Working closely with the comms team and heads of engineering, we created an extensive series of infographics for Energy Technology Institute’s stakeholder engagement programmes.
Work included Input to comms strategy and continuous evolution of corporate identity. Creation of visual branding for range of training programmes including Xen Leadership training. Design and production of printed marketing materials, for high-end training provider The People Development Team. Working alongside Company Directors and successive Marketing Managers over a period of approx 5 years.
A client engaged us for branding, and reinvented their business in the process.
Our client was a highly qualified and well-respected forensic psychologist and his business partner an experienced behavioural therapist.
His time spent working in clinical institutions had revealed a common problem. Service users exhibiting challenging and sometimes dangerous behaviour were often being supervised by carers with little or no training in managing that type of behaviour.
In the worst cases they (or service users themselves) were physically at risk and, even in the best case scenario, the carers’ job was endlessly tough. Staff turnover rates were high, and the quality of care inevitably suffered.
The business case was relatively simple: to offer training for carers covering basic, practical techniques for managing challenging behaviour or – even better – understanding how to avoid and prevent situations where small conflicts were likely to escalate.
The benefits of this service were obvious: happier, safer staff would result in lower turnover means reduced costs, less chance of long-term sickness, less risk of compensation claims. Better interactions with service users would improve their quality of care, keep them safer – everyone wins.
The training program had been part-written, the client and partner were eminently qualified to deliver it, and it would include an innovative online component (this was at a time when online training was not well-established).
The client had come to us for help with branding including name generation, and to produce a suite of marketing materials.
Obviously, in order to create any sort of effective branding, you need first to fully understand the value proposition – and so we spent a few hours digging into the business model and the audience for the service. And that’s where hit the problem.
There was nobody that could actually fund the training.
The private trust running the facilities had allocated budgets for certain things – but none of them would have covered training for proactive, preventative measures, or those aimed at improving quality of life for staff. None of the other organisations involved in the overall care package were in a position to fund the training either.
Our client was stunned. The need for the service was so obvious, the benefits for everyone so clear… and yet the system was set up in such a way, that there was no single entity that could sign a cheque to enable the training to take place.
In all the planning our client had done, in all the effort devising the program, and in the excitement and momentum of conceiving and launching a new business with such a clear social value – nobody had asked that question – and the answer was fatal for the proposed business model.
Our client, to their huge credit, quickly regrouped – and we continued with our discovery process. Having understood the skills and experience the client could offer, we brainstormed with them a hundred other options and, from that, was born a *new* business – a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy provider for individuals, groups and organisations, with a highly innovative approach. That’s a story I’ll cover in a different post.
Months later the new business was off the ground, and the clients thanked us for helping them avoid wasting time, money and energy marketing something which ultimately couldn’t be sold. Instead they pivoted, found a niche, and made a successful business out of it.
In 2010 a wide range of subsidies and incentives for renewable energy technologies came into force in the UK.
The tariffs were incredibly generous and, almost overnight, a new industry sprang up to meet the exploding demand for installation.
Some of the technologies, such as solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, were pretty simple to understand. Others, like Air-source heat pumps, were counterintuitive and the basic principles hard to explain. In addition, the tariffs themselves were complex, and the rates changed every three months.
Having already done some creative work in this sector, and with a strong personal interest in renewable energy, we identified the widespread need for small/medium businesses with limited marketing budgets to explain the technologies and tariffs to their customers.
With video rapidly ascending as the premium content format for online marketing, we created a set of renewable energy explainers using an clean, minimal 2d animation style. We devised a way to add customer branding to the videos, a custom online player, and a brandable video file distribution system. We created a licensing model that protected our IP but allowed for customised content and, most importantly, we updated the videos live every three months or when tariffs changed.
This way, for a simple, scalable monthly or annual subscription fee, businesses could show branded explainers on their websites and in face-to-face sales scenarios, with always up—to-date tariffs and worked examples of cost savings. This avoiding the one-off costs for producing highly-researched animated content which would then have to be periodically amended.
The service was immensely popular and, relying almost entirely on carefully researched direct marketing (for larger customers) and natural viral propagation (for everyone else), we captured a huge slice of the market and ran highly profitably for several years.
Eventually changes to environmental policy drove down (or wound up) the available tariffs – the industry shrank back accordingly and we decided not to grow the business any further until renewable energy returns to the UK government’s priority list.
- Produced some of the most effective explainers ever made about renewable energy technologies across 16 topics
- Devised innovative content-licensing model to protect our IP in customer-branded materials
- Developed online app to part-automate video creation process and remotely manage access
- Customers included UK Government, EDF, Wolseley/Plumb Center, Saint-Gobain as well as hundreds of SMEs
TRILOGIQ is a 25-year-old company competing in a highly dynamic marketplace.
TRILOGIQ designs and manufacture modular materials-handling equipment and sell to a customer base primarily of manufacturers, including all the main Automotive brands.
Facing stiff competition on what had become a highly-commoditised product range, it needed to find a competitive advantage. With this in mind, in 2014 it developed a composite modular system that was lighter and more tactile than its steel counterpart.
The new product range, GRAPHIT, was launched. Though technically innovative and offering some clear advantages, it was far more expensive than the system it was designed to replace. The range of functions was limited and quality issues with early batches meant that it was not universally popular amongst existing customers. As parts of the original range had also been withdrawn from sale, many customers simply went elsewhere rather than adopting the new system.
The changes led to some internal restructuring, and competitors in various parts of the world capitalised on this, spreading negative stories about the state of the company.
At that point I came on board at TRILOGIQ, and quickly identified these issues:
1/ The offering was focussed on the current product range and features – NOT the 25 years’ design expertise that distinguished TRILOGIQ from most of its competition
2/ There was no ‘social proof’ of the great work being done around the world
3/ There was little or no monitoring or analysis of web traffic
3/ Visual branding was completely inconsistent from region to region and did not reflect a modern innovative organisation
4/ The brand hierarchy (Regional company name, Global Group name, plus five or six overlapping product brands) was completely incoherent – even Salespeople did not understand it
5/ There was a much broader opportunity for a such a versatile product outside of manufacturing industry
I worked closely with the CEO developing and executing a plan to address these issues. Within 18 months we had standardised messaging and visual branding across all digital channels (about 140 worldwide), revamped the groups’s strategy and tactics for events, and implemented a basic level of Best Practice for regional digital marketing. We implemented several layers of web analytics to understand the global flow of traffic, and a huge range of localised tactics and activities.
An Inbound content strategy was developed based on our analysis of the most effective content types and channels. A team was assembled to harvest success stories and case studies at a regional level, then to create and disseminate content globally.
Over three years this approach quadrupled the amount of web traffic and doubled the visitor conversion rate.
We went on to simply the branding to one Group name (TRILOGIQ) and two product ranges: LEANTEK (steel range) and GRAPHIT (composite Range).
After extensive consultation with customers and senior staff, I developed a blueprint for the brand including a statement of values. The customer offering would be divided into three clear components – Bespoke Solutions, Components, and off-the-shelf Complete Products. The first two were established parts of the business, the third experimental and would require a startup mentality to identify product-market fit, and develop an online sales platform.
The blueprint for the brand was signed off and the visual rebranding work began under my direction – taking around 6 months and culminating in a launch event in September 2017.
More recent development of strategy remains confidential for now, but I will write a follow-up when I can.