Fresh news

11 Nov 2016
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Businesses are so preoccupied with creating amazing marketing campaigns and building robust communication plans to engage with their valued customers, that many overlook another extremely important aspect of their communication strategy: Internal Communication.

Whilst effective external communication is essential – after all, keeping your customers happy and engaged is your first priority – it should not come at the expense of your internal communication. It’s crucial to remember that your employees are perhaps your most valuable assets, and if they feel they’re being neglected or overlooked, it can have disastrous consequences for the business.

Before delving too deeply into the topic, let’s take a step back and define what it is.

Internal Communication encompasses official information (making an obvious distinction between this and informal communication amongst employees or colleagues) disseminated within your organisation for business purposes. This can include verbal communication, email, texts, handwritten notes, fax, pagers (if you’ve not yet joined us in 2016) or pretty much any other communication channel you care to use.

Employee engagement is essential!

Strong and effective Internal Communication has numerous benefits for a business. When you engage with your employees in a genuine and considered way, it generally leads to much higher levels of morale, increased motivation and cohesion amongst your workforce.

Internal communication should be seen as a continuous internal dialogue with all members of your business, rather than a needs-must approach that would see you sending out a monthly company newsletter. When employees are engaged frequently on company news, goals, campaigns and the like, they are far more likely to feel an affinity for the business and a deeper, more intrinsic connection to the brand. And when internal communication is actually given priority – through crafted campaigns that have some kind of budget and effort – a message that’s tailored to your audience and makes use of channels or media that really speak to your employees – it will, more often than not, result in increased productivity and a happier work environment for all. Who doesn’t want that?

With that said, it is important that your Internal Communication strategy has some actual strategy behind it. It’s essential that you really know your employees and what will resonate with them. It’s not advisable, for instance, to be honest to a fault and share every detail when the business is experiencing a slump – this can lower morale and lead to unhappy staff. Conversely, if you try to spin everything and talk at your ‘minions’ rather than talking to them in a genuine and engaging manner, it can result in cynicism and disillusionment – you should never underestimate the intelligence of your staff, and nobody appreciates being patronised.

Tips for effective Internal Communication:

There are a few key considerations for any Internal communication, as outlined below:

- Ensure honesty and objectivity wherever possible, though it’s ok to avoid the doom and gloom in tough times.

- Communicate regularly, and with a consistent tone and voice

- Be genuine and engage your staff without rhetoric or jargon; level with them

- Be creative. In the same way as your marketing campaigns are designed to engage and delight consumers, always engage and      delight your internal team.

- Know your audience! What are they interested in? What will resonate with them? Which leads to the final point…

- Tailor your message and medium to your audience. There’s no point leaving a desk-drop handwritten note for your sales staff that are never actually at their desks!

If you follow this advice and actually learn to appreciate and engage with your employees on a human level, you’ll find that they respond in kind and, ultimately, your business will thrive as a result.

And if you really want to take your Internal Communication to the next level, whether it’s through an always-on communication strategy or specific, targeted campaigns, you should engage an expert.

Fresh has years of experience crafting and delivering amazing Internal Communications that revolutionise businesses and inspire employees! So when you’re ready for the Freshest Internal Communications, you know where to come.

 

     

12 Oct 2016
SCS to EVORA Rebrand2

A rebrand is never a simple or straightforward decision for any business. There are numerous factors to consider and there’s always an inevitable ripple effect as the results trickle down the internal hierarchy of the business to customers, the general public and all other stakeholders. The fact is, a rebrand isn’t simply updating the way your brand looks or feels – it’s something of a paradigm shift in the hearts and minds of all who interact with the brand. And this is inherently powerful.

Of course, the benefits are similarly numerous. Correctly conceptualised, planned and implemented, a rebrand can give a business a fresh start in a new and better direction.

 Recently we were tasked with leading the rebrand of Sustainable Commercial Solutions, an independent sustainability consultancy and a client with whom we were intimately familiar, having refreshed their original branding and VI when we started working with them three years ago. At that time, SCS’s branding was very typical of a business in their sector, utilising shades of green and earthy, leafy motifs throughout, leaving no uncertainty that they were an environmentally focused, ‘green’ business.

 The brand flourished under this identity and was recognised as a hallmark of quality in the industry, though they remained relatively unknown within the broader market. However, as the nature of commercial sustainability evolved and with new partnerships being established across Europe, SCS decided that there would never be a better time for a rebrand and corresponding shift in the brand’s focus.

 What’s in a colour?

 As Sustainable Commercial Solutions, the brand was operating in the exact same space as most of their competitors with a largely green colour palette and a name focused on sustainability. The name was also long and not particularly memorable.

 The company directors wanted a name and visual properties that were unique, memorable and that would leave no doubt that they are focused on the business of sustainability, recognising that sustainability in the modern age is not only essential from a compliance and regulatory standpoint, but also highly profitable.

 After significant strategic analysis and deliberation, the name EVORA was chosen: a synthesis of the evolution that is taking place in real estate assets at present.

