This is the last time we talk about 2020, we promise! Although it was a weird year last year, many lessons were learnt along the way. We’re looking back to 2020 to recognise and acknowledge our growth, our flexibility, our productivity and our teamwork (oh, and the funny times too!).
Full of hope and motivation for the beginning of a new decade, 2020 started off with a bang. Everyone was feeling refreshed for the new year after a break over the Christmas holidays. The bush fires that had devastated regional and remote NSW had finally come to an end and, truthfully spirits were high. Then came along COVID-19 and little did we know how much this virus might have on the world as we knew it.
As Australia’s cases rose, restrictions around the country tightened. Before we knew it, the Barefruit office closed, and we were all sent home to work on reduced hours. It was so difficult to see our many of our clients and local businesses really struggle through the first lockdown. Much of our work was put on hold, however our rebrand project for Korff Wealth continued on amongst a few other projects. This included the beginnings of Rafiki Zabibu wine...check it out here.
We saw the opportunity for Korff Wealth, a financial services boutique to roll out their rebrand while Australia was in lockdown. Why? Because more than ever before, Australians were turning to experts for financial advice. It was an exciting and challenging time for the Barefruit team, working over the phone and internet to deliver a rebranding project.
After 60 days at home, it was finally time for the kids to head back to school which meant we got to go back to the office. Thank goodness! It was unprecedented times for our clients, with business slowly starting back up in our town. We dialled up our flexibility to deliver a ‘Back2Business’ campaign, including coaching programs and marketing packages to generate new leads. We also worked to help our clients take advantage of government grants that were available for small businesses to use for marketing and communications. Our ability to capitalise on opportunities such as these was essential to the success we have seen in recent months, and we feel very proud about it.
Along came July and our pregnant Agency Manager, Cat, was due to have her a baby very soon. It was time for Barefruit to bring on a new employee to fill Cat’s position. And so, we welcomed Charlotte into an Account Executive position. We can’t quite believe that we were not only able to survive 2020 as a business, but we also were able to expand the team. In fact, we even needed to get Sara, our previous Agency Manager, back in for a day a week as Charlotte moved onto more and more client work. On 29 August, Cat welcomed her little girl, Bonnie, earth-side. The new Barefruit bubba has visited us a few times since, and she is absolutely gorgeous.
As business continued to improve in our local town, we were awarded with more and more projects from existing and new clients. In September, we helped North Coast Community College launch their new Primary Industries Training Centre. This was a major highlight of our year. We worked to organise a launch event for this new training centre and series of certificate III qualifications, while simultaneously creating media buzz and as much free publicity about it as possible. The event was a huge success with dignitaries, local publications and special guests all in attendance. From this, numerous articles were written about the new NCCC Primary Industries Training Centre, and NBN ran a feature on the local news the evening of the event. Read more about the fantastic day it was here.
The second half of 2020 really flew by. Before we knew it, it was Spring, and business was returning to normal in our regional town. Not to mention the onslaught of tourists from Sydney and Brisbane who greatly helped business in the Northern Rivers recover from the impacts of lockdown. We worked with artist Len Collins to set up a new website, multiple shoots for Tweed Holidays Parks took place, we worked with a start-up to create a company name and branding. We organised a Golf Day event with Northern Rivers Food in return for event sponsorship, continued ongoing work for all our retainer clients and saw our beer packaging design on the shelves of bottle shops. Recently we were awarded a TVC job for Raine and Horne.
After 414+ creative briefs, 500+ hours of pro bono work, 15 new websites and 15+ new branding projects we wrapped the year up, celebrating with a fantastic Christmas Party with Behind the Barrel. Thank you to everyone who made the year it was at Barefruit. We are forever grateful to be where we are today in 2021, thanks to the support of our staff, our clients and the local community.