'We had to prove we had something different to offer'
Boxclever was set up by Kathryn Boxall, Sam Gardner and Claire Boorman in November 2010. A year later, at the Research Awards 2011, the firm won Best New Agency.
Here Boxall (centre) explains what winning the award has meant for the business.
Why did you decide to enter the 2011 Research Awards?
Right from the outset we had a very clear vision for Boxclever and we set our sights on working with the best clients in the industry. We knew that in order to do this we had to prove we had something different to offer and we hoped that winning Best New Agency would not only raise our profile but provide an industry seal of approval. It has definitely done this for us.
How did it feel to win your category?
Amazing. It’s such a great feeling surrounded by your clients and people you’ve worked really hard with to have that hard work acknowledged. It didn’t feel that great the next morning though – Boxclever are very good at celebrating. Over the next week we received so many calls, emails and even flowers congratulating us, but the really nice thing was that these came not just from clients but other agencies who’ve supported us and wanted us to do well (including a couple of past winners).
What has winning meant for the team?
Setting up a new business in a recession can be seen as reckless and it was a brave move for Claire, Sam and me, so this provided the final confirmation that we’d done the right thing and our plans were moving in the right direction. As far as the team’s concerned, it just provides us with additional pride in the work we do. It’s also helped with recruitment because I hope it says something about the success of the business and our future ambitions.
How has winning helped you in your dealings with your existing clients?
They are pleased for us. We know many of them took a risk using a smaller, relatively unknown agency in the early days and this should confirm they made the right choice. I also think it’s given them the confidence to trust us with their most important projects because they can see us going from strength to strength.
How has winning helped you with your new business development activities?
It’s helped massively. This is a people business and you have to connect and trust your agencies, but if we tick these boxes, the award demonstrates our credibility to new clients who have never worked with us before. We’ve also had clients call us out of the blue and request that we apply to their roster because they “want to have the Best New Agency on their books”. We are really not going to argue with that one.
Any tips for would-be entrants on crafting an award-winning entry?
Be honest but not modest. Our sales figures and client list spoke for themselves, but we were very clear about our objectives for the business and our strategy for achieving it. We’d never entered anything like this before so certainly didn’t have a tried and tested, winning formula. I’d say, give it a go, don’t be afraid of being a novice and enjoy the awards night.