16th December 2014

A look back at 2014

2014 has been a really exciting year for the agency. So, what’s been happening?

A bigger team

To see how far we’ve come in a year, you really need to go back to the close of 2013. We’d finished our busiest September on record. Then, in the space of 2 months, the team grew from four to six as we welcomed Ali and Helena to the studio!

A new brand

As the end of 2013 drew to a close, we were settling in two new team members while, taking the first steps through our own branding process – literally rebranding a brand agency! It was no longer to be solely about Rebecca (she was getting a bit too big for her boots…). rbl would focus on the expertise and abilities of the team as a whole.

In the New Year, we focused on developing a new name and identity for our agency. We made the subtle but effective step from Rebecca Battman Limited to rbl, settled upon an equally subtle but elegant design and crafted our own Brand VOICE document, articulating our ambitious vision for the future.

A new website

With the new brand finalised, the first task was to smoothly implement the identity and the messaging across our touchpoints. Simple. We researched, scoped, designed and ultimately built our new website, addressing multiple objectives: impress our clients, look great, function well, rank highly and deliver new business leads. We followed our own process and the result was a fantastic, modern, all-singing, all-dancing website which was launched on time, on budget and to incredibly positive feedback.

In line with our new website, we built ourselves a digital engagement tool – the rbl Brand Strength Test. We wanted to engage with potential clients in an interactive way, while explaining our approach to brand and diagnosing their biggest brand challenges. So far so good! Try the test here.

A new approach to digital marketing

2014 saw our focus turn to our own marketing and putting in place robust systems and processes to support the new website. One particular area of focus was content marketing and in February, we released the first of a series of eBooks focusing on insights and advice concerning effective branding.

With the emphasis on digital marketing growing, we started working to build our online infrastructure further. Developing our approach to social media, pay-per-click advertising, film, e-marketing, SEO and other key areas ensured we began delivering real results from our marketing effort. In particular, our work saw our new website climb from rank 120th (at launch) to 20th for the competitive term ‘brand agency’. We also developed a series of short films explaining brand, its value and the strategy behind building one.

A shiny, new office

With a bigger team and a growing client base, there was only so long we could remain in our little office. So, when the time came to move, we moved in style! Our new office is airy, creative and gives us a space we are very proud of. Many of our clients now come to use our space, simply to get out of their own offices!

A new service

We have developed our Brand Management Service. This service focuses on how we can help clients outsource many of their monthly marketing needs. Whether it be running e-marketing campaigns, managing social media channels, running creative campaigns or regularly reporting on key metrics, the service has been designed to take the stress out of marketing for our clients.

A huge challenge

In August 2014, three members of the team cycled 86 miles for Meningitis Now! Although hurricane Bertha turned up to participate in the RideLondon-Surrey 100, we made it through the storm; bikes, bodies and brains intact (just about). The challenge was huge but the cause was incredibly worthy and the sense of achievement was amazing.

A few days on the water

In October, we attended the Marketing Forum; a networking event, where agencies and marketing delegates are effectively trapped on board a cruise liner for 3 days. Sounds intense doesn’t it? It was, but it was also a truly valuable experience and an opportunity to build some great relationships.

A few exciting opportunities

Over the closing few months of 2014, we’ve seen a number of enquiries come from the Media, all requesting the viewpoint of an independent brand consultant. BBC Panorama, West Midlands Drive Time Radio and The Guardian Features have all been in touch to glean expert insights from Rebecca on a variety of topics.

A great year with some great clients

Of course, 2014 wouldn’t be the success it has been without our clients! This year has seen new relationships built, old ones rekindled and our variety of work broaden even further. At the start of the year, we got to know a London IT Consultancy – DMW Group. Having just been selected as the ‘best small company to work for in the UK’, we worked closely with the team to build a new brand they could be proud of before designing, building and launching a new website.

Severn Trent have continued to be a client close to our hearts, giving us the opportunity to work on a wide range of creative internal events, engaging customer initiatives and, following the arrival of their new CEO, a number of new and exciting projects.

We’ve been back in touch withWade Ceramics who came to us for a new look for their range brochures. We worked closely with Wade to develop a new look and feel which incorporated high-quality lifestyle shots and engaging new messaging to deliver a more compelling story.

The team, especially certain male colleagues, were very excited to start work on our first beer client! Freedom Brewery approached us to deliver a new strategy, packaging designs, marketing approach and creative campaigns. Let’s just say, we’ve especially enjoyed the market research!

We’ve dusted off our dance shoes and learned all there is about ballroom, salsa, jazz, hip hop and other dance styles in our latest work with the IDTA. Stay tuned for more updates soon!

We’ve also developed some great new friends in Coffee Architects, our favourite independent coffee brand in Leamington. We’ve worked on everything from identity and interiors to product merchandising for their launch.

All in all, 2014 has been a fantastic year for rbl. Here’s to 2015 – a year that promises to be even more exciting, successful and action packed.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from the team at rbl!

P.S. Oh, and don’t forget our new additions to the office, our studio cats – Mercury and Mila!

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Harriet Strzelecki

Head of Client Services

Harriet is the agency’s Head of Client Services and Studio Manager. She manages major client projects as well as a team of in-house designers.

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