International client wins, our record year and reinforcing our purpose

In a difficult 18 months, we're proud to have come through the other side stronger, more agile and more resilient than ever before.

6th October 2021

6th October 2021

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Estimated Reading Time 7 Minutes

James Bolton

James Bolton

James Bolton

Written by James Bolton,
Creative Copywriter

Alongside creative storytelling across a variety of channels and audiences, James helps define our client propositions by creating unique brand stories and verbal guidelines that get to the heart of their purpose and mission.

Despite the challenges of recent times, we have continued to evolve our brand building process, grow our client roster and achieve our strongest annual revenue to date.

As part of that, we’re super excited to have secured new international partnerships with the USA’s leading household cleaning and care challenger, Dropps, as well as New York based marine skincare brand, One Ocean Beauty. Closer to home, after revealing a new future-facing place brand for Middlesbrough Council and launching the brand for the UK’s largest industrial zone, Teesworks, we’ve been hard at work developing the identity for Teesside Freeport.

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Much of the growth is owed to our agile BetterBrandBuilder programme, which is designed to understand, describe and distinctively visualise brands. New digital tools have helped fine-tune the process, including interactive online workshops and insight-rich testing, which helps both clients and ourselves make more informed decisions. These powerful and innovative tools have not only allowed us to seamlessly deliver national and international projects, but also streamlined and strengthened our approach.

Paul Bell, Client Relationship Director at Better, said: “Over the past 12 months we’ve worked with organisations from a wide range of sectors, all facing their own unique brand challenges and circumstances.

“To tackle these brands at the height of a global pandemic, working remotely, with clients in different locations and still produce this standard of work, highlights the calibre of the team we have and the work we’re capable of producing.

"I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved. In a year that has done its worst, we’re still making brands better.”

Paul continued: “Just as remote working has levelled the playing field for many brand agencies, further digitisation has meant less emphasis on locations and head offices, and more focus purely on process, people and projects. Exactly as it should be.”

From the former home of Middlesbrough forefathers Bolckow & Vaughan, we’ve built a diverse portfolio of partners, covering everything from maritime and manufacturing to soft drinks and skin care. This includes exciting, fast-growing challenger and tech brands such as Visualsoft, Mabo, Send and Communicate, as well as industrial regeneration and place making.

Visualsoft CEO, Dean Benson.

Dean Benson, Visualsoft CEO said: “After working with the team at Better, our brand has evolved. We used the process as an opportunity to educate ourselves and understand the role of our brand, what it means, what messaging it sends out and truly what we stand for.

“We also wanted the new brand to become a platform that will support our future growth and represent the company we have become. John and the rest of the team acted as the impartial voice who challenged our thinking throughout the Discover and Creative phases.”

But it’s not just clients and revenue that are on the up, recent growth has allowed us to develop our team and deliver on a commitment to nurture the region’s creative talent. We’ve continued collaborating with industry peers, higher education and charity partners to ensure young people are prepared for the real world of work.

Running since 2017, our fully paid internship gives young designers a kick start to their career and a first real taste of agency life. Our latest intern, Hannah Johansson, arrives directly from The Northern School of Art, where Creative Director, John Taylor, has been playing an active role alongside Beccy Owen from The Creative Alchemist and Charlotte Nichols from Harvey & Hugo. Discussions and feedback have led to an 'industry approved' course structure, rubber stamped by academic leaders and those taking part.

Better Managing Director and High Tide Chairman, Mark Easby.

Mark Easby, Managing Director at Better and Chairman of the High Tide Foundation, said: “Our growth has also meant we’ve been able to continue our wider corporate social responsibility; supporting the communities closest to us and building a better place to learn, work and live.”

As well as providing opportunities, studio visits and industry insight for the next wave of creatives, we've also helped lead High Tide’s digital transformation, with their online programmes reaching more students than ever before.

Mark continued: “At a time when our young people need us most, it’s crucial that we all play our part and do what we can.

"In fact, we’d go as far to say it’s one of our major responsibilities to raise awareness of the opportunities in our region, connect classrooms with careers and nurture the next generation of creative talent.”

Despite all the physical and mental challenges, the pandemic has provided a chance to reinforce our purpose and reshape the way we work. And as lines between home and work continue to blur, investment in our process and the business has helped promote flexibility, strengthen our culture and build resilience.

With a more refined process, lessons learnt from a difficult year and exciting projects ongoing, we’re all looking forward to continuing success into 2022.

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