Gary Blowers, Co-founder & Managing Partner
Another year has flown by and what a great one it’s been. We’ve travelled far and wide, met many brilliant people, worked on some inspirational projects and had a lot of fun along the way. And for your part in all of that that we want to say thank you.
We got the year off to a flying start, with the launch of Turkish Airlines’ Twitter treasure hunt in Birmingham. Seven successful treasure hunts were conducted across the city, with participants receiving clues via Twitter and the first letter of each answer spelling out the location of the prize (two return tickets to any of Turkish Airlines’ 250+ destinations around the world). As the final clues were revealed, the madness ensued with people racing around the city. The first to reach the destination and successfully list the correct answers, won the flights.
The success story of the campaign has to be Mike Bandar. After narrowly missing out on two previous occasions, it was third time lucky for Mike as he finally clinched a prize. “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” was surely the driver behind his persistence.
Mike and his partner Becky chose to travel to the Far East, making the most of Turkish Airlines’ extensive destination network.
Also early on in the year, after 12 months of soul-searching and stripping our business back to truly reveal what we’re about, we began to embark on our renewed mission. We introduced the delta symbol to our name, a symbol that’s representative of change.
Change is such a crucial part of what we’re about as it’s what really enables us to grow. We presented an improved website showcasing an increased offering of brand-led services, cementing our shift from design-led solutions to brand-led consultancy. We crafted our processes to ensure that we truly live out our purpose – to help brands, people and businesses be all they can be.
This month saw us launch our first ‘change initiative’ – VIVA People. VP was our response to the belief that the traditional recruitment model is broken. By placing a brand at the heart of an organisation, recruitment, retention and training are all principles of HR that can be more effectively executed when centred on a common purpose.
Sunil and Dilesh headed to Spain, to support Amadeus Airport IT’s presence at the Passenger Terminal Expo in Barcelona. It’s great to see the Airport IT team continuing to go from strength-to-strength.
We stylishly celebrated our 5th birthday. In the five years that have passed, our brand has developed, our team has flourished and our reach has continued to grow. But our purpose has never been stronger as ‘be all you can be’ drives everything we do at work and in life.
We went on to develop an improved brand direction and strategy for FleetMilne Property. With their diverse audience and service offering in mind, we developed a tailored communications plan with a new website at the forefront. The responsive design enables tenants, landlords, investors and vendors to navigate quickly and easily as well as placing FleetMilne Property as thought leaders within the industry.
We carried out some competitive brand positioning for Scout7, including the introduction of a new website. Scout7 are the football industry’s leading scouting technology provider, helping professional clubs and associations around the world to develop the future of football. This month also saw VIVA venture into London in a physical capacity. But not in the form of new office: instead it saw Gavin Auty move south to ply his trade in the big smoke. Working from hot desks, client offices and independent coffee shops, Gav is VIVA’s representation in the capital city.
The early Summer brought with it the new look UA. Formerly Utility Aid, the VIVA team worked with the leadership team at UA to develop its new positioning, visual identity and brand architecture. The brand development process lasted four months, but was launched to the world in June. UA’s new purpose and identity saw new-look offices, new working processes, new people, new communications and most importantly, a new, confident position in an otherwise cluttered, hyper-competitive market.
A month of travel, with the VIVA team venturing to Madrid, Kuwait and Dubai. Needless to say, it was a little warmer in those destinations than we’re used to back in the UK!
A very special month. A few changes to the team saw Zoé King join us as Content Manager and Helen Page re-join the VIVA design team, after receiving a First Class Honors degree in Graphic & Communications Design from the University of Leeds. Additionally, Simon Hall – who has shaped the VIVA brand for nearly four years, joined the Board of Directors at VIVA. Simon heads up brand strategy for our clients and after many successes this year is looking forward to driving the business forward in 2015.
But 2014 has been a special year for Simon for more than one reason. The very first VIVA wedding took place on August 28th in Stoke Prior, Worcestershire. The good news for Simon is that not only did the VIVA team turn out in force (sharply dressed, as ever), but more importantly, the bride turned up too!!
This was a particularly busy month at VIVA HQ. Starting with Sunil’s promotion to Head of Design – the first of many successes during the month. On September 15th, we launched the Nicest Job in Britain campaign – a nationwide search to fill the newly formed role of National Philanthropy Manager at UA. In order to apply, candidates had to submit a short video of themselves stating why they were the best person for the job. With the successful candidate going on to work with a different charity each week in 2015, to help them do more good and tell their story to the Nicest Job in Britain network (& beyond!). The campaign was designed for UA, sponsored by British Gas and supported by Turkish Airlines, Hollywood Monster, Edgbaston Stadium, Furniture Port, TMWI & the Small Charities Coalition.
Another new face to Team VIVA. This time it was Jennifer Vega Real who joined as VIVA’s new Finance Manager. We also proudly launched the new digital home of 3e International, representing the high level of service they provide to private clients, private family offices and corporations around the world.
We welcomed yet more positive results. Applications for the Nicest Job in Britain closed on November 7th after an overwhelming response from lots of inspiring applicants. We received entries from all over the UK, as well as Spain, Colombia, Cambodia, Uganda and Australia. A shortlist was selected and interviews held at Edgbaston Stadium on November 20th. After pitching themselves to the judging panel including Billy Campbell, Andy Homer, Felicity Ashley and myself, a winner had to be chosen – that person was Luke Cameron. Luke will go on to fulfil the role of National Philanthropy Manager at UA, starting in January. The whole application and interview process was a visible and welcome reminder of the great people that exist in the world, who selflessly help others and have a desire to do more good.
The festive season arrived quicker than we could say “what a year!”. It has seen us deliver our first project with inspiring charity Railway Children, who help children with nowhere to go and nobody to turn to in the UK, India and East Africa. This was in the shape of a ‘Safe Places’ research report, delivered in partnership with Aviva. December also saw milestones reached in the brand development process with Edgbaston Stadium. Working with their leadership team, we are getting the brand ready for what will be an exciting few years ahead, with The Ashes returning in 2015.
So that was 2014. Again, thank you to everyone involved for making it our best year yet. We’re looking forward to working with you in the new year and enjoying many more successes together.
Bring on 2015.