At the loft we value long-term relationships, and our work with software company Altia from late 2013 to early 2020 shows what can be achieved with close collaboration. Founded in 2004 as Altia Solutions, the Glasgow-based software company helps financial investigators increase the productivity, efficiency and accuracy of their investigations. In 2016 after several years of significant national and international growth, the company merged with Nottingham-based covert intelligence systems provider ABM Intelligence. The newly named Altia-ABM was sold in 2020 and is now known simply as Altia.
During our 7 years working together, we helped the organisation create an internationally-recognisable and sector-leading brand, revenues increased more than 6-fold with a comparable increase in profitability. And as a result, the value of the company was significantly higher on exit. We closely collaborated with their management team, many of their staff and various partners, providing significant strategic and operational support during several phases of rapid growth. All in all the loft delivered over 100 creative projects for Altia in a seven year period. These are some of the highlights of our creative work together.
We helped the company more effectively communicate the value of their software solutions to customers by creating a series of bold, impactful and on-message brands for both the organisation and its products. The loft worked with Altia over 3 different brand cycles.
The Altia sub-brands, created at the very beginning of our work together, were instrumental in helping customers understand what each of the initial 4 software packages do, whilst adding a little extra flair to the Altia brand. They have been updated three times in-line with various company re-brands and are still used today.
The second version of the Altia sub-brands created after the merger with ABM Intelligence and now incorporating their products.
The updating of the original Altia Solutions branding (Wee Man) helped to communicate the software’s purpose in helping people manage data.
“In developing the product branding, the loft talked with all the staff and came up with individual product brand designs that reflect the differing properties of the software yet are linked in their overall theme. We are very pleased with the result and proudly include them on all information sent out for the company.”
Ian Watson, Managing Director of Altia Solutions
We helped the company create more efficient sales processes internally and externally by mapping each of the various stages of the buying cycle. We then produced bespoke communications for each of the various stakeholders involved in a complex buying process.
Helping all of the various stakeholders gain an understanding on what the software did and how it could help them was key. We achieved this in many different ways, in the image above, by creating sophisticated graphics showing how the software could integrate into existing systems.
Similarly, showcasing the tangible benefit of the various Altia software packages was important in persuading procurement managers of public-sector organisations to sample Altia’s software. Throughout the years, several graphics/infographics were created such as those above to showcase no of hours saved, etc.
Every attempt possible was made to ensure that communications were easy to understand for users, procurement managers, buyers, finance directors and even leadership teams of various investigation units. This included creating a mix of brochures, mini-brochures, specialist digital communications, etc.
We helped increase sales to customers in both the public and private sectors with the creation and management of a number of campaigns over several years. Seasonal campaigns to target ‘end-of-year’ public-sector spends were particularly successful.
Creative campaigns generally focused on showcasing product benefits to users and buyers alike. (In this case, we exploded the Altia sub-brands for real visual impact.
A small campaign celebrating the anniversary of Altia was shared digitally on their company website.
“We’ve been collaborating with the loft for more than a year and in that time I’ve been mightily impressed, first and foremost with their enthusiasm and desire to understand our business. An easy option would have been to deal with the initial job in isolation, complete it quickly, and move on to another but Benedetto and his team instantly saw the bigger picture and opted not for the quick and easy choice but the more challenging. Their willingness to challenge themselves and push the boundaries shines through in the physical work the loft have produced for us. From a total company and product rebranding exercise to more subtle marketing campaigns the material produced by the loft always surprises and delights me and consistently supports my teams activities to drive sales. Working from the ground up and engaging everyone at Altia, the entire team at the loft have built a strong understanding of our business which they apply to new projects, subsequently presenting the end product remarkably quickly and accurately. Long may our collation with The Loft continue.”
Paul Miller, Sales Manager of Altia Solutions
We helped the company improve customer loyalty, user-satisfaction and eventually increase license renewals by creating several campaigns to help existing operators unlock more of their Altia software.
One of the most effective projects of our collaboration with Altia was the creation of annual email campaigns introducing operators to one new software feature a week. This was in response to a survey which showed that many operators were only using 15-20% of their software packages.
