My objective – to strive to deliver the very best quality branding work in the world, thus being rewarded with the reputation as one of the most admired boutique agencies globally (a bold ambition indeed) but that was the direction the compass was set, & would always continue to be fixed towards.
The detailed business plan I cobbled together seemed to make sense & so off I went – self funded, independently owned, registered & trademarked – Fable&Co. Limited was officially established.
I was now eternally beholden to HMRC, for the vast & somewhat excessive obligations & responsibilities I would have to adhere to, as I ventured into my unpredictable new life as a small business owner.
Back then Fable&Co’s humble studio was based in my spare room, I remember defending this with the statement ‘we intentionally keep our costs low to be able to provide maximum value to our clients’, however in reality, the truth was that we had no other option than to keep our business overheads to a minimum.
‘We intentionally keep our costs low to provide maximum value to our clients’.
My first & main challenge was convincing people to give me a chance, by commissioning Fable&Co. on decent branding projects, with realistic budgets enabling me & my team to deliver the high quality of work that I wanted the agency to become known for.
However, the lack of previous case studies that I was allowed to show online was my most significant concern (as previous projects had been delivered whilst working on behalf of other agencies). Some eight years spent living outside of the UK didn’t exactly help me with regards to a lucrative network of established business connections either.
Miraculously the work materialised faster than I had imagined, within a couple of weeks Fable&Co. were commissioned on a full rebrand & website redesign for a global travel company, headquartered in Southern California – Traveltrust. Fable&Co. was off to a flying start, literally – within an instant I boarded a flight bound to Los Angeles, to get underway on the research phase of our inaugural brand challenge.
By now Fable&Co. had long since moved from of the comfort & convenience of my spare room…
A few months later & the project was complete – the new identity & website launched without a hitch. By this point we had now been commissioned on a handful of other exciting projects too, from the brand development & website redesign for innovative London based adtech business ‘Statiq’ (who went on to sell to Telefonica in 2017).
Another impressive success story for Fable&Co. was a full strategic rebrand that Fable&Co delivered for global data brand ‘Grapeshot’ who then went on to sell their impressive tech business to Oracle for around £400 million in 2018, within 12 months of the rebrand & new suite of marketing collateral launching.
By now Fable&Co. had long since moved from of the comfort & convenience of my spare room, the team had grown to three full time staff & we had begun renting our first studio space on the outskirts of Brighton – an edgy basement, raw & industrial – complete with the pungent odour of marijuana often permeating throughout the building, originating from the run-down student digs above. As our first proper place to call home, this ‘no frills’ studio basement would do the job just fine.
Crafting an authentic environment that reflects who we truly are as an agency.
However, as the business evolved it became an intention to own our very own studio space in Brighton, a place where we can invest in crafting an authentic environment that reflects who we truly are as an agency. Somewhere free from stoned students, somewhere with an abundance of natural light, & somewhere with ample room for to support Fable&Co’s uncontrollable daily table tennis habit.
It was in during the epic summer of 2018 that we fell in love with our new home. Queens Park Villa, formerly known as Pennant Lodge. Built in 1851 and was designed by Sir Charles Barry, the architect responsible for the houses of parliament. This magnificent villa resides at the north west corner of Queens Park & was once the home to Charles Freshfield in the late 1800’s.
‘At age 5, many will start to look less like a chubby-cheeked toddler and more like the lanky grade-schoolers they will become. Some of the typical growth milestones include gaining four to five pounds, growing two to three inches, and achieving 20/20 vision’
It was a relatively painless move to our new home over to the other side of town. It felt like the hard work was done – but in reality, it was only just beginning.
It was important to us that our studio environment effectively complemented our culture & personality as a brand. Five years had now passed since we launched our original identity & website, we knew that this no longer effectively represented who we were & where we were headed.
We had now grown in size, as well as grown up significantly as an agency – becoming a more professional, efficient & experienced version of our younger selves.
With our 20/20 vision in full effect, it was clear that a new strategy needed be articulated in the form of a rebrand & full website redesign to facilitate & support our next phase of growth.
I had always felt that we never spent enough time to get close to producing anywhere near as high quality of work for our own brand, as we do each & every day on behalf of our clients.
This would need to change, we allocated a realistic amount of time to getting our rebrand completed to the highest levels & off we went, following our tried & tested process, although this time round I would assume the role as the inherently scrupulous & highly fastidious client.
Within the space of a few months the research, strategy & identity redesign was complete. Undoubtedly the most frustrating & inefficient part of the process was the regular stopping & starting in order to balance our other, more immediately gainful commitments on behalf of our clients. The entire team worked closely together, aligning our individual & varied talents to create something truly exceptional.
5 Years - the numbers...
Effective rebrands to our name.
Ambitious startup brands launched.
Custom websites designed, built & deployed.
Team of dedicated professionals.
Professional corporate branding projects.
Compelling consumer branding projects.
Eager to launch & unveil to the world our beautiful creation...
Like a proud father, I was massively proud of our brand refresh, we had finally managed to achieve our typically high standard of work for which we were renowned, but this time for ourselves. I was so eager to launch & unveil to the world our beautiful creation – but we were still nowhere really near the finish line.
Now we had to adorn our new environment with our compelling artworks, undertake a photoshoot, along with build our sleek new website as well as write & compile a huge amount of new content & case studies that we had neglected to keep on top of.
A couple more hard working months passed by & we were nearing a realistic launch date at long last – our rebrand just weeks from becoming actual reality.
‘Your 5-year-old will start to make new friends, experience the formation of relationships that are outside the immediate family circle, & blossom as an independent person.’
So here we are after 8 months of stop / start, our new identity & website finally achieving (if not exceeding) our high standards of work & ready to push live at long last.
It might have taken a while longer than anticipated, however we can now rest assured in our knowledge that if somethings worth doing, it’s worth doing right.
Our brand refresh certainly feels right, it will help us grow in the right direction as a business. It will offer far greater clarity, transparency & distinction above our peers, as well a facilitate new relevant opportunities long into the foreseeable future.