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Say the right thing in the right way
and you can change behaviour.

English native-speaker ideas and copy for powerful communications.”

 

about

The biggest communications challenge is getting people to react the way you want them to. That’s our speciality.”

Everything depends on what you say and how you say it. If you can provide your audience (external or internal) with meaningful, relevant, respectful and trustworthy communications, they will listen to you, love you, buy from you, stay loyal to you and tell their friends about you. Creating those connections is what we do best.

 

services

If your advertising and marketing is not actively earning you money, what are you paying for?”

Getting your marketing messages out there is easy. We are flooded with potential delivery channels. But that doesn’t change the question: “Is our marketing making us any money?”

With so many channels available, it’s never been easier to put the wrong message in front of the wrong audience at the wrong time. Because of that, what you say and how you say it is more important than ever. Getting that story right for you is what we do.

 

Corporate clients Agency clients

Corporate clients

  1. Making your marketing budget earn you more money.
  2. Turning German communications into international communications.
  3. Demonstrating the value of disruptive communication.
  4. Selling difficult concepts or strategies to your internal audience.
  1. Creating a corporate tone of voice that everyone in your organisation can understand and recreate
  2. Enabling your marketing team to assess creative work more effectively.
  3. Giving your marketing team the language awareness to develop more effective communications.
  4. Opening seemingly closed doors to new business.”

Agency clients

  1. Winning your agency new business.
  2. Stopping existing business from going elsewhere.
  3. Providing you with an “English native-speaker” offering for your clients.
  4. Turning domestic campaigns into international campaigns.
  1. Bridging or filling a creative gap.
  2. Supporting you in English-language pitches and presentations.
  3. Adding creative energy to your in-house team.
  4. Opening seemingly closed doors to new business.

english

If you market in English, it makes sense
to write in English too.”

As native English speakers thinking and writing in our own linguistic culture, we ensure that your communications squeeze every ounce of value out of the international language of marketing. At the same time, because we have all lived and worked abroad, we know how to communicate effectively with non-native speakers. We create compelling concepts and stories that don’t rely on puns or other linguistic tricks that non-native speakers won’t understand and translators can’t translate. And you can brief us in German too. Cool.

 

clients

What you want to say to your customers can be very different from what your customers need to hear.”

We can all sell our own products and services to ourselves. Selling them to an outsider is something else. It takes the ability to put yourself in your customer’s shoes and fully understand his or her motivations and needs. Only then can you make meaningful contact.

That process involves imagination, courage and trust. We are proud to share that relationship with these people, either direct, through their respective agencies, or both.

 

casestudies

Great marketing does not begin with a killer concept.
It begins with a courageous client.”

If you have a clear idea of the creative solution you want, that’s what you’ll get. It takes balls to step outside that paradigm. But if you’re prepared to explore some different thought processes with us, you will seriously boost the effectiveness of your communications. Here’s a small sample of some of the ways we have achieved that for some courageous clients.

(No pix? No. And no client names either. Because of the nature of our working relationships, confidentiality is paramount. We will be pleased to show you examples in person, subject to receiving the necessary permissions.)

 

Case study 1:

Revealing the soul of an inscrutable giant

Client:
Major Japanese Car Corporation

Relationship:
Mainly via agency, with regular client meetings

Commissioned by:
Agency

Services provided:
Analysis, strategy, concept development, creative direction, art direction, copywriting

Project duration:
9 months

The brief:
The UK arm of one of the world’s largest car manufacturers had a challenge that needed solving. They had respect, which they appreciated, but they wanted desire, which they lacked. Their arch-rival was sexy, loved and the darling of the motoring press – winning plaudits that should have been our client’s by right. How could they correct that imbalance?

The approach:
Thorough and methodical. A meaningful shift in buyer perception cannot be achieved in weeks, or on the back of a single campaign. The agency that called us in to work on this wanted to go back with a big bang and a quick fix. But revolution is always messy and the results are unpredictable. Evolution is more effective and easier to manage. The client was happy to play a long game. After all, that was a big part of what made them the world’s most effective mass producer of motor vehicles.

The method:
It was a simple principle. Find what is really different and unique in the corporate culture, and tell people about it. Build a brand story that people will connect with and respond to. The more they know, the more reason they have to believe. That builds customer loyalty and brand evangelism. Because car buying is significantly influenced by what your family, friends and peers think, you need to know why you chose this car brand, because they will ask you. Selling cars is not about creating desire; that was achieved the minute the first Karl Benz three-wheeler scared its first horse, back in 1885. Selling cars is about giving people permission to buy. And that involves telling a compelling story.

