Case Study: Idenna

Extraordinary times call for extraordinary creative

The coronavirus pandemic has undoubtedly caused a huge shift in consumer behaviour; people are thinking a lot more about what they actually need and want, which has therefore had a knock-on effect on how businesses and brands need communicate with their customers.

For those nervous about what steps to take next when it comes to marketing, full-service creative agency Idenna thinks it’s simple: extraordinary times call for extraordinary creative.

James Neale, Creative Director, explains: “As a creative agency, looking at trends, consumer behaviour and future possibilities is in our nature, so I have to admit that we’ve been one step ahead in terms of identifying both opportunities and threats. Because people have had to adapt and take on social distancing measures, we’ve noticed is that there’s a massive appetite for unique and meaningfully impactful online creative. Consequently, ROI in digital marketing has doubled in some cases, with more people online than ever before.”

With this in mind, James said that there’s never been a better time to experiment with your marketing budget.

“I think the biggest bit of advice we’d give to brands and businesses right now is to explore the possibilities with your marketing. It’s the busiest time in internet history, there are more people watching TV, listening to the radio, scrolling through social platforms; if you believe you have an audience that you haven’t reached before, now might just be the perfect time to find them. You just need killer creative and an added value message for your customers to cut through the noise.”

The Idenna team believes that creativity and storytelling will always be needed, which is why they’re in a strong position to help businesses not only survive but thrive through COVID-19 and beyond. “When you need to think about reimagining your brand position or offering to adapt to the situation, having access to a team of 15 lateral, creative thinkers and problem solvers is a very powerful thing.”

Reaching more customers than ever

Karma and the good in giving back

“When the pandemic initially hit, it was super important to us to not only make sure we maintained our own business, but also to help others,” James continued. “We’re big believers in karma and community, so we wanted to offer some creative advice to those who might have been unsure of what steps to take next, free of charge.”

At the peak of uncertainty, Idenna offered a ‘Free at 4pm’ campaign where they donated an hour of any Idenna team member’s time every day for one-to-one conversation with businesses; whether it was help with SEO, advice on digital marketing campaigns, how to upcycle film and photography content or getting the right tone of voice for communications. They also donated time and creativity to a Cornish charity that’s close to their hearts, Cornwall Hospice Care.

As people couldn’t get out to their hairdressers during the lockdown, Idenna helped launch the #SpendOnCareNotHair campaign which encouraged people to show off their dodgy self-cut dos in exchange for donating their usual hairdressing fee to the charity.

Working With Oxford Innovation

James and Team Idenna have worked alongside Will Cairley for many years, and have hugely benefited from advice, guidance and training.

“Having Will as a coach has been invaluable to us as business. I think having an outsider’s perspective is crucial; sometimes you’re too close to what’s going on and it can be tricky to look at things objectively. Will is honest, savvy and always helps us refocus our strategies to make sure we’re covering all bases.”

Will Cairley Oxford Innovation Cornwall Cornwall

Having worked closely with Idenna as their lead coach, Will is understandably proud to have watched them go from strength to strength.

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with James and the team since it was a ‘compact’ business many years ago and have enjoyed watching them prepare and pitch for client opportunities to add to their growing portfolio, always with their clients first and foremost in their thinking,” Will says.

Idenna received the COVID-19 support manuals from Oxford Innovation, using them as a checklist to ensure they stayed up-to-date with best business practice and help keep things moving forward positively. “There are always things you can be doing better,” James added. “The Gap analysis tool we were sent in May proved really useful to us to help us identify new horizons.”

Will wasn’t surprised at all that James took this new information to heart and started work on it immediately, putting together a plan of action within days. “He came back to me on Sunday with multiple responses for us to discuss together to modify ways of working, helping the team and their clients cope better with some of the effects of the Covid crisis,” Will explains. “One of the things I enjoy about working with James and the Idenna team, is that they’re always turning ideas into action.”

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This programme is fully funded by the European Regional Development Fund 2014-2020.