TUNBRIDGE WELLS creative design agency ifour was crowned Digital Awards Champions in two different categories last week.
But just at the height of their success, the company is looking to a future of ‘digital detox’ and returning to more traditional forms of marketing and communication such as direct mailshots.
At the ceremony held at the British Film Institute’s South Bank headquarters, ifour won the highly competitive Marketing & Creative section for the website it designed for TEDx Royal Tunbridge Wells.
TEDx organises community-based talks on a non-profit basis and was set up in Tunbridge Wells by Dan Foreman, who accepted the award.
The next prize, for best business-to-business website, went to ifour’s creation for Lumina, a company in West Malling that seeks to minimise corporate energy costs.
Established in 2012, Lumina forms part of Commercial Services Energy Division and is wholly owned by Kent County Council.
ifour had won three golds at the Kent Digital Awards last summer, including best business blog as well as their two winning entries.
Another Kentish entry, Demelza, won the schools, education and charity sector Champions award (see page 10).
More than 20,000 members of the public voted in the final, which saw gold winners from six regions – Kent, Essex, Surrey, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Milton Keynes – competing against each other.
ifour celebrated its 10th anniversary last October. Initially based in Bells Yew Green, it moved to Frant Road and has now been in The Pantiles for the last two years.
It employs 15 staff, a mix of designers, developers and a strategic team for marketing and social media under the auspices of Graeme Hall, founding father and creative director.
ifour, which stands for innovative, integrity, inspirational and intelligent, also won a national award for creativity and innovation for agencies with less than 40 staff last year.
When TEDx first came to Tunbridge Wells in 2015 it was sponsored by ifour and Claire Passos, the company’s Business Development Manager, joined the TEDx committee.
At that point ifour set up a free site for them, and Claire went on to host the TEDx women’s event. Graeme Hall will also be the Head of Brand and Digital for TEDx later this year.
Other local companies ifour have worked with include Bell House Fabrics & Interiors in Cranbrook and Rencraft Kitchens in Calverley Road. It is also part of Kent County Council’s Creative Services Framework.
So what sets them apart from other creative agencies. “It’s really easy to make things look good, but the approach we take is different,” said Claire.
“We start with an in-depth discovery workshop, to come up with something that has purpose and meaning, and offers longevity.
“And Graeme is a quirky and innovative designer. What he does is a little bit different.”
In a fast-moving industry, the future is taking an unusual turn, according to Claire. “I think we will see a resurgence of traditional marketing methods, for example direct mail.
“People love receiving something through the post, and digital has rather taken over everything.
“We’re working currently with a new client, Knauff, suppliers of gypsum-based building materials, and we’re working up a direct mail for them.
“Nokia are bringing out their old phone again, and our love of everything online is a bit too much these days. More people are looking for a digital detox.”