The result:
The creative solution we developed marked a decisive move on the part of the client into corporate storytelling. Unfolding the rich and fascinating story that is theirs alone, and which no one else can lay claim to. Our work achieved instant impact and won wide acceptance among employees and customers alike. From the initial pilot stage, it was subsequently implemented across the entire UK network. The success of this project led directly to the client trusting the agency with a much larger project, involving the complete rebrand (including renaming) and relaunch of their lucrative after-sales offering. We worked with them on that as well, from initial brief to delivery.

Case study 2:

Helping to revitalise a former industrial heartland

Client:
Welsh Assembly Government

Relationship:
Evenly divided between agency and client

Commissioned by:
Agency

Services provided:
Analysis, strategy, creative development, copywriting

Project duration:
5 months

The brief:
Wales was once one of the world’s industrial powerhouses, rich in coal, steel and shipping. Since the economic upheavals of the 1980s, its traditional economy had collapsed and the principality was in dire need of regeneration. The Welsh Development Agency (WDA) was founded to achieve just that, with an open brief to encourage a spirit of entrepreneurship and the growth of new businesses. They did so very effectively. Working with their lead agency, our job was to find a way to help these thousands of new entrepreneurs to develop their young businesses.

The approach:
The WDA wanted a book: a business development book that explained and offered solutions to all the potential pitfalls and challenges faced by first-time bosses. But it had to be something that people would be certain to read and be inspired by. Tough call. How do you take a superficially dull subject like business administration and make it sexy?

The method:
Authenticity. What did the WDA have that we could use to make the book authentic? Acres of good research. So we sat down with them and decided how best to use it. Using the real-life voices that they had captured, talking about the real-life challenges they faced day to day, we set out to create a soap opera in miniature. A business “pictures-and-stories” book; peppered with hard fact and brought to life through the sometimes provocative and always interesting musings and reflections of real people.

The result:
250 pages of factual information, dramatised with compelling art direction, storyboard-style layouts and inspiring real-life stories. Told in seven distinct voices, created and shaped by Nick Berry from his Welsh heritage and memories of long summers in the Welsh countryside and the people he met there. Dylan Thomas Lite. By the time the WDA was amalgamated into the Welsh Assembly Government, they had distributed over 40,000 hard copies of this unique book, placed the entire project online, won awards and collected a file full of inspiring comments from inspired readers.

Case study 3:

Selling luxury to the cost-conscious

Client:
Prestige German car manufacturer

Relationship:
Mainly via agency, with regular client meetings

Commissioned by:
Agency

Services provided:
Analysis, concept development, creative direction, copywriting

Project duration:
4 days, leading to 18 months

The brief:
We were initially commissioned by the agency to work on the pitch for the whole of this prestigious client’s B2B business. We won the business for the agency concerned, putting their pitch together for them in just four (long) days from a standing start.

Our first big task was to build the client’s position in the highly lucrative fleet market. We came in on the back of a fleet sales ad campaign the client had just run that created zero recognition. Respondents didn’t even know which company the ads had come from. They were in bad need of some good ideas.

The approach:
Head down to the nearest major dealer and start asking questions. Then start talking to fleet buyers and find out what they wanted to know and how they wanted it delivered. By email? No. In print, with tear-out fact pages that could be pinned on their office walls.

The client told us they couldn’t precisely define the decision-makers in their audience; they were too diverse. So we started looking not at the diversity – from high-earning HR heads to low-earning PAs – but for the commonality. Every group has at least one touch point that everyone will respond to. All we had to do was to find that touch point.

The method:
Tell fleet buyers what they want to know, and give dealers that information in a format they will be proud to send out and that they know will get read. So what do all fleet buyers want to know, regardless of whether they are buying 500 cars for a major bank, or one car for themselves? Answer: what’s it going to cost me? And again, the million-dollar question: how do I justify to my finance director my decision to buy a prestige car?

The result:
The quarterly fleet news magazine we conceptualised and wrote shot out of the client’s marketing department almost before the ink was dry and went to an immediate reprint. Crisp, factual, informative and easy to use. With a perforated, tear-our fact sheet at the back, which post-campaign research proved fleet buyers tore out and stuck on their walls. And used to discover that the prestige fleet car they craved was going to cost them less over three years than the standard family car they thought they were going to be stuck with. End of argument.

