When I founded Green Rock back in 2008, there was plenty of fear and uncertainty in the world. The financial crisis had eroded trust in big business – from banks to energy companies. But there were opportunities for start-ups to make a difference.
Eight years on, there’s just as much uncertainty out there with Brexit. Who knows where it’ll take us? Today more than ever, the economy continues to rely and thrive on the growth of small, creative, entrepreneurial businesses. Businesses exactly like Green Rock.
Rebrand and reboot
The digital landscape has also reflected this structural change. When I started Green Rock there was a clear line between TV and digital in terms of content, distribution, audiences, budgets and more. Make no mistake, digital was the poor relative. Eight years ago, I bought my TV from Amazon – now I want to have a conversation about producing content for them. At Green Rock, we’re playing our part in this digital revolution, and we’re evolving ahead of it. This evolution has inspired the repositioning and rebranding of our business.
For us, our rebrand isn’t just a change of logo – beautifully designed though it is. It marks a change in our position in the market, as we grow beyond our roots in media production and post production to become a new breed of content creator: a creative business able to realise the commercial power and brand potential of digital content. We’re far more than a mere ‘production company’. After all, there are hundreds of them, all doing pretty much the same thing they’ve been doing for thirty-or-so years.
I’m sure many business leaders reading this will know that every young company has a window of opportunity to grasp and flourish. A time to make their step-change. For us, this is our time. We are perfectly placed in a fast-maturing industry, with an exceptional team and technical resources which have been adapted to enable a hybrid approach to broadcast and brand delivery. It’s what ensures we can deliver to the ‘always on’ demands of the digital-first world where flexibility, speed and cost effectiveness are taken for granted.
Capability. Creativity. Culture.
Our end-to-end capability is crucial to making this happen. With our origins in post production, we’ve evolved organically over time to embrace the production and creative output our clients have been asking for: to power their digital projects cost-effectively, without compromising quality. This nimble, agile digital production and round the clock capability marks us out as different from the crowd, and the new-look Green Rock identity reflects the breadth of what we can do.
We achieve all of this with no room for ego. I’m particularly proud that the Green Rock culture hasn’t become diluted as we’ve grown. If anything, it’s strengthened. As we’ve developed our rebrand, the phrase that both our staff and clients most use to describe us is that we “get stuff done”. It’s so simple. But I think it’s the most important promise we can make in the digital-first world: as we shift to 24-hour always-on brands, when there are deadline and budgetary pressures all around, we really do make it happen.
Brands as broadcasters
Today, we’re excited by the bold decisions of future-focused brands such as Nando’s and Alfa Romeo who are prioritising the digital channel for their marketing spend. Brands are set to become the new broadcasters. In the future, Channel 4 won’t be paying over the odds for a cooking show format from an indie (and poaching it from the BBC). In as little as a few years’ time they will be buying programming from brands such as Kenwood or Sainsbury’s, or working in partnership to make shows together. Brands will bring content with inherent value in its own right – not just media spend for old-fashioned 30-second ads. And they won’t even need broadcasters as the conduit to reach mass audiences.
Forward-thinking brands already recognise that they’re no longer addressing ‘customers’. They are having a dialogue with an audience. Audiences are smart. They don’t want to be advertised to. Or talked at. They want to be engaged, inspired, entertained, challenged. This is where we really add value. With over 20 years’ experience in broadcasting, we know how to tell compelling stories, delivering audience-driving programming for conventional channels as well as leading brands.
Fast forward to the future
So where will the next eight years take us, as we head into the mid-2020s? Answers on a postcard, please. Anyone who tells you they’re an ‘expert’ in VR, branded content and digital experience is lying. Truth is, we’re in the early days of a digital revolution which is moving so quickly that in 20 years’ time our children will see plasma TV screens and iPhones as archaic objects. Winter is coming. And I’ve no doubt that content, and the way we consume it through shared experiences, will drive that revolution. At Green Rock, we’ll be part of the story.
Simon Green, Managing Director