Sage Software, the UK's leading supplier of accountancy software, has appointed Michaelides & Bednash to handle its brand communications strategy as it attempts to broaden its appeal to small businesses.
The Newcastle-based company, which boasts an annual turnover of pounds 6.5 billion, spends around pounds 1.3 million on direct marketing in the UK. M&B has been handed a wide-ranging brief to develop the Sage brand and design an appropriate communicatons strategy. The task involves convincing businesses still working with pens and draft sheets of the value of business software.
Sage plans to present itself as a company that can transform its customers into e-businesses. Of the UK's 1.6 million VAT-registered businesses, only 800,000 use accountancy programs, giving the company a significant area for growth.
'Sage is not interested in brand strategies that will give them incremental gain,' M&B partner Paul O'Neill said. 'It wants step-change thinking that matches its ambition.'
M&B will work alongside Rapier, which took Sage's below-the-line business from WWAV Rapp Collins after a four-way pitch in April. Zed Media, which picked up the media account at the same time, is also unaffected by the appointment.
'M&B is a one-off company that we believe can create the strategy and ideas that will help take Sage to the next level,' Sage's chief operating officer, Paul Stobart, said.