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Firmdale Hotels

cc79197d-8e99-40a6-8379-0ab21d9cc51a“The overall design of each space and room, and the immaculate attention to every detail is magical. From a bottle of the hotel’s signature scent pillow spray on your first night, the fresh flowers with room service tray, to whimsical ‘Mythical Creatures’ Wedgwood bone china, no detail is left unloved.

Every member of their team – from the front desk to room service – performs with excellence and pride, making this brand, in my view, one that truly delivers a superb holistic brand experience across every consumer touch point.”

Deklah Polansky, Creative Director and Partner, studio‘farrell and formerly Global Brand Experiential Design Director, Coca-Cola

firmdalehotels.com

 

Nespresso

Ralph Ardill“There’s no shortage of contenders but recently I’d have to say Nespresso – from the meticulous curation of their Boutique stores, infectious knowledge of their coffee experts and intuitive minimalist design of their coffee machine and accessories range, all the way through to the immediately recognisable naming, packaging and systematic colour-coding of their distinctive ranges – effortlessly re-created online and supported with all the helpful ‘customer-first’ delivery, pick-up, help, care and membership services any hard-core coffee aficionado could want.
 
A brand that’s getting the basics spot-on, making the complex simple and never forgets coffee is at the heart of everything they do, but bringing consumer pleasure to why they’re doing it.”
 
Ralph Ardill, Founder, Ralph Ardill Limited and formerly Head of Strategy, Imagination
 

REI

nestoras-argiris-136515-unsplash

“For me, a great customer brand experience is when the brand stops selling products and starts providing great service that prevents what I call ‘collateral damages’, while increasing positive emotional connections along the customer life cycle.

One brand that does this well is REI. They have successfully positioned themselves as an outdoor lifestyle brand with a great customer service experience in all channels – in person, at the store, to online, with robust FAQ, repair / refund / exchange policy to promote customers to be the brand advocate by helping them to share stories, celebrating their great customer service success stories.

cc79197d-8e99-40a6-8379-0ab21d9cc51a-1The attention to details for these touch points have effectively addressed the underlying customer needs around saving time, fast service turnaround, price match, and positive emotional feelings interacting with the brand.”

Kevin Lee, Executive Director and Vice President, Head of Design and Co-Innovation at Visa

rei.com

Pet Smart

cristofer-jeschke-606582-unsplash“We have an ’emotionally delicate’ Boston Terrier named Liam. When he goes in for his monthly ‘Spa wash’ we are always surprised and delighted to receive a hand written report about his nails, coat, glands and his demeanor during the time spent there.

The staff are loving and kind and it’s clear that the animals feel safe and happy. For a low cost, and considering that this is a mass retail experience, you often receive more documentation, care and information about your pet than from your own Doctor’s visit.”

Deklah Polansky, Creative Director and Partner, studio‘farrell and formerly Global Brand Experiential Design Director, Coca-Cola

petsmart.com

 

*”Success is the sum of details” Harvey S. Firestone

Image credit: Matt Richardson | Unsplash
Image credit: Jack Kaminski | Unsplash
Image credit: Nestoras Argiris | Unsplash 
Image credit: Cristofer Jeschke | Unsplash

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Main Content

‘The most successful I have ever felt’

unknown3Small Giants see beyond size as a success factor; exploring bigger choices in the development of their business and the way they work.

“I felt the book (Small Giants) was about staying pure to what you set the company up for in the first place. Set your own definitions of success – you don’t have to be big. The agency I co-founded in London had 12 people. The one I have now in Bath has four – this is the most successful I have felt. We are doing great work, for great clients and we win awards against agencies 100 times our size.”

Jamie Ellul, Founder and Creative Director, Supple Studio

‘Being able to say no’

daniele-levis-pelusi-311031-unsplashSmall Giants resist the prescribed path and external pressures to maintain what’s important to them: control – and the freedom to realise their own vision.

“Control to me is being able to say no to projects that are not right for us, and yes to the projects that really resonate. We only have a few clients, but we service them to the max. It is all about making their lives easy, and we are able to do that because we are flexible due to our size.”

Jamie Ellul, Founder and Creative Director, Supple Studio

‘With great teams comes great culture’

Small Giants treat their people with respect, dignity and integrity, understanding and exercising the value of making their business a great place to work.

unknown“We are focused on creating a great working environment for people to enjoy themselves. When people are enjoying themselves great teams are built. With great teams comes great culture. We have defined three sets of behaviours for everyone at MrB, which really helps us drive the business:

1 “It can be done” – be positive. Don’t just solve problems, seek them out.

2 “Be there” – turning up everyday, being a team member. You can’t do this on your own.

3 “Act like you own it” – empowers the team, but makes them think – ‘if this was my business would I do that?’

Simon Barbato, CEO, Mr B and Friends

 

“We have developed a culture of distributed responsibility by hiring staff on values – we look for the same core philosophies. We hire those people who you could sit around a dinner table with, who have diverse interests and backgrounds but fit in with your brand. We then follow the teach, equip, trust model. Don’t do it for them. If they make mistakes coach them, don’t dictate.”

Brian Mansfield, Chairman, Taxi Studio

‘Customer satisfaction has gone through the roof’

ep_0445Small Giants take advantage of being small and privately owned to develop and tailor effective, unique management practices. 

“We looked back to when we were 10 people. It was when we were our most productive, most agile and most profitable. So we are now trialling a pod system with a 10 person pod within the business made up of designers, copywriter, account director etc. We are three months into the trail, with the aim of having three pods in place by the end of 2018. Customer satisfaction has gone through the roof because we have been able to react to issues there and then. Plus with the pod’s notional P&L the PBT (profit before tax) has risen to 32%. If we can scale this approach we can be a larger business, while maintaining the entrepreneurial approach.”

Simon Barbato, CEO, Mr B and Friends

‘You build up trust on both sides’

Small Giants create exceptional relationships with their clients and suppliers for long-term benefits, and engage with local communities and issues for a meaningful emotional impact.

“We also try to collaborate with local suppliers and are very loyal to those we work with. You build up trust on both sides. We also try to put something back into the community by doing a pro-bono project for a local organisation each year.”

Jamie Ellul, Founder and Creative Director, Supple Studio

‘Someone in the business needs to care about that side’

Small Giants are proud to work differently for a better result for their company, people and community.

taxi_website2015_team_inpage_brian_mansfield_desktop“Design businesses will always be passionate about the work and the craft, but there is nothing wrong with also being passionate about the business itself – how it is run, how it makes money. Someone in the business needs to care about that side with the same amount of passion. There is no point being a boutique agency doing great work if you don’t make any money.”

Brian Mansfield, Chairman, Taxi Studio

Watch the full interview with Brian Mansfield of Taxi Studio, Jamie Ellul of Supple Studio and Simon Barbato of Mr B and Friends

Image credit: Sutirta Budiman | Unsplash 

Image credit: Daniele Levis Pelusi | Unsplash 

Image credit: Design Week

Image credit: Tech Spark

Image credit: Catchfire funding

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