A client’s perspective

By 2015 I had established a healthy degree of commercial success with ‘Sterling Words’. I knew that I was adding value to individuals and businesses through the written word, but I also knew the time had come to make the leap from freelance writer to serious contender in the agency market.

Ambitious to grow a significant full-service business providing a broad range of marketing solutions, I was struggling to see how Sterling Words could reflect the brand I wanted to have and to be. Even though a large part of the work I undertake with my clients is understanding their brand and defining how to communicate it across different platforms, I knew that I needed outside expertise for my own brand; I realised that I was too close to the problem and needed external objectivity and clarity.

Sue Redden from The Rare Skills Set has built a career helping people understand who they are. She has a rare ability to observe and assimilate what organisations and the people in them do (and how they behave) and to ask the right questions – at the right time. She analyses the information gleaned, identifies and articulates critical insight, and transitions those insights through a creative process into a visual brand identity that reflects reality, confirms ambition and conveys the personality that underpins the business.

This approach was precisely what I needed, and it’s what I got from Sue. The process prompted me to dig deep; it was necessarily intrusive, but – accustomed to being the interviewer rather than the interviewee – I appreciated her expertise at probing in the right directions and encouraging necessary reflection. Sue’s combined interrogative and interpretive skills enabled her to ‘nail’ me and my business.

Sue came up without about 10 potential new names for my company, some developing the existing brand and others presenting a clean slate depicting the current offering and future ambitions. There were three clear front runners from these; I spent the best part of a month ‘trying them on’, imagining myself representing each of them within business gatherings. Interestingly, after a fortnight I had dismissed my initial favourite, as – although it was a fabulous brand – it didn’t feel like me.

When I presented the final two options to a group of business friends and colleagues who know me very well, they confirmed my growing feeling that ‘Sharp Minds’ epitomised both my company and the clients that I want to work with.

Sue knew that if my business is to succeed in the way I want it to, attracting the organisations and people I want to work with, the name has to be unequivocal in its intent. And ‘Sharp Minds’, with its orange and grey palette, is just that.

Siobhan Stirling, Director

Sharp Minds Communications