, December 17, 2014

Thanks giving is…

…not only an important North American holiday but a good time to take a moment and look back at the past year. For Grain, 2014 has been incredible. It has been a year of change for us, with Daisy leaving our interior design team after four and a half years (sniff!) and two of our – evidently very well trained – junior designers moving on to Saatchi & Saatchi and Foster & Partners. Rather than leaving empty desks, we have added three new crackerjack roles: our developer James, designer Huw and project manager Anna. We have office expansion plans in the works, with more team members in the near future if this pace of growth continues!

Our clients are loving this amazing Dream Team as witnessed by the huge shift this year from a steady stream of new clients (previously about 2/3 of all our clients per year were new ones) to the vast majority of our work (about 70%) now an ongoing collaboration with clients, whether in a retained contract or not. This change reflects the type of work we are doing: in place of the previous one-off identity or website projects, we are working more strategically with our clients so everybody gets more out of the relationship. The branding and design work itself becomes more effective as we get to better know and understand our clients with their particular strengths and challenges, and spend less time on proposals and admin.

Grain has always covered the full arc of creative services from strategy to identity, digital, print, packaging and environments and now with the additional offering of social media and online PR, our entrepreneurial clients are more than happy to see their brand stories developing on various platforms and media, and thriving.

My thoughts keep coming back to our team and in particular to two people who have given us great insight into our own positioning: Helen Michels and Graham Bills. Over many conversations, their guidance and questions have helped Christoph and me understand the exact client profile which matches Grain: established entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial thinkers, often in luxury, fashion and education.

Most of the companies we work with are owner managed which usually means that our clients are pouring their heart and soul into their work, often on the path to realising hard-won dreams. It is incredibly rewarding to be part of these journeys and help make them come to life and succeed.

And Grain is no different. Just as our name evokes planting a seed and watching it grow, it feels like 2014 has been the year of living in the right soil with the sunshine, rain and nutrients needed for us to flourish, keeping up the strong growth we’ve had year on year since 2010. We are genuinely excited to continue onward and upward in 2015. Here’s to our wonderful clients and to our team! Thank you.

 

 

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