Case study 4:

Unearthing the truth to bury the clichés

Client:
Leading UK telecoms provider

Relationship:
Direct with the client

Commissioned by:
Client

Services provided:
Analysis, research, concept development, copywriting

Project duration:
3 weeks

The brief:
The client runs the UK’s entire communications network. They take care of the messy, unglamorous end of the business: the actual infrastructure. But they do much more besides. For example, designing communications solutions for third-party providers or innovating new communications technologies. Few companies in the world hold more patents.

The challenge was to get that message across effectively to their constituency of around 900 customers, so that the client could do some serious solutions-based upselling.

The approach:
From a communications strategy perspective, the big challenge was that few people within the company really understood the full scope of their operations. There had also been a brochure in development for over 18 months, stuck in the approvals process, but it was too technically complex and mostly already out of date.

So we needed to find one person who could talk us through the whole story, giving us the information we needed to create an effective solution. Against an immovable deadline, we were given a target of three weeks to research, conceptualise and write whatever it was we were going to end up with.

The method:
A series of face-to-face interviews with the client’s fiery, opinionated and inspiring marketing director. Over the course of several hours, the story gradually unfolded. We talked about the company’s tarnished reputation – it was a popular hate figure in the UK following a controversial privatisation, and was perceived as notoriously inefficient. That too had changed radically; but again, too few people knew about it.

We talked about the challenges of creating more business from a finite constituency. We talked about the incredible infrastructure changes the company had forced through in recent years. We talked about ubiquitous broadband: more people in the UK can access broadband than can access the mains water supply. We talked about the potential of fibre-optic networking.

The result:
A single brochure, which introduced the full scope of the client’s operations and then guided the reader through each element in a clear and readable format. Because the publication needed to have a shelf-life of 18-24 months, the wording needed to be carefully tuned to avoid instant obsolescence.

Complex technical concepts had to be framed in terms that any CEO or CFO could quickly grasp, whether or not they had any specialist technical knowledge. With no fuss, and in just two drafts, the project was delivered a week early: well in time for the major international sales conference it was destined for. Proof positive of the vital importance of nailing down the strategy before beginning the creative work. It doesn’t just ensure that you say the right thing: it also saves valuable time and lots of money.

Case study 5:

Going global on one tenth of the budget

Client:
International IT network specialist

Relationship:
Mainly via agency

Commissioned by:
Agency

Services provided:
Analysis, strategy, concept development, creative direction, copywriting, ongoing creative support

Project duration:
1 week leading to 2.5 years

The brief:
The industry darling of mainframes, cores and switches, this client was the undisputed innovator who everyone else followed: something like the Apple of the IT infrastructure world. Then, one day, following a fabulously poor bit of consultancy on their business model, the company almost disappeared. The story is well documented.

Gone were the big marketing budgets and the big ad agencies they attracted. Gone was much chance of meeting the next wage bill. The client needed a credible and inexpensive way back into the international market, and they needed it fast.

The approach:
IT networks are notoriously complex and troublesome. The client’s big selling point was simple and intuitive networking. That was our strategic start point. The next challenge was the truly global scope of the company’s operations.

The new international campaign they were asking for – on one tenth of their previous budget – needed to work in 23 different languages. Given the cost constraints, we decided that ruled out using people imagery – too many different faces and skin tones, leading to huge photography and rights costs. But the ads still needed serious visual impact in a print environment dominated by clichéd corporate imagery and punning headlines.

The method:
Words only. No pictures. A single, dynamic block of colour with an irresistible headline and 120 words of informative body copy. No word play and no idioms; just a neat, engaging, relevant and easily translatable concept. Using bold pinks, blues, greens and yellows, we achieved instant cut through and sky-high recognition rates. And a large and desperately needed hike in sales.

The result:
With just one week and a lightweight, demotivated creative team to work with, we steered the agency to the pitch win. And a healthy six-figure budget in year one, which grew into a healthy seven-figure budget before the first annual review, and kept on growing. The copy-only route we devised proved effortlessly easy to translate into the 23 necessary languages, seamlessly transferable to other offline and online channels, and ran unchanged worldwide for over four years.

