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Be Better Informed – Our latest shout out about what’s buzzing in the Better studio.

17th February 2011

Be Better Informed – Our latest shout out about what’s buzzing in the Better studio.

Be Better Informed – Our latest shout out about what’s buzzing in the Better studio.

A brand evolution.
I’m excited to let you know this will be our last newsletter under the existing brand. The company has grown significantly since we launched in 2008, and although the brand has helped position Better effectively we feel it’s time to change, although we’re not throwing the baby out with the bath water! We’re in the final stages of the re-brand that will see a new identity, language, website and supporting marketing materials which will develop the Better story for the next stage of business growth. Watch this space.

What do your customers really think?
The $64,000 question in these ever changing times is “What does my customer think?” Well we’ve been thinking about that too and are really proud to announce the launch of Better Communities, our private online community platform. Since it’s launch in December interest has been phenomenal and we’ve already signed Scottish Power Energy Networks, Northumbrian Water and Home Group with 4 further communities in the pipeline.

Better Communities ( provides our clients with a powerful online private community platform through which they can develop a long term strategy of engagement and co-creation with their customers and internal / external stakeholders. Our communities are currently influencing strategic business decision making, marketing planning, insight discovery, innovation and driving new product and service design.

Developed in partnership with award winning market reseach company Explain, our communities uncover customer attitudes by providing a secure online community through which we can conduct qualitative and quantitative market research. We strive for and discover actionable insight that our clients use to develop closer relationships with their customers, using techniques and online applications that harness the power of the community.

It’s awards time again, and we’re on the shortlist.
We’ve been shortlisted for ‘Newcomer of the Year’ and ‘Services’ award at the NE Business Awards, oh yeah!

It’s been a huge year for Better; we’ve grown our business, the team, the portfolio of clients we work with, and developed our first digital product that we launched at the start of the year (as above). When we submitted the award applications we’d considered the criteria for the awards carefully and reflected on our business. We’ve come a long way in a short period of time, and with help and support we’ve built a business on strong creative, our imagination and financial management. It’s testament to the whole team, who have contributed to getting us here and this was recognised by us winning the Internet and ICT Award last year. We also recently announcement that we’ve been shortlisted in the Tees Valley Best New Business awards to be announced later this month.

We already think we’re winners just for being shortlisted so we look forward to celebrating with the other shortlisted businesses at the event in March.

Better investment in local talent.
Growing the team isn’t something we take lightly. Getting the mix right is vitally important to the buzz in the studio. So we’re delighted to welcome Ryan to the team, who recently graduated from Teesside University with a first class honours degree in Graphic Design. After leaving University Ryan enrolled on the Graduate Internship Programme and was offered an initial 10 week placement with Better, and we just couldn’t let him go.

Ryan is working alongside Peter, our Creative Director, on brand, creative and print design projects and in that respect he’s already making an impact. Ryan joins a team that has grown from the original 3 founders in 2008, to a powerful mix of 8 individuals specialising in digital and creative.

Better sponsor the EXPOTEES 2011.
EXPOTEES 2011 is in its sixth year and is the annual showcase of students’ projects which demonstrate innovation, research and development in a wide range of computing subjects – from advanced computer technology to those centred on entertainment. We’ve sponsored the Web Design and Development award and are looking forward to seeing the students work showcased. As always we’re looking forward to getting further involved with Teesside University and the exciting projects that are happening on campus. Find out more about EXPO Tees on Teesside University website.

We’d also like to say a warm welcome to some nice new clients.

Please look out for them, they’re great businesses and organisations led by good people.

We’ve been busy supporting the marketing team at TADEA who have appointed us to help develop their brand and marketing materials. A leading North of England, not-for-profit, carbon reduction advice company – TADEA assists homes, businesses and communities to find cost effective solutions in the areas of energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable transport. TADEA also offer contract management and environmental project consultancy. TADEA has grown significantly since launching in 2002 and with a new markets opening up to them felt their brand needed to reflect the new strategic direction of the business. The brand project has been a totally inclusive process, involving people from across the business in helping to identify what differentiates TADEA within the market place.

