“At the time there wasn’t a major internal comms agency in the north. It felt like a really timely opportunity to specialise and go in a bespoke direction, rather than try to compete with every other small design agency.”
After 14 years of being a one-man graphic design business, when Rachel joined the business in 2005, they decided to position themselves as an internal comms agency in the heart of York.
And they quickly made a name for themselves in the north and beyond.
“We literally thrust our arms around the opportunities and challenges, and went with it,” Rachel says. “We just held on for dear life.”
Between 2010 and 2012, the agency achieved 30% year-on-year growth, hitting their first million revenue target in the process.
“I guess we were in the right place, at the right time,” Rachel says, as the internal comms sphere started to rocket.
By 2017, the agency had gone global, working everywhere from Germany and Amsterdam, to Singapore and Boston.
But as things continued to rapidly grow, they realised they were in a ‘grey area’. They’d found themselves in the hybrid space of HR management and employee engagement consultancy – they eventually decided to refresh their brand and proposition in 2019.
“We realised we were positioning ourselves as one thing, but often doing another. We thought, if we’re doing this smart, strategic consultancy work, we should probably position ourselves like that – and get paid for it.”
The last 17 years have been a rollercoaster ride for Rachel and her team. We’ll be talking about her journey at length in this month’s Open Source session – be sure to come along with your questions and observations.