Between 1999 and 2011 I worked at the heart of one of Europe's best loved travel brands, easyGroup – the founders of easyJet. Established in 1995 by serial entrepreneur Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, easyGroup owned the 'easy' brand and was the incubator for the numerous new ventures launched in the wake of easyJet's success.
As Head of Design at easyGroup I was responsible for the creation and execution of the online presence and the advertising campaigns for the majority of the new ventures we brought to market. Additionally I played a leading role in creating easyGroup's Brand Manual and became one of the chief guardians of the 'easy' brand ensuring that our visual identity was consistent across the comms produced by all our ever-growing number of franchisees and licensees.
The sections below showcase some of my work supporting just a selection of our 'easy' ventures...
easyEverything (later easyInternetCafé)
easyGroup launched the world's largest Internet cafés in 1999 to a media storm, with hundreds of customers hungry to get online queuing at every store opening across Europe and the US. My team and I were responsible for producing all the online and marketing comms to support each location. In 2000 we entered the Guinness Book of records having open the largest Internet café in the world, boasting 800 PCs and subsequently won the Retail Week award for Launch Of The Year.
easyCruise first launched in 2006, offering tourists the opportunity to visit the French and Italian Riviera at low cost. However, the business initially struggled with no-frills brand connotations working against us. As such, the following season the route relocated to the Greek islands and Stelios briefed me to rebrand the livery, toning down the orange (once unthinkable) in favour of a more premium look and feel.The same styling was then applied to our marketing communications.
easyHotel first opened it’s doors in 2005 with a number of Central London locations, offering great value, low cost accommodation.The model proved popular and easyHotel became the first easy venture to expand through franchising, throughout Europe and to locations as far flung as Dubai. I was responsible for supporting all aspects of easyHotel’s design – from interior decoration to advertising. Latterly, as easyHotel’s franchisees launched elsewhere, I provided brand consultancy to ensure their visual design was executed to meet our standards.
easyBus was a natural brand extension for Stelios, offering low cost transfers to-and-from the airports easyJet flew to. I was responsible not only for the design of our press and outdoor advertising but also the livery of the buses themselves. I distinctly remember Stelios remarking that my work now officially ‘looked like the back end of a bus!’ ...I never quite lived that down.
One of easyGroup’s most innovative ventures was our 2008 adventure into the world of men’s toiletries with the development of easy4men. Necessity breeds invention as they say and, following restrictions brought in following 9/11 meaning that only limited liquids could be brought onboard aircraft, Stelios hit upon the idea of creating a sachet pack containing shaving foam, hair and body wash, that would be permitted in hand luggage. I was firstly briefed to design the packaging and then my first e-commerce website as the product was to be sold online and at Boots.
Another of easyGroup’s successfully franchised businesses was easyOffice.co.uk, offering serviced office space throughout the UK. To support the launch in 2009 my team and I were briefed with creating an ongoing B2B campaign, advertising the brand not only to clients but also to potential franchisees.