Inside the brand: Pollitt & World Gold Council

We’ve been busy collaborating with the World Gold Council to deliver their new strategy, positioning, brand idea and global brand refresh. Senior Design Director, Matt Shelley, talks through the process, opportunities and inspiration…

There’s something fascinating about humanity’s relationship with gold. It’s been worshipped and revered for tens of thousands of years for its rareness, practicality and beauty. Since prehistory, people it would seem, have had a primal desire for shiny things.

However, in a world of crypto and digital assets, often people think of gold as an olde worlde commodity – to be worn on fingers and around necks, a sovereign kept under the mattress in the hope it will rise in value, or stowed away in vaults by governments and the super-rich.

The World Gold Council

From governments, to institutional investors to the person on the street, the World Gold Council’s mission is to improve access to gold, to arm people with knowledge, so people can understand how gold can work for them today.

Our work with the World Gold Council has been ongoing for several months. The project represents a global refresh and reposition for the institution, defining a new audience-focussed purpose, visual identity, tone of voice and roll-out into guidelines.

Back at the start of this project we held a brand workshop – one of several we ran with the global team. A conversation went like this:

“The World Gold Council can tell you things about gold you would never believe: did you know gold is in the Covid vaccine?”

“Or the James Webb telescope.”

“If you made a cube of all the gold ever mined, it would only be 22 metres high.”

These seemingly disposable facts did in fact highlight a core truth, and sparked a debate around a new brand idea: the fact that no one knows more about gold – and its possibilities – than the World Gold Council.

Knowing a lot about your industry should be inevitable, but what does that mean for your audience?

A new purpose and brand idea

Being able to articulate what you do – and crucially why – in as few words as possible is an essential part of branding. The brand idea is a short, memorable encapsulation based on truth and purpose.

A brand idea can be internal or audience-facing (or both), be used as a strapline (or not), and should act as one of the primary foundations on which a brand can be built. It’s also incredibly useful as a means to critique any work – the ‘does this feel right’ test. The ‘big idea’ is part of the Pollitt & Partners philosophy, and how we deliver branding projects.

“The ‘big idea’ is part of the Pollitt & Partners philosophy, and how we deliver branding projects.”

Our work and understanding progressed as we interviewed many employees and internal evangelists, from C-Suite to social media teams all over the world and consistently, their knowledge of gold’s economic performance, research and insight, and passion for gold’s possibilities came to the fore.

But because facts are just facts, an emotional resonance is often the key to unlocking engagement. Brands need to express the positive impact of their existence, and make the audience understand what is in it for them.

A new brand idea 

The brand idea is inspired by what we termed ‘the knowledge journey’; a ‘ripple effect’ that grows and spreads out from the insight the World Gold Council shares, and what it unlocks.

The final brand idea is:
Sharing insight.
Driving understanding.
Unlocking possibilities.

One leads to the next, culminating in a tantalising promise of what can be.


A repurposed logo

The final piece of the jigsaw fell into place when we reimagined the three rings in the logo with this new meaning.

Originally representing the ‘past, present and future’ of gold, we attributed the three themes of the brand idea to the logo, starting from the centre. In animation, the rings grow and amplify like ripples on a pool – a neat visual metaphor, and the golden thread that informs the whole visual identity.

“Pollitt & Partners have crafted a brand that we’re genuinely thrilled with. They listened, advised and challenged to ensure together we created something we can take forward with pride.”

Tola Akinyemi
Brand Lead, World Gold Council

Looking to the future

From ESG initiatives in Central Africa to reducing the effects on climate change the World Gold Council helps define policy and progress within the industry. It is working on initiatives around the digitalisation of the asset, creates and shares insight trusted at the very highest government level the World Gold Council and leads the global conversation on gold.

It’s a complex global organisation, but one now united in a shared passion and purpose, and one that can be expressed clearly and quickly.

Visit this project

World Gold Council