I'm tremendously proud of what I achieved at this creative production house; I rejuvenated the brand and laid the foundation for a growth in revenue and talent.
March 2014-June 2017
I made it my business to grow the company, and very quickly identified the following needs:
With a fresh pair of eyes, I was able to see what changes we could make in order to increase the bottom line of existing accounts.
I immediately introduced up-selling for existing projects and identified areas where we could instantly add value through existing talents in the team. Additionally, I negotiated new budgets, releasing the creative team from this responsibility, to focus on creative demand.
I found that Global Fire were greatly underselling the value of their talents. By embedding myself in every area of the business, I found that there were a few common errors being made which seemed minor but had a major impact on expectation management and, as a result, client satisfaction and loyalty.
By addressing these opportunities, the reward for Global Fire was immediate.
My first year saw a 110% increase in revenue and we hired 3 new team members.
Introduction of banded pricing for jobs meant we could increase prices (double them, in fact) without losing or upsetting existing relationships. Navigating such major pricing increases can be fatal for companies of our size but my past experience guiding creatives on this very subject meant we were able to accomplish this seamlessly and very successfully.
Through my experience in content design, I introduced a marketing strategy which cost nothing because it relied on the creative power of the team and making the most out of projects which were already being paid for by our clients.
An example of this is introducing behind-the-scenes filming on our bigger projects. Not only did we use these as marketing pieces, they added value for the client and gave them a second piece of content which they shared proudly (inadvertently advertising us to their peers).
To give this content legs, I split each large film into bite sized standalone films which promoted individual values we could bring as not just an agency but a full service production house. We were then able to use these films as a foundation for content-rich case studies which helped the team secure projects I don't believe we would have otherwise been able to achieve.
Upon joining the business, I got the sense that the team felt we were bottom-of-the-pile of suppliers for our largest client, Vodafone. We were not the only business of our kind supplying this global brand and, at the time, we were low quality compared to the others.
We were hired for our cheap prices and fast turnaround (which came as the expense of quality). I made it a goal to increase our exposure in the company as a choice supplier of unrivaled quality. I believe that your brand is what people say about you when you're not in the room, so I began a listening exercise and found that what the Vodafone clients were saying about Global Fire is that we were "fast and cheap".
No matter what spiffy logo we use or how we talk about ourselves, if this is what people say when we're not in the room, well then THAT is our brand. So the very first change I implemented to achieve this goal was to lead a re-brand.
When I joined, Global Fire were positioning themselves as a production company. But I saw the potential to be trusted to conceive the ideas, not just produce the assets. I called on a brand expert and within 6 months, we rolled out the new brand and a new website. I then introduced branded uniform for all customer-facing crew members.
When we were on site at Vodafone (or any company), we were now branded and thousands of people began recognizing us as "the video guys", approaching us with new projects. This bolstered our brand recognition and lead generation.
Although we were getting recognized, getting larger budget projects meant getting real with the team and identifying reasons why they we achieving such uninspiring results.
I uncovered that most of this had to do with poor planning and low budgets which meant we had limited resources to dream bigger and produce better quality creative work. But how do you get bigger budgets when you haven't proven yourself? It was a chicken-and-egg situation, so I strategically managed specific jobs to leverage the best relationships we had in the company. Winning trust and bigger budgets, we pushed the team to dream bigger and work harder to produce more creative and outside-the-box results.
The clients raved. Our budgets increased and so did the value of our reputation.