“Wow. You’re getting the band back together. Very interesting.” That’s the phrase that I have heard most from friends, clients and industry faces following the BrandPointZero and That Little Agency merger. And to a certain extent that’s how it feels. Familiar and safe. But it also feels like the start of something new and exciting. Like when Roger Waters joined Pink Floyd on stage at Live 8. Or when Robbie re-joined Take That for an album and a tour. But less ‘Wish you were here’, and more ‘Back for good’.

Why now?

It’s an interesting question. The reality is that our little agency is well past our start-up phase and we started to think about the future of the firm. Do we stay little? Do we grow? Do we change our model? Do we even focus purely on digital development? And, of course, who will step up to replace Mark when he suffers from the massive heart attack he’s inevitably going to have?

So, it was more than a little serendipitous that following our win for best employer brand at The Firm Awards, we met the BrandPointZero team in the bar. Champagne was ordered. Toasts were made. And the conversation turned to what used to happen ‘back in the day’. Whether it was nostalgia, the high of the win or simply the champagne, there was a suggestion that we may just be stronger together than we are apart.

Just the spark of an idea

In fact, now felt like exactly the right time. It wouldn’t have happened before. And it couldn’t happen if the TLA team had agreed on another way forward. Proving just how grown up a conversation this was, absolutely no wine was involved. And anyone who knows me, knows that some of my biggest decisions have been made over a cheeky Malbec. This time it was just coffee. Lots of coffee.

But it wasn’t a long-drawn-out discussion. Just a series of friendly chats between two like-minded agency heads who wanted to re-establish a partnership that had work so well during their time together at another agency. Add to that the prospect of working with old friends and the spark quickly became an all-consuming wildfire of an idea. So we made the BrandPointZero and That Little Agency merger happen.

A bigger, better agency

BrandPointZero is a much bigger agency than our little one. A well-established and talented studio, a group of very clever people in client services and an offering beyond just talent acquisition. One thing that they don’t have is a digital offering. But we do. It is probably what we’re most famous for. But what you may not know is that we’ve silently been helping BPZ deliver their digital projects for years.

Although they never properly articulated it, I’ve always known that our clients were concerned about the future proofing of TLA. If I was no longer around, would the agency be able to support them? It happens. People get knocked down by buses all the time. But the infrastructure of BPZ will allay those fears. After all, Andy, Sandy and Adam are pretty good players to have on the bench.

So, what now?

To be honest, we’re still working it out. Which is why for the foreseeable future we’ll continue to run BrandPointZero and That Little Agency as stand-alone employer branding and marketing agencies, under the stewardship of the PointZero Group leadership team. Over the next few months, we’ll be working to clarify the proposition, strengths and offerings of each agency and then build our future strategy around this.

While there are clearly efficiencies to be found as we merge some of operational roles, one thing that won’t change is the team. Over the past seven years we’ve become a home to some fantastic and hugely talented people. An enviable team who, together, have delivered some highly effective and award-winning work. I am really pleased that they were all happy to join me on the next chapter of our little story.

That Little Agency - Employer Brand - Making It As We Go Image

What about me?

This year I am 50. Yes, I know. Only 50. Just so you know, I had a very hard paper-round as a child. But with this milestone comes a little self-reflection. Nothing too deep. But a realisation that I am not going to play the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury or win a Grammy. That I won’t be the next James Bond or win a BAFTA. But what I can do is help shape the future of this great business and the people within it. We can help more clients achieve their goals. We can deliver more great work and, perhaps, win a few awards along the way. Including a RAD.

But otherwise, for now, it is business as usual. Just don’t be surprised if as well as me and my team, you also get to work with some of the awesome people of BrandPointZero. Including the inimitable Andy Bamford, who when asked about the merger said, “We’re coming back together to pool our expertise, supported by a brilliant team. What’s better than growing a global business with somebody you know and trust?”

Want to know more?

If you have any questions about the BrandPointZero and That Little Agency merger, please ask. I’ll happily jump on a call and talk you through the opportunities that being part of the PointZero Group will offer us all. You can find out more about the Group here … https://www.pointzero.group

Need a little help?

If you feel that you’d like some help, support or even a little chat around your careers website or aspect of your employer brand and talent attraction strategy just drop us a line. After all, much of our best work has started with a cup of tea and a Zoom call.

Just in case you were wondering, the hero image is from 2004. And since then four out of the five people featured have gone on to own and run their own employer branding agencies. There must be something in the Bristol water.