Mace Group — Helping a global consultancy and construction firm to become purpose-driven

Mace is a sustainability-focused built environment consultancy and construction business headquartered in London. Founded in 1990, it employs around 6,000 people in territories all over the world. It achieved Net Zero status in 2020 and has worked on some of the world’s most iconic and innovative structures, including The Shard, London’s Olympic Park and Ropemaker Place, one of the capital’s most sustainable buildings.

Mace is taking the lead in improving the sustainability credentials of the built environment sector, which is currently responsible for 39% of the world’s carbon emissions. Central to the company’s ethos is that everyone associated with the industry, from the ground up, should feel inspired to question and address their impact on people and the planet, and to help create a world in which communities can thrive for generations to come.

Since 2013, Mace’s Group Chairman and Chief Executive, Mark Reynolds, has championed change in the industry and sought to eradicate ‘that’s how it’s always been done’ thinking. He is passionate about finding better ways to deliver great work, and about encouraging everyone in Mace to be a part of that journey.
The Mace team approached SampsonMay to develop a new purpose, corporate communications and creative strategy that made its optimistic, entrepreneurial and innovative approach clear to clients, stakeholders, the workforce and the sector at large.
While improving the industry’s eco-credentials is a central tenet, Mace’s brief was also to support a drive for global growth into new sectors and transformation with a new agile performance-focused culture. As part of this Mace is also working hard to address wider ESG issues, such as inclusivity, diversity and gender and ethnicity pay gaps. The purpose, communications strategy and creative output needed to resonate with all members of the community to support recruitment and retention, as well as push for sector-wide eco improvements and drive the business’s commercial agenda.

Following a competitor audit, it was decided that the existing messaging – ‘Pursue a better way’ and ‘Create better places’– came across as vanilla and too close to other purpose statements within the sector and didn’t challenge the status quo. We needed to express their purpose and build an identity around it that separated Mace from the crowd.
Together we developed a new purpose – ‘To redefine the boundaries of ambition’ – that exists at the heart of everything Mace does and stands for. It challenges people to dream big, always inspiring, defying, overcoming, never settling. This is reflected through an open and expansive approach to the tone of voice and imagery, which constantly seek to show things from fresh and unique vantage points.

‘To redefine the boundaries of ambition’ speaks to Mace’s brave ‘anything’s possible’ ethos. It encourages everyone in the company, from the shop floor to the board room, to constantly challenge, question and think of the bigger picture. It drives Mace’s progressive culture and makes an emotional connection.
Mace has built up considerable brand equity over the past 30 years, so we wanted to harness the good in that and adapt it to respond to the new agenda. We implemented some subtle changes to the application of the established brand typography and colour palette to soften them and make them more ‘human’ – and a new line graphic device, extrapolated from the logo, provides continuity across all platforms.

Mace now stands out from the ‘sea of sameness’. The still and moving imagery is epic and cinematic and shows the built environment from a new, exciting perspective. The content style is braver, with a clear manifesto evident throughout. With storytelling at its heart, the communications seek to connect on a more human level and break down barriers.