Opinion

Our Top 10 Continued…

2015 // Vocation

Vocation was a huge turning point for us. We’d been wanting to get into alcohol for a long time and the craft beer revolution was just starting to gain traction. When Vocation’s founder, John, approached us, we jumped at the opportunity. It was a business we saw great potential in and our entrepreneurial instinct kicked in.

Like many start-ups, John’s budget was limited, but we had such a clear vision for the brand that it actually changed the way we thought about commercialising opportunities. Our approach was that of a partnership. In return for a reduced fee structure, John had the good faith to let us challenge his initial brief and deliver what we thought was right. After all, we were his target consumers.

Vocation has taught us not to be rigid when it comes to costing a project and that, really, it should be about finding a creative solution that works for both parties. This has found us partnering with start-ups and established businesses with ambitions for growth, and taking equity stakes in people and products we believe in.

2017 // Seabrook

Being Yorkshire based (and proud of it), we were excited when Seabrook chose to work with us. I remember high-fiving our Client Director, Dave, in the car following the call to say we’d got it.

Seabrook was owned by a VC group and had lost its swagger. We quickly realised we weren’t the only ones passionate about the regional gem, as consumer research revealed warm memories of vending machines at the swimming pool or how they ‘couldn’t possibly eat anyone else’s prawn cocktail crisps’.

No other category has such dominance from one brand like crisps does with Walkers. It was clear that Seabrook wasn’t going to compete against the PepsiCo giant’s 63% market share. Our strategic process honed in on Seabrook’s killer opportunity to take their cult status to the masses and the result was a year-on-year sales increase of 23%.

Seabrook showed us that brands that try to please everyone, in fact, please no one, and appealing to those who matter creates a following of loyal fans.

2017 // Electric Ink

Don’t wait around for opportunity – create one from scratch or you could be waiting a while.

Almost two years ago now, we decided to move outside of our comfort zone and try something new. We’d never worked in health and beauty before and it was an area that excited us creatively. The only problem was we didn’t have the client.

We knew the best way to break through was to create a concept, mock up some visuals and PR the hell out of it. We looked at the behemoth that is the health and beauty industry to see where the opportunity lay (this, the category with a cream for every age, skin type and problem) and found it in one third of the population that have tattoos.

Now available for real across continents and in massive retailers such as Boots, Electric Ink has proved to be our most valuable case study to date. And it’s not just a one off. It’s an approach we’re putting into practice with a new upcoming project and an essential way of thinking we’ve seen a lot of new innovation led initiatives tapping into as well.

2018 // Co-op

When Co-op called us, we said we weren’t interested in working with a retailer. We told them we didn’t want to roll out compromised work but, as it turns out, neither did they. They said they wanted to be pioneering and change the narrative of own brand in key categories. As it turns out, so did we.

When it came to their beers, ciders and spirits, Co-op were confident that their products delivered a similar quality to the leading brands. We thought, ‘why do what almost every retailer does and create products that look like a value alternative to the leading brand?’ The stigma of own-brand products had diminished in other categories, so why was it still prevalent in alcohol?

One thing for sure is that we will never make assumptions based on the size or type of an organisation again. The team at Co-op were brave enough to challenge convention and working with them proved that a shared mindset and the right chemistry will always bring success.

2018 // Passport

Pernod Ricard called us after seeing our work in the press. They asked if we would do a paid pitch against a couple of bigger London agencies to create a brand world for a global scotch brand aimed at millennials. We, of course, said yes and immediately started Googling what, exactly, a ‘brand world’ was.

Once again, naivety proved to be the best policy and our thinking secured us the job. Six months later, the new Passport brand world was unveiled, increasing opportunities for the brand globally and loved by key territories such as Mexico and Brazil.

Even after ten years, Passport reassured us that our hunger is still there. We won’t limit our parameters or stick to a box. Considering a living, breathing brand world has become an integral part of our process moving forward.

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