There is no doubt that the coronavirus pandemic hit businesses in different ways.
Some companies closed their doors for months on end last year and others have had to pivot to offer different products and services to survive. At the other end of the spectrum, some businesses are flourishing as their products and services are in demand like never before.
Avery Creative, a branding and graphic design company based in Kettering, has seen a massive increase in business, and reported its best month to date in June when it tripled its average monthly income.
Owner Trudie Avery, also known as the #LogoLady, has been amazed by the amount of people who decided to use this pandemic period to invest time and money into developing their brands and start new businesses.
“Despite the obvious awfulness going on in the world right now, there are some marvellous things happening, too,” said Trudie. “I like to think of it as the great British spirit coming alive in a time of crisis. We are all fighting this fight together and some people have seen COVID as a chance to be bold and brave, seizing new opportunities and turning passion projects into new businesses.
“Instead of the old Keep Calm And Carry On mantra, people are saying Let’s Do Better and We’re Going to Come Out Of This Even Stronger.”
And Trudie’s observations are backed up by real data. According to figures released by Companies House via Enterprise Nation, as Britain went into lockdown last March, new firms being established fell by 19% year on year. In April, the figure fell by 29% but then in May they fell by just 3%, and in June there were 77,574 new formations compared to 52,779 in June 2019 – a 47% growth.
Some of the biggest increases came among companies in the so-called ‘COVID economy’. For example, a 400% rise in disinfecting services, 317% increase in the retail of medical goods and an 85% hike for businesses offering specialised cleaning services. There was also an 110% increase in new internet retail businesses.
Over the last few months, Trudie has worked with a variety of businesses to develop their branding. These range from business coaches to massage therapists and catering companies to those in the financial sector and recruitment. She has even worked with a paddle board company that couldn’t get out on the water but got themselves branded up, ready to go and saw their books fill up with pre-bookings as a result.
“Those that know me know that I am hugely passionate about branding,” said Trudie. “While I am known as the #LogoLady, there is so much more to branding than just a logo. It is about the feeling your brand emits. Does your brand capture who you are and what you stand for? Does it speak to your prospective customers in the way you want it to? Does it attract the kind of client you want to work with?
“I hugely admire those who have been brave enough to start a business or undergo a rebrand during this time. But, when you think about it, there is no better time to do this. When face-to-face pitches, exhibitions and networking events have all fallen by the wayside, it is harder to build that trust. Now, more than ever, is when your branding has to do the talking.”
One company Trudie has been working with is Red Pepper Catering of Milton Keynes. Like many catering firms, Red Pepper Catering was hit hard by the pandemic as events came to an abrupt stop. Company director Caroline Haylor adapted and began offering afternoon teas and ready meals for delivery.
But Caroline wanted to do more. She wanted to ‘take the reins’ of her business and steer it in a different direction so she could emerge out of the pandemic stronger than ever. She attended Trudie’s online Branding Masterclass and it set creative sparks flying. She contacted Trudie and together they gave her branding a complete overhaul.
Caroline said: “Trudie took the time to get to know me and my business. She asked me to give her words that summed up my business. I said ‘exquisite’, ‘luxury’, ‘honesty’ and ‘committed’ and was blown away with the new branding Trudie delivered.”
After agreeing on the new logo, Trudie got to work creating a new website and marketing literature for Caroline that appealed to the luxury market she wanted to work with and it has completely transformed her business, generating orders and positive feedback from clients and the addition of new services. Red Pepper Catering now caters for private dinner parties, weddings and corporate events and also offers afternoon teas and posh ploughman’s lunches.
“My new branding is completely in harmony with what we do. I’m so proud of my business and I’m thrilled with the response I’ve had from customers to the rebrand, new menus and services,” added Caroline.
“It was fantastic to work with Caroline,” said Trudie. “She was determined to come out of this pandemic stronger and, with her new branding, website and additional services, there really is no stopping her now. Love that!”
For more information about creating a brand or undergoing a rebrand, contact Trudie at firstname.lastname@example.org