational holding groups have existed, when Don Draper was around, still exist pretty much in the same way today.”

Watts continued: “That’s fundamentally what we’re on the cusp of doing here is creating the new world agency and creating that global disruptive force that unseats the multinational holding groups.”

Bastion’s previous names and logos

With offices in Sydney, Melbourne, LA and New York, it’s the US which Watts sees the most potential for growth for Bastion, which is looking at a “major creative agency acquisition in LA”. Just over a year ago, Bastion acquired two US agencies, then called Cyndica Labs and Huntington Pacific Media.

For Watts, the rebrand is about creating a “channel agnostic” service for clients.

“I’ll be talking to a lot of our clients about what they want, what the agency of the future looks like that can service their business,” said Watts, “Most of which have had to rapidly change over the past 18 months. And what they say is very clear. They want an agency that can fundamentally solve their business challenges, not their briefs.”

“If [clients] talk to one agency, you’re going to get the response of that agency skillset. Now that’s where the benefit of our businesses is. We can be completely channel agnostic because we do everything. But unlike the big holding groups that can claim the same thing, we actually work together for the benefit of the client to deliver a completely integrated approach.”

Bastion’s founder and global CEO Jack Watts

On the Bastion Banjo rebrand to Bastion Creative, Watts commented: “This strategy was done by our creative business, which was Bastion Banjo now Bastion Creative. It was all led by the creative and strategy teams within that business and putting it together. They made the decision that a consistent global brand structure and consistent client experience is what we have to put at the forefront of everything. Our clients have to come before anything else.

Watts continued: “We have to put our customers first so they can look across our service set and how that meets their business needs and go, I know what that does, I need some of that service.

“The Banjo spirit of that business was started with telling great stories, hence the name Banjo, Banjo Patterson. Telling great Australian stories is an absolute ethos and principle that runs through our business and hence we partnered with the Banjo business because we were so aligned on our principles and ways of doing things.”

Bastion acquired what was then named Banjo back in 2018. Banjo was founded in 2008 by managing partners Andrew Varasdi and Ben Lyttle in 2008 with John Singleton and Mark Carnegie. Carnegie sold his stake in Banjo in 2008, and Singleton sold his shares in the agency prior to Bastion’s acquisition.

Varasdi has since become executive chairman at Bastion, with Lyttle stepping into the role of chief strategy role, also at Bastion.

Part of the new ‘Think Wide’ brand positioning includes several staff initiatives: Think Wide Academy, for individual coaching and formal training; Think Wide Leap to enable staff to work in another part of the business, and Think Wide Giant Leap, a pilot employee exchange program in the US.

Bastion has already released work under the new name, with the launch of the AMP campaign earlier this month.

Earlier this year, Bastion Creative named Michael Godwin as its Melbourne CEO, and Alex Carr as its Sydney CEO. Bastion also launched Bastion Interactive, its specialist interactive experience agency in January. Bastion China was also renamed to Bastion Asia in late 2020.


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