Our CEO talks about her personal journey and lessons in re-branding Talent.Realised. Read what Micki has to say about taking your team with you, the value that having clarity of purpose brings and why all business, no matter what size, should lead with brand.
Garth (Saville) and I started Saville Persky in 2007. We were two friends having coffee in Bondi one day and pondering what we could be when we grew up. Well, we were kind of already grown up. Garth was a recruiter had some solid experience under his belt and I had been in media sales since leaving uni. Things happened very quickly that day. It must have been very strong coffee. We started to talk about wanting to be the captains of our own business-ship, wanting to take care of our relationships our way and then ‘just like that’ we decided to start our own recruitment business. Saville Persky’s offices were founded in my lounge room and I became sales and marketing recruiter.
Ten years later and we’re still here. We’ve grown, we’re lucky enough to have been able to enjoy some very meaningful relationships with hugely talented business people and some pretty famous brands. I’m no longer a new recruiter. The business is no longer just Micki Persky and Garth Saville. It’s our network of people. Our candidates, clients and staff.
I’ve been lucky enough to work with some very strong marketers over the years. Through them, I’ve learned the value of brand, particularly brand strategy and its strength in providing direction and being a galvanising force for teams. So, a few months ago, I decided it was time to re-brand us.
Here’s what I found most important as part of the process that we went through:
- Going deep. Real brand strategy doesn’t even consider logos or ‘colours and shapes’ until the big ugly hairy questions have been answered. It gets murky. Answering the most-simple question -– “what business are we in?” - was certainly not easy. Especially not in an industry where everyone talks about being different to other recruiters, finding the right fit, having an ‘enviable’ reputation and network and all other manner of generic statement. We’ve been guilty of using such ubiquities with Saville Persky. Quite often in fact. We had to go to that ‘feeling’ place. The place where you ask yourself what still gets you excited after all this time. Why we keep doing it year after year.
- Be ambitious, not just for yourself but for your team. Yes of course as a business owner I want to keep growing successfully. But not on my own. Its far more fun to get to the summit and enjoy the view together with your crew. And I want the passionate, quirky and slightly crazy characters that have put their hands up to come on this journey with me to stay on it with me. That means understanding what they want as individuals and what their ambitions are. And really wanting them to get there.
- Get everyone involved. Get honest. Be brave. Defining a shared purpose and values is where we found our gold. We had to work out what was most important to us and what the deal breakers are on how we go about doing things, or to put it in brand-speak, our values or ways of working. Designing our behavioural ‘contract’ together and then testing it on everyone in the office was hugely powerful for our leadership team. Then it was time for the reality test. Are we 100% living our purpose and values today? What needs work? Sounds blindingly obvious, but personal perceptions about individual behaviour vary greatly. To work through to truisms for your business, have the hard conversations. And be prepared to be called out on own bull*, which a bit sobering.
- Looks matter. I specialise in sales and marketing recruitment. I’m lucky enough to work with some of the world’s most famous brands. And I wanted a brand that looked as gorgeous as the words that sit behind it. So often service based businesses in B2B space don’t get to give the same attention to creative as their consumer counterparts. But we made it a priority to call on all of our resources to build a strong creative framework that we’re really proud of.
What I’ve learned is that re-branding your own business is unexpectedly challenging. Its far more work than I ever imagined. We’re still pretty small, particularly compared with the global organisations we meet with every day, and we’re so busy doing what we do that I had to really make time to spend on strategy. But its proved hugely rewarding and has given us a clarity that we have never had previously.
The bonus for us was that along the way in this journey our personal passions and goals for work have become more apparently than they have ever been. We have a blue print to make them happen for us as individuals and as a team.
Saville Persky is now Talent.Realised. And I’m a better business leader for having made the journey.