We helped position the company’s brand more strongly, both globally and nationally, in the minds of influential law-enforcement officials. This was achieved by the creation of the ‘thought-leadership’ brand SOCEX and the delivery of all communications over the first 4 years of the event.
Showing real and lasting commitment to the sector while increasing brand value was achieved with SOCEX. SOCEX was a new initiative and series of events conceived by the Altia management team to bring together key individuals from the law-enforcement community. The loft was responsible for brand creation.
And were responsible for all event communications for the first 4 years of the conference.
Great efforts were taken to also help Altia win hearts and minds at the SOCEX conference with their own marketing communications. The Altia Times newspapers, in particular, were a great hit with law-enforcement officials.
“SOCEX, Serious and Organised Crime Exchange. As a concept, the Conference title can spring up many images — whether coming from the dark world of blockbuster thrillers or gritty police dramas on TV. The loft managed to capture the seriousness of the subject matter being discussed across the two day conference while providing a document which will have a life long after the conference itself, capturing the core elements of the event in such a way that attendees and their colleagues will return to it as a vivid reminder of what took place.”
Martin Jack, Managing Director of Think Different Events and Co-Founder of SOCEX
“When Altia decided to develop and be the lead sponsor of the ’SOCEX 2015’ conference and the 10th Annual ‘Keith Hughes Awards,’ The loft worked closely with us and the event management company to produce the unique branding for each of the events. They delivered excellent work within tight tight deadlines and the results were commented on very favourably by man of the attendees. The branding is being used for the 2016 events and I have no hesitation in recommending the loft to deliver innovative and interesting designs.”
Ian Watson, Co-Founder of SOCEX
In 2016, Altia Solutions merged with ABM Intelligence and eventually became Altia-ABM. Throughout that period, the loft engaged in a substantial vision, mission & values exercise with both companies. The results of the work and the process itself was invaluable in a number of ways. The creation and delivery of coherent and impactful value statements helped the company achieve a series of high-value sales with larger organisations (including local/central/national governments worldwide.) The exercise undoubtedly improved staff relations between the company employees and the various management teams – there is nothing quite like being able to express an opinion on how you would like the company to be and have that idea taken seriously and carried forward. On the whole, the Values, Vision & Mission’ exercise helped to facilitate a more harmonious relationship between both companies at the beginning of their time working together.
A selection of images from the Vision, Mission & Values exercise as carried out by the loft.
The visual style developed by the loft for Altia Solutions was also carried over to ABM Intelligence. This resulted in a range of new brand/marketing materials including the ABM Intelligence brand identity (above.)
“The loft helped us to create a new brand after our merger in 2016. They went to great lengths to talk to everybody in the company, they were always responsive with changes and both the identity and cultural aspects of the new brand have been a great help to us in re-posiitoning the organisation and getting our message across. We very much enjoyed working with them, highly recommended.”
Paul Hardman, Business Relationship Manager of ABM Intelligence
We helped the company’s management team over several years with strategic advice on both brand and marketing. We would also host regular meetings to suggest new ideas for campaigns, communications and brand-building. We also helped the company’s sales and marketing teams operationally over many years by meeting countless tight deadlines, both nationally and internationally, during several phases of rapid growth.
Dealing with tight and challenging deadlines was common throughout the entire period of working together. To showcase ideas in a fast and easy way – the loft team would regularly sketch out various concepts to give Altia staff a visual to use during meetings.
We were delighted to form such a close and mutually beneficial partnership with the entire Altia team throughout our time working together.
“Over the past 10 or so years we have worked together on several important projects for Altia Solutions. From a completly new identity for both the company and the software products to working closely with me in developing the SOCEX brand. I´ve always found Benedetto to be receptive to our ideas and always delivers new and exciting design concepts from a revitalised on-line presence through to conference collateral materials, printed brochures and product infographics. This work has helped to create a group brand image that is now part of the company’s culture and this has definitely helped in our world-wide growth. He is good fun to work with but always very serious about his creative work.”
Ian Watson, Founder/Managing Director of Altia Solutions, Founding Partner of SOCEX & CEO of Altia-ABM