Back in 2004, we were just a new kid on the block. We’re all grown up now, working with hundreds of organisations, across multiple sectors, pursuing our mission to build powerful brands with bold ambitions. We genuinely believe in the power of brand and what it can do to transform your business.
To celebrate our 18th birthday, we’ve been reflecting on what we’ve learned and what we love about the work we do. Whether we’ve been here 2 months, or 2 years, we’ve all got something to share.
01. Collaboration is the only way.
We feel at home when faced with complex, knotty challenges. What we do isn’t easy, but we firmly believe that when we come together, we are better, and everything becomes easier. We’re not a siloed agency, and we encourage participation at all levels, and with our clients, playing on our strengths, to attack the brief from all angles. Our collaborative approach supports the exchange of ideas and fosters innovative thinking.
“The quality of our work just gets better and better each year as we develop our collective knowledge and expertise.” Rebecca Battman, Managing Director, rbl
02. We’re all very different – but we like it that way.
Our incredible and diverse team is steadily growing and evolving, with each new project and each new person teaching us something new. Our team is enriched by a variety of perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds, extending our breadth of knowledge and enhancing our offer. Our combined expertise and diversity of thought creates better ideas and better solutions for our clients, and it’s more fun too!
“We have a truly amazing team because we each bring something very different to the table. We need each other.” Karen Newbold, Client Services Director, rbl
03. Don’t be afraid to punch above your weight.
This is as true for our own personal development, as it is for our agency’s entrepreneurial mindset. When we push ourselves beyond our comfort zones, we grow, we learn, and we realise our incredible potential together.
Our work with Commonwealth Sport put us on the map, transforming an international federation into a global, dynamic, sports movement, and our work with the West Midlands Growth Company has enabled us to represent the region on a national and global stage. When we won these projects back in 2018, we were just 7 people, tackling some very high profile, comprehensive challenges with extremely complex stakeholder maps. Fast forward 4 years, and we are 18 strong, and our strategic branding has captivated up to 1.5 billion people across the world as we continue to drive inward investment and tourism into our ambitious region.
“We’ve created brands that have enabled people to achieve their ambitions; whether that’s commercial growth or empowering communities through global sporting events.” Andrew Milton, Operations Director, rbl
04. Powerful branding demands emotion as well as intelligence – you must capture hearts and minds to be successful.
Great branding elicits an emotional and intellectual response. When you connect with people on an emotional level, you build credibility, trust and loyalty, and these reactions start to form a story. It is when people feel a part of that story that your brand grows. It’s about the head and the heart. When we create a brand, we tackle it holistically to develop a multi-dimensional solution that has real meaning for the people it needs to connect with.
“Our purpose is to help organisations find their purpose (and that’s a pretty cool job to have).” Rhiannon Lowe, Strategy Lead, rbl
05. Our client’s time is precious – ensure messaging is accurate, succinct and on point.
We make it our business to truly understand our clients. Every time we receive a new brief, our clients are trusting us with their business, their brand and their future. This is a huge privilege. So, we guarantee to come prepared, we put in the hard work to make every moment spent with our clients count. Together, we can then exceed the ambitions they’ve set for us, and it is our honest, pragmatic and friendly approach that means our clients love working with us.
06. Learn to say more with less.
07. No matter how unyielding the pressure may seem, all it takes is a three-seconds, deep-breath, and things fall into place.
As a team, we’re used to working in a fast-paced environment. We have robust project plans and scheduling to make sure we’re always on track. But it’s always important to remember that if it all gets too much, we’re a team at the end of the day. No one flies solo. Stop. Breathe. Reset. This must be working for us, because in 18 years we’ve never missed a deadline.
08. Great insight is the foundation for great creative – listen, learn, listen, learn then create.
We have a structured strategic branding process, and we know it works. It strikes a perfect balance between strategy, creativity and delivery. We’ve shown time and time again that great insight leads to great creative and greater impact. We begin our projects by speaking to the people that matter, to really get under the skin of the organisation. We take this insight and co-create with our clients. After all, it’s their brand, not ours.
It is only then, after we have built our strategic foundations, that we translate the ‘why’ into the ‘how’ through creative. We harness the true power of words alongside compelling design, developing a strong visual language that oozes personality and reinforces brand recall.
“Other people are amazing – we get to talk to people from every walk of life, uncovering their hopes, dreams, and the challenges they overcome day in, day out – and every time it leaves me in awe.” Adam Concar, Creative Director, rbl
09. Don’t be afraid to be yourself, and put your heart and soul into something. You’ll only go further.
We’re a strategic and creative collective, deeply curious and passionate to our core. We know one size does not fit all, so we lean into every project, immersing ourselves, to deliver transformational solutions backed by strong ideas that drive positive change.
10. We do our best work for our best clients.
Our process is co-creative for a reason, we can’t do our work alone. We see our job as a two-way relationship, and when our clients commit to giving their time, energy and brainpower, that is when we produce our best work. We have very high standards, and this engagement is crucial to the success of the project. We are trusted as a true strategic partner and a genuine extension of our client’s team.
The last 18 years have flown by and rbl has helped tell some inspirational stories, and we look forward to working on many more influential projects. Adam sums up our story so far perfectly, “We have to celebrate still being here after 18 years – this is a tough gig and to be still growing, still driving and still succeeding after all that time is really quite something. This year alone, we’ve been on stamps, coins, batons, up in the sky in drones, around London on taxis and broadcast on 4OD – what’s next – the moon?”.
Thank you to everyone who has helped make rbl what it is today.
Here’s to you. Here’s to us. Here’s to another 18.
If you feel like rbl is a good fit for your project, we’d love to hear from you.
Call our MD and Founder Rebecca Battman for an informal chat on 01926 678368 (email@example.com)