We believe that if you embed the core foundations for strong marketing earlier in the business development process, we will grow stronger, rounded, more resilient brands.
With marketing built-in at the core, businesses will emit positive messages through their everyday activities, requiring campaigns only to amplify rather than change perceptions.
OUR STORY SO FAR
HELPERS AT HEART
Our passion lies in seeing the businesses around us thrive and grow. What started as a consultancy, providing hands-on-support to growing companies, soon developed into something more.
As we worked alongside entrepreneurs and their teams, we saw how slick but un-userfriendly the traditional brand guideline document could be. How fantastically detailed but inefficient-in-the-moment a tone of voice guide turned out to be.
These teams were working fast and lean, they needed the topline information to maintain brand consistency at their fingertips. But it needed to be more than just the here and now of a guideline, it needed to show where that brand was going and how it was going to get there, it needed to include strategy.
And so the 1st iteration of the FUTRSMPL CANVAS was born. A one-page guide to a brand, from the logo to the fonts, the story to the values, strategic objectives to marketing strategies. Easy to access and display, great support for a design brief or inducting a new team member.
That’s all well and good if you happen to have logo guidelines you can input and a tone of voice you can condense. But what about those that don’t?
What happens to that start-up that finds itself a few years down the line with a team out-growing the office, investors looking for returns and a founder who still has most of the elements of their brand and vision rattling around in a very busy mind. How is all that drive and detail dispersed amongst the team? how are those goals going to be achieved? How long is that Fiverr logo going to cut it?
As we ran workshops with businesses to develop their own canvases we learned that, while many professed to have little knowledge of marketing, with a little probing they had all the information there, with a few questions to pinpoint the essence of their brand they had much stronger marketing foundations than they initially thought. They just didn’t know it.
If we could use questions and prompts in a workshop setting to take a business from a founder with a head full of jumbled passion, goals, and persistence to a solid communicable brand with a vision and clear objectives, could we use those questions and prompts differently to help more businesses? Did it have to be a physical workshop?
TESTING, TESTING, 123…
In the year that followed the conception of the 1st FUTRSMPL CANVAS, we have tested numerous ways we could adapt this format to be more time and cost-efficient for busy business owners. A long story of multiple spreadsheets, lots of two steps forward and 3 back situations and we have the 1st FUTRSMPL PLATFORM.
It was important to us on our journey that we didn’t get caught up in creating an online version of something that wasn’t needed or that was useful once but never used again. Of the businesses that have worked with us to test our concepts and iterations 4 main things were key to each of them:
It is your business, you know it best, we are just providing a framework to lay it out on.
Plus, you have over 20 years’ worth of hands-on marketing know-how on the other end of the line to sense check your entries, query a strategy, discuss tactics or simply give you the confidence boost that you know more about marketing than you thought.
We’ve thought hard about this one, there are many great tools out there that can help deliver various different tactics and measure all sorts of analytics, we don’t want to step on that, we use a lot of those tools ourselves.
The aim here is to find create an achievable plan strongly linked to your goals, so to help you do that, along with our checklists, we link a series of email reminders to each of the tactics within your plan with helpful hints and tips from our consultants who have been there and done that. Futrsmpl programmes ‘Strategise & Go’ and ‘FullMnty’ support these options.
The original canvas was designed to fit a single sheet of a3 with fixed elements. We have adapted this now so that you can select which sections to download and share, simply by opening only those sections.
For example, if you are briefing a creative agency, you may want them to only see your Foundations & Goals, or if you are delegating the delivery of the plan, you could only show the brand foundations and the plan.
Marketing is not a dark art, often it’s down to making sure you have all your bases covered, you understand your customers and try different ways of getting in front of them.
These programmes have been developed by marketers in conjunction with actual businesses, they are designed to make you think about what will really make a difference within the resources you have available and concentrate on those things. It is always better to do less really well, that to do a lot poorly.
Ultimately we believe marketing is best from the inside out, our aim is to empower business owners to develop strong strategic brands and effective marketing plans they can confidently delegate within their team.
The team is hugely important for growing companies, as such future plans for our platform include a Culture Checker to enable entrepreneurs to measure how well their brand foundations are fairing as they grow.
I truly believe if a company lives and breathes its brand from the inside it will reflect all the more strongly on the outside.
Now it's time to go and grow (hopefully for the both of us!)