 The new EVORA logo is elegant and understated, evoking the visual metaphor of a floorplan.  At Fresh, we are big fans of logos that are powerful enough to be played with while still being recognisable, and the floor plan E can be deconstructed and the elements used individually to hold headlines, quotes or images.

 The imagery, fonts, and textures have made a conscious shift from the green, natural style to blue (finance) and construction-inspired motifs and materials, from steel and concrete to glass and wood, further entrenching the visual style and new direction for the brand.

 The new branding also makes use of a muted, sophisticated colour palette, which consists of ‘Sky’, ‘Earth’, ‘Steel’ and ‘Navy’ shades, subtly marrying the environmental origins of the brand with the business-focused direction.

 The brand toolkit contains lots of suggestions and very few rules: the logo can appear in any of the primary colours, and can be placed over photography, construction textures like concrete, wood and steel – it encourages creativity at every level.

 EVORA’s unique sustainability software, SIERA, has received the same visual makeover, in line with the rest of the rebrand.

 The new logo was launched on Monday 3 October with a complete refresh of their website, on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, and with a new brochure, which you can download here.

 A successful shift

 EVORA’s rebrand has been extremely well received by stakeholders within the business and without. This shows the importance of clearly outlining and understanding the intentions of a rebrand before planning and implementing it. EVORA did exactly this, whilst working with us to ensure the rebrand was nothing less than Fresh!

 We will continue to fondly monitor the growth and prosperity of EVORA and work closely with them as their brand continues to evolve and define the future of business sustainability.

Russ Avery, Marketing Director at EVORA, said:

“The team at Fresh were an absolute pleasure to work with. I’ve worked with a lot of creative agencies and never before has the first round of visual proofs been so in line with the brief provided. Even though I had a very clear idea of the direction I wanted the brand to take, it’s rare to end up with what I had in my mind’s eye so quickly.

 We’ve now got a brand identity that evokes the professional side of sustainability, which is consistent across all channels, and which is already “wowing” our clients and prospects. And that’s only after a week! We’re just scratching the surface of the new visuals in terms of how flexible they are.

 I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Fresh to any business looking to Freshen up their brand!”

 If you feel like your business is in need of a rebrand, get in touch with us today to find out how we can give your brand a Fresh approach!

22 Sep 2016
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Transparency is a concept that is, at once, both exciting and terrifying for the business owner. Exciting for the business that is built and run on a foundation of ethics and conscious management, terrifying for the business that does not always follow the ethical path in the pursuit of profit.

In the modern age the consumer is imbued with more power than ever before, with near infinite access to information (thanks, Google!), myriad public platforms through which they can voice their opinions and an overwhelming selection of brands, products and services to choose from. They only want the best from their brands and this doesn’t just mean high-quality products and services, it extends to the production processes, supply chains, community relationships, CSR initiatives and myriad other aspects of the brand. The simple fact is that businesses that don’t live up to their customers’ minimum expectations and conduct themselves to a certain standard will soon find themselves out of business.

The near-omnipotence of this contemporary consumer may seem intimidating to the business owner, but, if one truly understands the concept of transparency and builds this into the culture of one’s business, there’s really nothing to fear. Ideally, a transparent business should be built from the ground up, ingraining that culture of honesty and having nothing to hide from the earliest start-up phase ensuring that every process you use, every supplier you deal with, every ingredient you source and every deal you make is above board and something that you would be willing to open up to public scrutiny. What it really comes down to is a question of ethics. If you care about your customers and conduct your business in an ethical manner, it should be fairly simple to translate this into business transparency.

The benefits of creating such a business are numerous. When consumers can see that your business has nothing to hide, it fosters an environment of brand trust and from this grows brand loyalty. Obviously if you have a good product or service that is reliable and of the highest quality, you will generate sales and turn a profit. However, sales figures and the bottom line should not be the ultimate goal for your business. One should strive to create a business that is loved by its consumers; one that adds value to peoples lives in the right way. Achieving this will not only guarantee that your customers continue purchasing your products or services; they will become brand ambassadors, generating word of mouth for your business and recommending your offering to their family, friends and anyone else in their circle of influence. That kind of brand advocacy is invaluable in the age of the enlightened consumer.

Although there is no hard-and-fast rule to creating a transparent business, as long as you’re not doing anything underhanded or unethical, you’re on the right track. Learn to create a relationship of mutual trust and honesty with your customers. Communicate with them and learn what they want and the things that they value and incorporate this into your culture, allow it to influence the way you do things.

07 Sep 2016
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It seems to be a universally accepted truth that to achieve something of significance, a plan is required. Sure, some great accomplishments may have required the most rudimentary form of planning, a simple 'do this, then this, to acheive this ', but a clear course of action was still laid out and followed to some degree.

