Don’t look back (unless it’s a good view)…

Tupac once said “Don’t look back, unless it’s a good view”. So in true west-coast fashion, I took a glance at 2018 and there were certainly some highlights that I wanted to take a moment to reflect on.

One year on

In April we celebrated the first anniversary of the Born + Raised brand and to mark the occasion, we put together a series of videos to explain what we did, why we did it and how it affected the business. We also produced a video that explains our Challenging Thinking proposition, and what it means to us.

And in July, we shared our new proposition with the wider B2B Marketing community when I spoke at B2B Marketing Ignite, the biggest growth-marketing event in the world. Amongst other things we encouraged brands to challenge the status quo and asked attendees to join us in the fight against ordinary.

Work that reflects our values – and gets results

The success of our Challenging Thinking proposition has given us the chance to produce even more creative and results-driven campaigns. These have bolstered our relationships with existing clients and allowed us to connect with new ones.

Living by our ethos has only made our relationship with Arco stronger. This year saw us help them develop the ground-breaking ‘CE Failings’ campaign, resulting in an average 29.6% revenue uplift from those who experienced the campaign, generating a multi-million pound increase in revenue and profit for the business. The campaign went on to win the Gold Award for Best Thought Leadership at The International B2B Marketing Awards 2018.

Following a competitive pitch we were appointed by JELD-WEN, the UK’s largest manufacturer of doors, to help them increase consumer awareness. Our “Doors you can’t ignore” campaign showed immediate results, driving online engagement. Their new website generated over 20,000 users in its first two months from a standing start, and produced substantial engagement across social media.

We helped The University of Sheffield increase quality registrations by 47% with an impactful clearing campaign. It also increased advance registrations by 56%, and advance applicants accepting a place at the University by 23%.

Student recruitment campaign ‘Project You’ led to increased funding and exceeded recruitment targets for Longley Park Sixth Form College, giving them a campaign that they could really get behind.

Keep Britain Tidy enjoyed one of their most effective campaigns to date with the launch of the Great British Spring Clean 2018 . Our work on improving the site’s visual appeal and user experience helped generate over 370,000 registrations, and we’re hoping to help them top that in 2019.

And of course our Challenging Thinking ethos has continued to deliver some outstanding results to further cement our relationship with brands such as HSBC, Intertrader, Express Bi-Folding Doors and MoneySuperMarket.

A spot of praise

Amongst the shared client successes, we’ve also enjoyed some industry recognition too. We were awarded the Integrated Agency of the Year (under 29 employees) 2018 at the Prolific North Awards in May. We were once again included in The Drum’s list of the Top 100 Independent Agencies in the UK. And were also recognised by Prolific North in their list of the Top 50 Integrated Agencies.

And we had some fun along the way

We couldn’t do what we do without having some fun along the way. In April, we celebrated Born + Raised’s eighth birthday with a jaunt in Chester, which included hilarious pottery-making, a river boat trip and a cracking feast.

We premiered the second series of #snuglife after popular demand. This features some of our team sharing their views, undergoing hilarious challenges and providing us with some great quotes.

As part of the Sheffield Waterfront festival, some of our team volunteered to help clean up the Victoria Quays canal basin. They worked with the Canal & Riverside Trust, the River Stewardship Company and staff from the Hilton Hotel.

Bake off made a triumphant return to the office, with some standout entries. Everyone chipped in for each bake, with all the proceeds going to Children In Need. Combined with other activities we raised £525 for Children In Need.

After beating tough competition, Abbas took home the star baker’s medal for his baked lemon meringue pie cheesecake.

Halloween really took over at Born + Raised last year, with the team getting involved in decorating the office and our pumpkin carving competition. Oh, and everyone got dressed up of course.

But it wouldn’t be an amazing year without Christmas. Everyone made donations to great causes and flexed their creative muscles as part of our Cardless Christmas Project. And we rounded off the year with an amazing Christmas party.

Strengthening our team

To produce strong creative work, you need a strong team, and we had some seriously strong colleagues join us in 2018:

We’re not done yet

We had a fantastic year, and we’ve got plans for an even bigger and better 2019. When the view’s this good, why wouldn’t we take the time to look back?