Team effortBLUEPRINT CREATIVE’S MANAGING DIRECTOR RON JOHNSON and business development director Renée Newsam. (Donnay Deane)
By Marlon Madden | Wed, July 18, 2012 - 12:01 AM
BLUEPRINT CREATIVE, winners in the small category of the 2012 Barbados’ Best Employers programme, is yet to come to terms with their triumph.
Blueprint Creative has been in existence for just over four years. It is a design strategy firm specializing in helping companies build their brands through advertising, marketing and social media campaigns.
Managing director Ron Johnson and director of business development Renée Newsam told BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY they were still amazed by their win over two weeks ago.
“I am still replaying the moment in my mind when they announced us as the winners. Waiting for the results was kind of nerve-racking; wondering if we would win or not,” said Newsam, noting that they would have learnt a lot throughout the competition to help them further improve many aspects of their business.
“The real significance of the award is that we have a truly great team. For us, the award is more about the team that we have than about us as employers,” she added.
Shock and gratitude
“It was a complete shock to us. . . . We have only been around for four years so we honestly were shocked,” reiterated Johnson.
The brother and sister team expressed gratitude for the host and sponsors, describing the programme as “a catalyst for economic growth”.
Johnson said that improved communication within the organization and team spirit helped propel them to win the competition.
Blueprint Creative started out with three employees and is now a team of nine people.
“We knew that human resources was important from an academic standpoint [but] we had no idea how to implement it in the best way possible. That was one of the reasons we entered in 2010.
“When the results came back, we were able to analyze how we were doing and where our weak points were and make improvements over a two-year period and then from there I suppose those improvements that we made to our human resource strategies helped us to win our category in 2012. It was a true team effort,” explained Johnson.
For this small business, it is not just about maximizing profits and maintaining a presence in the local market, but also helping the companies they do work for to increase their client base and enhance their image.
“We help our clients to build brands so they can grow their business,” he said.
“So the core of what we do is design related. In terms of building the clients’ brand we use our design capabilities to help them gain visibility in the marketplace, to help them promote their products to their customers, and to help increase the emotional connection between their brand and their end clients,” explained Johnson.
He said despite a tough business environment and increased competition from social media and other businesses, they have managed to show satisfactory growth.
“It has been a period of constant growth in a very challenging economic environment,” he said.
“I think everyone in the industry has been faced with reduced budgets. Most companies had their budgets for advertising and promotion slashed. So there is less of that type of work to go around,” Johnson explained.
The entrepreneur said they managed their performance “by focusing specifically on our clients and their needs and making sure that we exceed their expectations”.
“What we have done is that we have found a way to become more efficient and productive so that we try our best to neutralize those challenges that the companies would have faced,” he said.
“We do our best to make sure we understand our clients and their challenges. At the end of the day it goes back to what our customers really need.”
Despite depression in the industry and increased competition, the duo said the team still has “a positive outlook”.
“We plan to keep on doing what we have been doing for the past four years – focus on our clients’ brands and help them grow their business,” said Johnson.
“The economic environment is going to change, evolve and become refined. And different market forces are going to come in, but our team is really committed to helping our clients build their brand. So it is not just about coming in to work, do a job and leave,” he explained.
Their employees bring with them various educational backgrounds. This, said Johnson, was one of the “unorthodox” reasons for the company’s continued success. “This has proved to be a competitive advantage for us,” he said.
Opting not to go into detail, the business duo said they were keen on doing work outside Barbados and they have already started.
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