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Branded3’s acquisition by St Ives Group: One year on

St IVesA year ago today, Branded3 was acquired by the UK’s leading publishing and marketing solutions group St Ives. This was a truly momentous and proud moment for our agency which marked a milestone in the future of Branded3. So, how are we doing one year on?

Well, better than ever! In the past 12 months we’ve grown immensely; having made changes to team structure, agency proposition and focus, meaning we’re well equipped to push forward and continue with our ambitious expansion plans.

By October 2013, our team had grown 20% in just eight months, hitting a massive 60 team members; an increase directly in-line with the acquisition of new clients and exciting projects.

Before Christmas, we announced some changes to our management team. Our Director of Search, Patrick Altoft, was promoted to Director of Strategy, widening his remit to consult on our clients’ overall digital strategies. In this position, Patrick works closely with our clients at board level to oversee and deliver an interdependent digital approach.

This made way for our Head of Search, Tim Grice, to deservedly take on the position of Director of Search, reflecting his increased responsibility within the business and allowing him to drive the strategies for some of Branded3’s key accounts, including Ladbrokes and Virgin Holidays.

These changes have ensured that we have a solid management structure in our UK head office, laying the foundations for our international growth plans.

Not only were there some shifts in team structure, but as an agency, we’ve developed upon our digital proposition to clients to encompass the shift in the approach to SEO that we’d already adopted months before.

In-line with Google’s algorithms and listening to what users want; SEO is far tougher than it was before and relies on a brand’s ability to genuinely engage their audience and naturally build their popularity.

We do this by using a well thought-out and relevant combination of web design, web development, CRO, digital PR, social media and content marketing; put simply, we increase a brand’s search visibility through genuine audience engagement. This stronger proposition for our agency will mark a new phase in our new business approach.

As well as this, just 18 months on from the opening of our London base, we’re already moving to a bigger place! What began as a small team of two will now become a team of six, servicing our London clients and facilitating the growth of new business from a modern office space in Soho.

Quite frankly, we weren’t sure what the acquisition a year ago today would mean to our team; would they be worried about what changes would be made? Would the culture of our agency come undone? We didn’t know, and we were a little scared, but we put processes in place to ensure that communication was frequent and paramount, and gave everybody in the business the opportunity to express any concerns they might have, at any time.

The result has been the continuation and development of a strong, cohesive and happy team who all work towards the same goals. As such, we still have an unrivalled employee retention rate, something we’re really proud of. Branded3’s enthusiastic and exciting culture is as present as ever, and it’s evident in the collaborative relationships we have with our clients.

With a secure team infrastructure, solid agency proposition and an enviable, growing client list; the past 12 months have been some of our best yet, and we’re confident that with the continued support of the St Ives Group, we can achieve many more of our ambitious goals.

By Felicity Crouch. at 8:16AM on Friday, 16 May 2014

Felicity is Branded3’s Marketing Manager and develops and executes a creative marketing strategy for the agency to encourage new business. With a background in journalism and digital project management, Felicity manages a large number of marketing channels effectively to raise Branded3’s profile and facilitate the growth of the company. Follow Felicity Crouch on Twitter.

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