I started this blog a month ago. It was a glorious Sunday afternoon and we had gone away for the weekend. Ahead of me in front of the open bi-fold doors was a deck, then a road, then a stoney beach and finally the sea. As the sun reflected off the still water, I watched the Newhaven ferry slowly move across the horizon as it headed into port. I had been sitting on the deck and the Sunday papers were finished – so was the gin and tonic. I was working out how long AVIDD had been going. Pretty much five months I thought. We have to do a blog for our 6 month anniversary and recalling in my head everything we had achieved, I wanted to get my laptop out and start writing.
That is how I feel about AVIDD. That is how we all feel. This is not a job – this is now who we are. We are officially open nine to five every weekday but I’m usually at my computer by 8am. And now it’s a Sunday, and I am away on holiday and I’m working. I want to work. Kev had been away all week in Rhodes but he’s been in touch to keep up with projects. David has had a day out at a community garden and his first thought: “I need to tell people about this project.” He had to spread the word and so he did.
On day one when we launched, we were as nervous and excited as hell. There was no going back. When we told people about our values and our process, the secret was out there. After going live on day one we obviously had a massive response from family, friends, and ex-clients all wishing us well. We were euphoric. But as day two dawned, we realised nobody really knew we were there. They say the best place to hide a dead body is page two of a google search, but we were on page four! And so a relentless social media campaign kicked off. The aim – to let people know who we were, what we were about and to drive traffic to a website they had no idea existed. Our aim at the start was to be a breath of fresh air, a shock to the system of local agencies that were resting on their laurels. We hit networking groups in Peterborough and Stamford. I did two in one day, honing our message so it could be easily understood and remembered by all that heard it. At one such event, someone commented that AVIDD was everywhere. And we were!
Six months in and we have written 16 blogs. We have 118 Instagram followers and 228 Facebook likes. And we have really given other agencies a lot to think about. Suddenly, agencies who hadn’t posted on social media for months got their act together and were even opening up social media profiles that had never interested them before. We were posting there so they realised they needed to post too. Agencies in the area began making a noise. We realise some agencies don’t like competition, but we relish it and are delighted they are finally raising their game to levels that they should have been at for years.
We’ve also mixed up what a design agency talks about. AVIDD has strong ethical and environmental values so we shout about them. We talk about the exhibitions we attend and are happy to share and discuss our opinions. We even post recipes. What’s that all about? For us, it’s about telling stories, our story. We have a garden allotment and we occasionally meet there surrounded by our organic fruit and veg. So why shouldn’t we share a recipe that uses those incredible ingredients? The flatbread pizza looked really good – just like our design work. But we told you how to create it, and hopefully, in the last six months, we have shown how we create our design work too. We think of AVIDD as much more than a design agency. We are never off duty so we will discuss and show you things that mean a lot to us. And if you think you know who we are, just you wait. We haven’t even started to explore how we can operate as a design agency. In those six months, has that social campaign worked? Just try googling Design Agency Peterborough and see where we are on the list. But we certainly won’t be resting on our laurels because the agencies we have inspired won’t be stopping now we have shown them what can be achieved with a concise and effective social media campaign.
In the six months since our launch, we have been discovered and approached by many new clients attracted by what we do and the way we work. We have some incredible clients that we collaborate with – people that share our values and philosophies but also love the work we can deliver. We want to thank them for taking a chance on us even though we haven’t been around for decades and don’t arrive at meetings in flashy cars, bombarding them with hyperbole and marketing speak. We love working with you guys and we look forward to working with you for many years to come.
We have also helped, or are helping, four charities through our Design Donation. We offer a days free design time to good causes old and new, nationally known or never heard of. We have created animations and logos and there are more in the pipeline, more logos and videos for deserving causes across the region and beyond. We firmly believe charity work is for life, not just Christmas.
We have also collaborated with many local designers and experts in their field. It used to be that an agency sat behind closed doors guarding their clients, shut off from the outside world. Not here at AVIDD. We want to thank the designers and agencies that have passed us work knowing we could deliver a great solution to their problem. We love the word collaboration and some designers in the area believe that too. It’s been a privilege working with you.
We also need to take time to thank family and friends – people who have put up with us working crazy hours, people that have constantly reminded us why we decided to do this. That reminds us of the impact we have already had. We want to thank everyone for the likes and the shares and the contacts.
AVIDD in numbers:-