“Sophie is awesome. She knows her stuff, she’s great to work with, and I would use her again tomorrow at the drop of a hat.” (expanded below)
BRUCE BRATLEY Founder, First Mile Recycling
If you’re a profitable SME, you must’ve got to where you are with a great product.
But if you’re looking to grow, you’ll need a consistent, hard-working brand to get there– one that articulates the best of who you are, to the best people, in the best way (with the least best bits addressed).
First is Brand Definition (Strategy). This involves an audit of where you are now, or– if you’re a start-up– where you want to be. You need to contextualise your business in the market; differentiate yourself from your competitors; and figure out what lights a fire in the heart of your audience.
Next is Brand Storytelling (Writing). This might involve an up-front messaging strategy or a dive straight into a re-jig of your website content strategy and copy. Or you may need to create a whole new site (I work with web builders and designers). And don’t forget the real-world– you know, the one with off-line marketing materials, tone of voice guidelines, culture handbooks etc.?
Agencies can help with all of this, but you pay for their bells and villas in the Med. It’s also possible to build a team to do the different parts, with all that daily excess energy you stockpile.
I operate as a mini agency, cherry-picking from my skill tool-box of qualitative research, strategic thinking, and creative application, to build a proposal that aces the ‘To do’s’ that result from your biz diagnosis, within your budget.
I’ve helped brands across all profiles to streamline in this way, from photographers and hospitality consortiums to document scanning companies and recycling supremos.
SEND ME A MAIL. I’m good at replying.
CASE STUDY: First Mile Recycling
First Mile find innovative solutions for the waste of over 27,000 businesses. They believe in a world where everything can be recycled, and as founder Bruce Bratley was named one of LDC/ The Telegraph’s top 50 most ambitious Business Leaders in 2019, he’s the man to make it happen.
The company had grown from one truck/ one client in 2004 to being a major player in the U.K. waste market, thanks to its visionary leadership, fantastic service delivery and strong customer focus.
Investors on board, it wanted to make the next growth leap, in which Brand would play a central role.
In 2018, I undertook a big Branding Project to help them define and shape their identity, so their soon-to-be-appointed Marketing Department could hit the ground running.
This involved a 360° review on the status of the brand internally (Company Culture employee surveys, SMT interviews, workspace audit & recs) and externally (Brand Perception and Target Audience Qualitative Research with clients and non-clients), which I followed through to Brand Identity & Tone of Voice Recommendations and a Brand Messaging structure for communications.
I then helped to devise, project manage and write a brand new website, following up with an S.E.O review; Tone of Voice guidelines; and a second website for their national post-back RecycleBox service.
Spearheading a large project from information gathering and research through to implementation, for such an inspirational bunch of people, super-sized my capacity for challenge and reward (and made me a much better recycler).
“I was introduced to Sophie via a senior marketing exec who said Sophie would be an ideal partner for First Mile because she could do the high-level thinking with me and the senior team, undertake some qual research and then get on with the delivery… I rarely buy into the concept of a one-stop-shop, but Sophie is a genius of talents with a very wide experience base and skill set. She worked extremely closely with me and key members of the senior team and the board to cut through the confusion of a branding, comms, culture and marketing project to deliver clear actionable insights. Sophie provided a super clear roadmap of what was going to be done, crystal clear communications including succinct presentations, but with the right level of detail where it mattered, and she always delivered on time. [In fact he only time she was late was for our first meeting when she turned up covered in cuts, mud and gravel from a detour via the pavement to our office!] Sophie is incredibly skilled, great fun to work with, super organised and great value, and I recommend you have a chat to her about your project. We used her for a big end-to-end project, but she has so much experience I would get in touch to discuss any of your requirements.”
BRUCE BRATLEY Founder, First Mile Recycling