August 20, 2017

ideapro turns 4 !


Last month we celebrated our birthday and turned 4!

It’s been a big period of change over the past four years.

We have worked with amazing brands – some small, some medium sized, some multi-nationals and some super high profile (remember the Constance Hall crown?) All in all, no matter the size or profile, we are humbled for all our clients to allow us inside the sanctity of their businesses, to help define and develop their brands and implement plans to share their messages with the world.

On a personal front, since starting ideapro, we had our little girl Juliet who recently turned two, which was also a super special celebration for us.

We thought our birthday celebration might be a good time to reflect on where we started and how we have changed along the way, as well as why it’s so important to listen to your customers and pivot your business accordingly.

“We knew we wanted & needed to offer more than just graphic design and printing to diversify our offering.”

Where it all began.

Since 2007, Anthony had been freelance designing for himself, initially in a partnership and then he branched out on his own under the brand Additiv Design. In March of 2012, Rosie joined Anthony after working as Marketing Manager for Australia and New Zealand for one of the largest paint companies in the world, AkzoNobel. It was a time of transition for us. Establishing a new dynamic of husband and wife working together and how it would all work.

There were some teething issues. As there is with all change.

Defining clear roles was essential to minimise conflict around responsibilities and business direction. After a while it became apparent that we each had our strengths and we decided to focus on those and split our roles that way. Anthony’s attention to detail, creativity, artistic skill and print background meant he was best placed to focus on managing the creative arm to the business, as well as managing external suppliers. Rosie’s marketing and retail background meant that she was best placed to be customer facing with a focus on project management. And so we continued on for the next twelve or so months.

After a period of time, it became apparent that Additiv Design wasn’t encompassing all of the possible services and overall business direction that our new (and improved ha ha) combined duo could now provide. We had big ideas and the current name just didn’t reflect that anymore.

So we embarked upon a complete re-brand.

ideapro. The next chapter.

The re-branding process took around 6 (long) months. For anyone who has rebranded, you know how much is involved. The naming alone took us around 2 months of butcher’s paper with inspirational words, brain dumps and brainstorming sessions plastered across the studio walls. Once the name ‘ideapro’ was decided upon, we wrote an internal detailed brief for ourselves and Anthony got busy with designing a new identity. Rosie in the meantime created a checklist of all the different customer touch points where our logo would appear and time-frames for when they needed to be updated. And boy that list was long.

We launched 1st July 2013 and ideapro was born.

So what did the future hold?

We knew we wanted and needed to offer more than just graphic design and printing to diversify our offering.

Our clients were asking for it, and we needed to respond.

Graphic design and branding identity is where our business started, and design is the heartbeat to everything we do. We love beautiful things, and know that design and design thinking influences and shapes the world. It was important to us both that we never forgot this and that design remained a key service offering.

Printing was still a big part of our business back then, however many print projects were moving towards a digital only approach, so we knew we needed to pay attention to what the market was telling us. Offering web development and other online marketing related services became an important part of our strategic direction. We were very clear that we didn’t necessarily need to learn every skill (nor did we want or have the time to), and we would deliberately build quality and trusted external partnerships for marketing services that we would not offer in-house.

At that stage we were also in ‘growing our family planning stage’ so even though clients were asking, Rosie didn’t want to work with clients on their marketing strategy and planning as she knew she wouldn’t be able to fully commit once on maternity leave. So we planned to delay offering marketing consulting until later, but it was very much a part of our plan.

Copywriting requests were starting to flood through as they seemed to hold up design projects, and with Rosie’s writing experience this seemed like another solution we could offer, so copy was added to our repertoire.

Finally, physical products. We adore working with our clients but we also have had a dream to create our own signature pieces. We decided we needed a brand and identity that would allow us to introduce our own product lines in future, when we were ready.

So as you can see, we had the vision of how we wanted to broaden our offering and become a complete marketing provider to our clients, as that is what they were asking for. We just weren’t ready to launch everything in those early days, but we did listen to our clients and we worked hard to respond when the timing was right for both us and them.

Our re-branding was very intentional and with a clear future path in mind.

Where are we now?

Since July 2013 we are so happy that we have been able to successfully integrate many of the services that we had planned for over the past four years.

As of today (August 2017)….

Graphic design and Branding has grown as an overall percentage of our business, and this was very intentional to counter balance the forecast of reduction in print projects. The quality of the projects we have been privileged to work on in the past few years makes our hearts skip a beat.

We feel very lucky to have worked with all our clients, to name but a few:

The Roy Property Development Campaign

GPC Asia Pacific Safety Campaign

Wattyl Protective Coatings Exhibition Stand

Aquatics and Recreation Victoria Annual Conference Campaign

Online Marketing and other services are now offered to our clients through well established and trusted partners in the areas of website development, video production, social media marketing, copywriting, SEO and app development.

Marketing Consulting packages were launched in February 2017 and limited places available were quickly taken up. This is a very exciting new service for our team, and it combines our now core offering of marketing strategy, planning and graphic design services with clients able to choose whatever service they need in a given month, up to their selected number of hours.

It has been so well received, that our team is now looking to expand to be able to offer more packages to a broader range of clients. It is also likely that we will move to a new studio and add to our team in the near future to allow for that expansion.  Stay tuned for the deets on that!! Check out some more info here if want to know more.

Copywriting has increased exponentially and with that we have expanded our copy team to support the increased demand. Communicating through effective copywriting, where less really is more, is fundamental to achieving results and connecting with your audience. Copy influences the success of your message, your design and your brand. It persuades a buyer to take action. It has the power to change someone’s mind. And is often the thing that stops sales and marketing projects getting done. And it’s not surprising that the last thing we want to is to stop marketing getting done, so our clients can now choose ideapro to arrange their copywriting.

Physical Products What this includes is currently secret squirrel’s business, but we can share that our very first product line in our own signature style is in development now. It will be available to purchase by both retail and corporate clients in the coming months, but obviously due to our perfectionist attention to detail attitude we can’t release the details until we are 100% happy with the finished designs. No surprises there (ha ha).

“Change is the heartbeat of growth”
Scottie Somers

We hope you enjoyed the insights into the evolution of ideapro to date, and that you can apply some of our learnings and vision for changing and growing your business according to what your customer needs, and importantly what makes you happy.

If you would like to know how we can help with any of our services, be sure to get in touch with our team.

We can’t wait to work with you.

Creatively Yours, Rosie & Anthony