The importance of planning is probably more apparent in the world of business than anywhere else and is often the factor that separates an average business from a great business. If you’re a business owner in the early stages of starting or running your company, you’ve most likely developed a business plan somewhere along the way. You’ve got a clear idea of what your business is, how it will be run and the awesome products or services you’ll offer. You’ve probably also given some thought to how you’ll market your offering, but it’s vital that you make sure that this is something you’ve carefully considered and mapped out: a marketing plan can make or break a business.

 A marketing plan is, at its most basic level, an outline of the proposed marketing efforts of your business, laying out your marketing objectives and the proposed activities, costs and timings to achieve said objectives.

 A marketing plan will generally be centered around the 4 Ps: product, price, promotion and place:

Product

This dimension focuses on your product/service offering. What is it and who is going to buy it? What makes it unique and better than the competition (Unique Selling Proposition – USP)? How are you going to highlight these points in your marketing activities?

Price

This looks at your pricing strategy for your offering. Are you going to sell bulk volume to achieve economies of scale and keep the price low? Will you market your offering to a niche, premium market at a higher price, leveraging the concept of scarcity?

Promotion

This looks at how you will advertise your product/service. Which channels will you use? (Remember, it’s essential that your business gets with the times and makes use of contemporary digital marketing channels and social media. If you stick to print, TV etc. you’ll soon find the world – and your target market – has moved on without you!) How will you package your product? Where will you position your product/service in the broader marketplace and what is the key benefit or value-add it offers your potential customers?

Place

This will focus on how you distribute your product/service and which markets you access in pursuit of this. Will you make use of retail stores or direct marketing? Will the product/service be limited to a geographical area?

 In addition to the 4 Ps, a marketing plan may also incorporate elements such as a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats) analysis, competitor analysis and other valuable tools, based on your requirements.

 Trying to conceptualise and quantify all of the above as well as numerous other dimensions and elements in a marketing plan can be intimidating and result in many a sleepless night for the new business owner.

 Sometimes you need to swallow your pride and know when to seek help.

Fresh has years of experiencing in developing and implementing custom marketing plans and strategies and we would love to help you take your business to the next level and conquer your market! Why waste your time and resources developing a marketing plan in isolation when you can leverage our skills and experience to develop a plan that is uniquely tailored to your business and objectives, based on meticulous research, insight-driven strategy and in-depth market analysis?

 Make the Fresh choice and contact us today!

18 Aug 2016
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It’s often said that the only constant in life is change. This rings true in the contemporary workplace, regardless of industry or location, now more than ever.

 As the modern business deals with constant fluctuations in a truly global marketplace, high rates of employee churn and many other factors that one simply cannot attempt to predict or quantify, it is the agile organisation that quickly and efficiently implements change that is finding sustained success.

 Research conducted by CEB Global shows quite clearly that, although modern organisations are implementing change on a frequent basis, most of the traditional top-down change initiatives being implemented are simply not working as they should be:

  • A typical organisation has undertaken 5 major firm-wide changes in the past three years
  • 50% of change initiatives fail and only 34% are a clear success

Implementing, or rather attempting to implement, change in an organisation can be extremely costly and time consuming, particularly for change that is larger in scope and scale. Consequently, failed change initiatives are highly undesirable and can result in demotivated employees and management, lost revenue and, in some cases, irreparable damage to an organisation’s internal culture. 

The talent-centric approach

Whereas traditional organisational change is left to HR in a management-led, top-down approach, many innovative organisations are now adopting a talent-centric, open source approach to change, which is led by and managed by the organisations’ staff instead.

This approach is considered open source in the sense that it not only allows the staff themselves to plan and implement the change, but to influence and improve on it in what is essentially a self-contained feedback loop within the organisation. In this way the staff, as leaders of the change, gain an intrinsic sense of responsibility for said change and will go the extra mile to ensure its effectiveness. Furthermore, CEB’s research shows that the talent-centric approach is proving to be far more effective and agile than traditional HR-led change:

  • The probability of change success with a talent-centric approach increases by up to 24%
  • Implementation time decreases by up to one third
  • Time spent on change decreases by up to 12 hours per week per employee

Managing change in your organisation

Although it is clear that, when implemented correctly, a talent-centric approach to change management is often more efficacious than the traditional top-down approaches, this strategy may not be suitable for all organisations.

If you are planning on introducing a change in your business, it is essential that you first assess your needs, resources and desired outcomes. But whichever route you choose, there is one essential element that cannot be ignored if you want your change to succeed: communication.

At Fresh, we are highly experienced in communicating and driving change management initiatives, to ensure that they are applied effectively and become embedded for the long term. We have seen change initiatives fail because communication dropped off during the process, leaving employees in the lurch.

Essentially we ensure the change is executed and endures, through the communication of goals, benefits, expectations, and milestones. We also ensure the change is effectively taken up by all involved by clearly communicating roles, responsibilities and required actions from the outset. In this way, we guarantee success and longevity to your change initiatives.

So if you need a partner to guide your organisation through the change, with tangible, measurable results, get in touch with us!