A quick look back

As a business, we spend most of our time looking forward; helping our clients to unlock new growth and prepare to thrive in the world 3–5 years out in front. But as we hurtle towards the end of the year, it feels like the right time to pause and look back just briefly at what that has meant in 2016.

It’s been a big year and not always the easiest. We made bold moves in iterating our business model and ways of working (which we’ll talk more about in the new year). We developed more innovative ways of partnering with clients to create the most impact, successfully starting to create a new offer in the space between business consultancy and agency.

Having made equally bold changes throughout the last 14 years, we know this brings challenges and has required huge energy. But we need only look at what we’ve achieved this year to validate these efforts:

· We’ve continued working with Compare the Market to transform their business model and build out new services, products and propositions. One of the most exciting has come through a very successful beta in Q4 and will launch to the world in Q1 2017. It represents a transformative evolution in product and commercial opportunity — but it also represents 3 years of building capability and ways of working inside the CTM business (who’ve now launched a technology hub right beside us here in East London).

· We’re launching an integrated comms system for Thomas Cook EMEA entitled ‘You want, we do’. It’s the second phase of our work with them to reconfigure their marketing model and operations, and it’s a huge step toward enabling a consistent, multi-market approach that is always-on and digital-centric. The creative combines bespoke content with UGC and found footage to reflect the variety of different consumer desires that the brand meets in their unique, tailored experiences. And the system is designed for a complex organisation with differing needs across markets and products to use themselves. The work is being launched on Christmas Day, so enjoy that with a mince pie in hand.

Just one example of the new system in action

· We’ve continued to work with some of Europe’s most exciting fast growth businesses, like the German based medtech start up MedX. We partnered with them across teams in Berlin and London to identify a consumer-facing opportunity and to create, brand and take to market a new consumer medical diagnostic tool called Ada. Powered by an advanced AI, we launched an MVP in H2 this year and it’s already the №1 downloaded app in the Medical category in 29 markets worldwide.

ada in action

· Other stellar start-up partners have included projects for HiBob, Klarna, Farmdrop and Improbable in 2016. All businesses on great trajectories who you’ll hear plenty more about next year.

We also welcomed new clients including:

· The original P2P fintech business Zopa, who we’ve been working with across brand and product to set them up for an exciting push into banking services over the next 18 months.

The new Zopa

· Camelot, with whom we’ve been considering the future of lotteries and helping shape their ways of working to deliver this.

· PaddyPower Betfair, with whom we’ve looked at opening up new audiences by developing exciting social-lead propositions and experiences.

· Just Retirement who we’re preparing to launch as a completely new business in Q1 2017.

· And most recently A New logistics company we’ll be able to talk about in January, with whom we’re identifying future opportunities and the strategies, propositions and products to deliver them.

On the home front, we’ve seen our charity initiative The Start Up Kitchen (created to support under-served entrepreneurial talent in London) go from strength to strength, culminating with them co-hosting the Hackney Entrepreneurship Conference 2016 at the end of November.

All these things crash into 2017 with great momentum. This is testament to the incredible efforts of all our people and client partners, their persistence and commitment. So to them, the friends and family who support them, I say thank you.

Here’s to a great start to the New Year.

All the very best,

Paul

CEO, KBS Albion