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FIG celebrates 25 years – our nod to the past, and looking to the future

January 2021Helen

2021 is FIG’s 25th celebratory year and it’s hard to believe it’s nearly 25 years since I established First Impression, the copy writing and communications business that delivered corporate communications and creative design services to blue-chip businesses. Back in 1996 we used fax more than email and social media was just a twinkle in a software developer’s eye. Our office was on Railway Street in Glossop and it took two of us to carry the big, heavy Macs up the steep stairs!

A lot has changed since then, and FIG (if you ever wondered the name FIG came from First Impression Group) has evolved into a 17-strong team of marketing professionals providing strategic direction and tactical support across all communication channels, enabling the sustainable growth of B2B companies in the manufacturing, technical and industrial sectors.

Highlights

It’s been a fantastic journey and I am so proud of what the team has achieved over the last 25 years – the companies we’ve helped realise their ambitions, the charities we’ve supported and all those milestones our FIG family has celebrated – 9 30th birthdays, 6 40th birthdays, 4 50th birthdays, 7 weddings and 11 babies (soon to be 13) I know!

Here are a few of my favourite moments:

  • 1997: First Impression wins its first newsletter contract with BT.
  • 2007: First Impression partners with Printing.com in Glossop
  • 2009 Opening of Glossop Business Centre and our newly furbished offices
  • 2011: Marketing Partner Programme launched to help businesses through the recession.
  • 2012: First Impression celebrates 16 years and rebrands as Fig Creative. The same year we win the pitch to rebrand £90m company Bradbury & Son.
  • 2014: I graduate from the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme.
  • 2016: FIG wins the Chartered Institute of Marketing Northern Awards large agency prize.
  • 2017: FIG wins Chartered Institute of Marketing Northern Awards for the second year running.
  • Today we work with some brilliant and ambitious businesses including SRL Traffic Systems, Armacell Ltd, Northwood Hygiene, TEL, Thermal Fluid Solutions, Risco, Glossop Cartons and CJK Packaging Ltd to name just a few.

Secrets of our success

So much has changed in the last 25 years; the way we communicate, how we work, the advancement of technology and the globalisation of many of our clients’ marketplaces. Throughout, our ethos has stayed the same:

We build relationships based on knowledge. We create genuine partnerships with our clients by understanding their business, their customers, and their commercial objectives. That insight, combined with our expertise and creativity, enables us to generate real results.

We focus on what we’re good at. Our clients tend to be from the manufacturing, industrial and technical sectors and their products and services can be very complex or niche. We specialise in communicating what they do in a clear and persuasive way to attract potential customers and keep existing customers engaged beyond their initial purchase.

We’re very ethical and easy to work with. Our clients will tell you they genuinely like working with us. We’re known as a friendly and approachable bunch, providing a responsive and professional service with a strong work ethic. We take a hands-on approach and do what we say we will, when we say we will – if not before!

A team effort

FIG’s success has truly been a team effort, and alongside their professional skills and experience, every member of the FIG family brings something different to the team. We support each other, learn from each other, challenge each other, and always pull together to get the job done.  In October we were delighted to welcome the latest addition to the team, Sophie Noakes who joined as Senior Account Manager, was once a client of ours and her passion, knowledge and energy are a natural fit for FIG.

What’s next?

I think most people have given up predicting the future (for now) and it’s understandable that the current uncertainty leaves business owners and managers feeling cautious about spending. However, investing in marketing and PR should be a priority in 2021 because in a period of change being able to cut through the noise with your proposition is the key to survival and growth. It helps you communicate effectively with existing customers, reach new markets, promote new products and services, and stay one step ahead of the competition.

Here at FIG we’re feeling resilient, confident and ready for the future – whatever that may bring. We have the strength of relationships with our customers to withstand difficult trading conditions, we’re embracing change and uncertainty as inevitable and investing in training, technology and infrastructure to ensure we’re ready to take advantage of any opportunities that come our way.

We’re looking to build partnerships with more ambitious industrial, manufacturing and tech businesses that have a similarly positive mindset and understand the value of marketing. If that’s you, please email me directly, we’re keen to talk.

I’d like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who has been involved in our fantastic journey; to all of our clients, partners and suppliers, and of course, the FIG team past and present. I can’t wait to see where the journey will take us next…

Throughout 2021 we’ll be looking back with fond memories to 1996 with our favourite tunes and some of the cultural events of that year, as well as celebrating our all-time top 25 favourite projects and 25 milestones over the past quarter of a century. But we’ll also be looking forward, with our top 25 business tips for sustainability and longevity and we’ll be introducing 25-minute marketing webinars to support your business.

So, watch this space…

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