Case study 6:

Making tech talk

Client:
Danish industrial powerhouse

Relationship:
Client-based, working with agency for implementation

Commissioned by:
Client

Services provided:
Analysis, strategy, creative direction, copywriting

Project duration:
2 months (client relationship has existed unbroken since 2002)

The brief:
This client is a world technology leader in cooling, motion control, heating solutions, specialist business IT applications and more. 18 months prior to this project, they had launched an exciting new product that had failed to excite the market. Following a recent technical upgrade, the challenge was to see whether reworking the communications platform could improve the fortunes of what was an excellent product.

The approach:
We began by thoroughly analysing all existing communications. We then spent two days talking with the company’s marketing and sales teams. We identified a major gap between what they believed they had communicated and what their customers understood. In a line, the customers weren’t sure what the product did or how to use it. So we exploited our outsider’s perspective to examine and define the entire sales proposition again, from the ground up.

The method:
Create a fully integrated suite of communications, including offline and online elements, which 1) clearly explained what was a relatively complex product, and 2) did so with a simplicity and style that customers would relate to and find appealing. Working closely with the client’s talented young agency team, we created a beautifully simple, visually striking campaign that presented a top-quality, innovative product in a warm and informative way.

The result:
Initially intended as a test campaign within a limited area of the European market, the new campaign was rapidly rolled out across the entire region. Sales teams were delighted to have collateral that really explained the product’s key benefits, and customers seemed to agree. Sales have comfortably exceeded projections.

biogs

Creativity is an expression of craftsmanship and craftsmanship is an expression of knowledge. 
You can’t have the first without the last.”

Michelangelo described himself as a stonemason. We’d not compare ourselves to his genius, but the principle is the same. First and foremost, we are masters of our craft. Backed by academic training, life experience, practical knowledge, lust for life and feline curiosity. And an artist’s respect for his craft.

 

personal

Nick Berry

Analysis, strategy, disruptive communication, concepts, stories, content, fluent German
more
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Nick Berry

Analysis, strategy, disruptive communication, concepts, stories, content, fluent German

Academic failure at school brought years working in various jobs, from building labourer, stadium cleaner and welder to commis chef. My main early career was as a bicycle mechanic and retail shop manager in London and LA. Aged 26, I took a sabbatical to study literature and philosophy, culminating in a Master of Philosophy degree from the University of Oxford.

I’ve been an independent copywriter, creative director, corporate storyteller, disruptive communicator and communications strategist since 1998. I combine a wild intellect, constantly enquiring mind and autistic writing ability with the animal selling instincts of Steve Jobs.

I’ll be pleased to give you a fuller story over a coffee or two. Otherwise, I concentrate on making our clients even more successful.

personal

Jack Corrigall

Translation, translation technology, project management, glossary management, corporate style guides, content, fluent Germanmore
mail-to-nick

Jack Corrigall

Translation, translation technology, project management, glossary management, corporate style guides, content, fluent German

The natural wanderlust of a child brought up in colonial Hong Kong and an attempt to become a Renaissance man took me on an excellent adventure: first through European academic institutions, then a series of entirely unrelated jobs. After working in music promotion and then on a boatyard, I eventually rediscovered my love for the German language while working for an Austrian chef. Less than two years later I was an independent translator with a Masters in Translation from Exeter University. My left-brain feel for language and right-brain meticulousness was quickly appreciated. People often tell me that because it reads like copy written directly in English, what I do is more than just translation; I tell them that’s just what good translators do.

personal

Jeremy Stratton

Analysis, strategy, corporate language, training, stories, content, fluent French
more
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Jeremy Stratton

Analysis, strategy, corporate language, training, stories, content, fluent French

A voracious curiosity, sharp intellect and over-developed instinctive response to the world were just some of the attributes that made me inherently unsuited to a career in the law. But it was those same characteristics that drew me to writing. So after training as a solicitor, taking an English degree, being a reader in a literary agency, an editor in publishing and a feature journalist, I discovered copywriting. It matched my skill set perfectly – excellent analytical ability, personable nature, short-attention span and childish excitement about new ideas. Perfect. With the writing company I founded and ran for 20 years, I worked on or managed 10,000 writing projects. I approach every new project now with the same enthusiasm and diligence.

contact

We could talk to you for days about what we do.
Or we could show you in about an hour.”

Call us

Phone +49 (0)6221 9853434

IDEEN+TEXT
Dantestrasse 10
69115 Heidelberg
Germany

If you are open to exploring how to make your marketing communications more effective, we’d be happy to share some initial thoughts. Send us any piece of marketing material you are currently using and we’ll send you back 1 hour’s worth of suggestions. Free of charge and without obligation. Or pick up the phone and start a conversation..