BRAND-LED
GROWTH

Brand

We are 9!!

Posted 14th June 2024
By Focus7

Happy Anniversary to the amazing team at Focus7, you are the people that motivate me every day so thank you for your incredible support! #Teamworkmakesthedreamwork and it doesn’t work without any of you!! 

Also, a hearty thank you to all our present clients and clients over the years, we have loved bringing your projects to life and seeing your businesses thrive!

Thank you

Our Journey

Has been an ‘evolution’, not a ‘revolution’, and if the past 9 years (particularly the past 5 years!) have taught Me/us anything it’s: 

  • The unexpected can happen and you must react quickly and efficiently. 
  • You cannot stand still, you must adapt, grow and evolve, understanding the changing needs of the economy, your market, your audience and your people (particularly your people!)
  • Strategic thinking lays the foundation and quality thinking ensures success. When you prioritise quality alongside your strategic endeavours you are better equipped to make well-rounded decisions. 
  • Tech advancements change everything quickly. 
  • You must educate your audience to want what you do, because they might not know they need you.
  • Equally, sometimes, you have to tailor what you do to meet what your audience needs.
  • Collaborations and partnerships are an essential part of evolution.
  • It’s become too easy to make excuses about why we shouldn’t or couldn’t invest in our own business development.
  • Without interactive, cross functional and well managed processes at the core of your business, it will fall over.
  • Embracing diversity, equity/equality and inclusion is a sign of strong leadership.
  • ESG (Environmental, social, and governance) is really important.
  • Exit plans need alternatives!
  • And finally … What does success look like for you … (What’s your success criteria?) 

I had a great coach and mentor in my enterprise days, he would say to me “are you doing what only you can do and if not, then give it to someone else to do!” … a great lesson in delegation but one that stuck with me when becoming a business owner and Focus7 is built on two principles:

Are we doing what only we can do?

Are we doing for our customers what they shouldn’t be doing for themselves?

Over the past 9 years, we have focused on what we are good at, getting businesses to apply quality thinking when creating a great brand strategy. Working with customers to identify why they exist, who they are and how they do things. This can be a powerful way to re-energise employees, begin the process of cultural change and build on the values, purpose and beliefs that can drive the business forward. We help our customers to understand what has made their business successful up to this point, whilst identifying what will keep them moving forward.

We are catalysts of change delivering our unique blend of brand activity working with you to get your business ready and brand fit for the future.

Partnerships & Collaboration

I mentioned earlier that it’s become too easy in business to make excuses for why we shouldn’t or couldn’t invest in our own development! Time to think, strategise, socialise and implement new ideas is considered a luxury and unjustifiable cost and it is often perceived that bringing someone in from outside, like a consultant, can lead to interference, weakness or failure when in fact, it’s true visionary leadership and the right people can be a catalyst for change.

That’s why I love the ‘fractional approach’, a fractional executive offers their expertise and experience as a full time executive but on durations that suit a businesses growth needs and at a fraction of the cost. They are experienced leaders often brought in to help fill leadership gaps. They are very hands-on and own key projects addressing areas of potential improvement and start delivering value much faster than the time it takes recruiting and training the skills gap into a business.

A fractional executive working alongside other experienced professionals, from a variety of different roles, suddenly becomes exciting, because you then have the broad range of expertise and experience needed, working as a dynamic team, providing an objective 360 degree view on the business.

Which is why I have partnered Focus7 Limited with fractional-execs.co.uk

As one of the founding Fractionals of the Fractional Exec team, as well as being CEO of Focus7 Limited, I am one of 35 Fractional Executives and I specialise in providing support in either the CMO/COO space. Excitingly, I am currently holding several CMO roles delivering new product and brand shift projects to market. Also, Focus7 is one of 22 partners and we are providing our unique brand strategy programme to deliver a range of strategic and marketing services.

Being part of a team of experienced leaders and working alongside a group of professional partners, including Focus7, has widened our offering and ensures we provide the best skillset support where necessary for our customers.

Which is why we are excited to launch the M&A Playbook (Mergers & Acquisition)Appraise | Transform | Integrate – Designed to support businesses seeking investment/funding, sale, acquisition or merger

  • We guide you through every stage—from initial discussions to building a data room, appraisal, evaluation, due diligence, deal closure, and post-deal integration, ensuring a seamless and successful M&A journey.
  • Alongside the commercials and financials, a key part of the M&A playbook is brand and culture consolidation which defines the success of the post integration activity. Focus7 and I deliver that part of our playbook alongside a team of experienced M&A fractional Execs who support the delivery of the full 360 degrees activity.
  • The playbook is all about getting the best enterprise value possible.
  • The brand and culture consolidation sits very closely with ‘The Brand Shift Program’ …

The Brand Shift Program

Focus7 is delivering ‘The Brand Shift Program’ – an immersive journey that will redefine your business strategy and brand culture increasing the enterprise value of your organisation.

The Brand Shift Program is a meticulously crafted series of workshops aimed at businesses looking to radically enhance their brand strategy, go to market position and operational approach. Over the course of five days, participants dive deep into the core aspects of their businesses that influence brand perception and growth potential. From redefining success metrics beyond profit margins to breaking down operational silos that hinder progress, the program covers a broad spectrum of strategic areas.

The program is led by myself, Vida Barr-Jones and Aarti Parmar, certified brand strategist and qualified coach. Two seasoned professionals renowned for our expertise in driving transformative change and strategic brand alignment. Our combined experience ensures that participants receive insights that are both practical and evolutionary. We are joined by Belinda Prescott-Collins, branding, marketing and activation expert who runs the delivery of all our marketing programmes. Between us all, we shift your brand strategy into productive business growth.

So, over the past 9 years, I have laughed, learnt, cried, had highs and lows and evolved the business to where we are today. It’s been amazing, at times challenging, often rewarding, sometimes frustrating and I confess to have been driven insane on occasion (a business owners lot!), but I have grown, and evolved and have loved every minute of it. I’m still as driven as always to help businesses get to the heart of their business and make it beat faster… so bring on the next few years to come! 

Great ideas start with a conversation so if any of this resonates with you let me know and let’s talk.

CEO at Focus7

With passion and professionalism in abundance, Vida Barr-Jones has an impressive track record of establishing and meeting business goals. Vida brings 34 years of commercial experience, having spent eleven years as a Board Director at Europe’s largest FTSE-listed office products wholesaler. Vida is an inspirational leader known for excellent communication and engagement across all levels.

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