By July 2015 – Bubblefish, a decade old creative agency had been successful in building the fortunes of over 200 brands on the back of savvy business advice and alluring design solutions for its clients. Many of these were up and coming entrepreneurs or aspiring celebrities with limited budgets seeking to establish a digital presence. In a market that was becoming increasingly price sensitive (especially in the web design space), the agency chose to dramatically change the game.
Bubblefish’s intent was to reposition itself from being a graphic design agency into a brand building outfit. First, it needed to complement its ‘street smart’ sense with high-level insights development and branding expertise that would enable it to target larger, growth-oriented clients. The agency decided to let go of less profitable segments while making known who it wants to work with – a bold move. It also wanted to shed its image of a cute design agency that works with early stage start-ups.
A former mentor was involved in the business as a Strategic Advisor paving the way for Bubblefish Creative Brand building. The “Bubblefish Ladder”, a four-step methodology explained its core philosophy of ‘swimming against the tide to scale newer heights’ and how strategy and creative worked in sync. A bold, more conspicuous typeface and a descriptor signalled the change. The brand promise was defined thus: “Scaling up your business”. A fish scale representing an upward arrow became a visual metaphor for growth.
A revamped website with persuasive copy and powerful visuals, a suite of new key words, and compelling case studies/vignettes all drew spontaneous interest from prospective clients seeking to reposition/rebrand their offerings in the quest for renewed growth.
The operations were streamlined embracing lean thinking across all facets of the business.
From developing engaging Facebook profiles and functional websites, Bubblefish ventured into building solid brands and successful businesses. The clientele mix changed from fledgling start-ups (although long term clients continued to be serviced) to established companies ready to ride a new growth curve.
From a predominantly food and retail focus, the portfolio expanded to beauty care, beverages, child safety, infrastructure, operations consulting and more. The market footprint now extended from Australia to Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America.
Bubblefish delivered profitable and purposeful growth for its clients earning credentialed referrals alongside industry recognition, including a spate of awards. Simultaneously, the firm succeeded in building its own brand and business.