Institute of Digital Innovation (IDI)
We’re very proud to have been selected by The IDI to redesign and redevelop the organisation’s website. Located on the campus of the University of Teesside, the IDI brings together business and postgraduate research to develop intellectual property, foster commercial opportunities, and create a strong creative industry and digital technology cluster in the UK. The new website, and development of the IDI’s social media channels, will support The IDI to build on the success of internationally recognised work in digital application and content development including animation, computer games, digital film and sound, visualisation, and virtual reality.

Sheena Douglass
We’ve been working with Sheena and her team to redesign and redevelop Sheen’a official new website, and support the development of Sheena’s digital footprint. If you’re looking for some papercrafting inspiration, it’s the place to go. The website includes Sheena’s blog (with a vibrant community of followers), latest news on TV shows, new products and more. Through the website, fans can get inspired by Sheena’s video projects and image galleries, or visit her online shop where you can buy all of her latest products, plus the essentials which no crafter should be without! While presenting regular TV shows on Create & Craft and Ideal World, Sheena still finds time for making cards, rubber stamps and papercrafting.

By the time you receive this the studio will have taken delivery of a shiny new brochure for our client Anabas, one of the UK’s leading Facilities Management providers. We first starting working with the team at Anabas over a year ago and the relationship has gone from strength to strength since then. In this time we have worked on various projects including design and production of a bespoke direct mail, corporate stationary, design and development of a corporate blog, development of concise brand guidelines and even the production of branded chocolate coins! We are really excited to be working alongside them on their new corporate brochure which our Creative Director, Peter, has lavished with some amazing print stocks and treatments. We cant wait to show you the results which pictures posted on our new website soon.

From the Blog

We’d rather contribute to the conversation than sit on the fence.

That means poking your head up above the parapet to get shot at. We have opinions and ideas we’d like to share so here’s one of our most recent blog posts.

Two heads are better than one?
In an age of coalition Government, the ‘Big Society’ agenda and focus on the entrepreneurial spirit, collaboration is emerging as an integral theme across all areas of society and industry. With the global economy tightening as never before, collaboration between businesses is absolutely vital for growth as well as profitability. So why should businesses collaborate? What are the personal skills and attributes required? How do you go about finding a partner to collaborate with? And once you have found that partner, how do you form an effective and mutually beneficial way of working together? Service Network’s event ‘Friend or Foe? Not going it alone’ on the 17th March will help to answer these questions. Find out more…>>

Out and about.

Where we’ve been and where we’re going.
We’ve been busy since the start of the year with events being attended by just about the entire team. Paul and I have been to number of Entrepreneurs Forum the highlight being the Sir Jackie Stewart event a few weeks ago. Ian and Simon went to the New Adventures in Design conference in Nottingham, and Ian also spent a mind blowing day at the UK Scale Camp event in London. Declan and Sam meanwhile attended the Agile Project Management event delivered by the Codeworks DEV team held at the Centre for Life. Declan also bought his ticket for Thinking Digital 2011 and it would be fair to say he’s been walking around with a smile on his face ever since.

From left field (but it shouldn’t be).

T-SHIRT WAR!!…a stop-motion music video. The makers of the video, Rhett&Link, changed shirts over 100 times each, taking individual pictures of each unique shirt. The designs on the shirts are not photoshopped. They are real shirts for each frame of animation. Watch it on our YouTube channel here.

From our YouTube Channel.


One of my personal favourites. New York invaded by 8-bit creatures! PIXELS is Patrick Jean’s latest short film, shot on location in New York.


From our Flickr Channel.

We’ve updated our Flickr channel with pictures from some of the recent goings on in the world of Better.
Take a look at some recent photos of Life in the Better Studio, the Entrepreneurs Forum Jackie Stewart event and the visit from the NE Business awards film crew.

[flickr-gallery mode=”recent”]

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