According to company chief executive and founder Andrew Cooper, being a digital-first agency for over 12 years before Covid-19 hit was "something we were expert in, something that both existing and new clients could clearly see and understand." The adoption of this type of business model accelerated during the Covid-19 lockdowns and resulted in a number of new, long-term client wins including Waitrose, Orange Group and H&M.
Another important aspect of the agency's focus on growth was to become seen as an extension of the client's team - "being considered as a trusted partner to deliver everything from local tactical to global strategic projects," comments Cooper. This led to a substantial increase in revenues with clients such as CooperVision, John Lewis, Boots and Compare the Market.
Investment played a key part too, with Verve making a conscious decision to expand its proposition by ploughing resources into areas such as innovation consultancy, data integration and research eco-systems. "This helped us build deeper relationships with both existing and new clients," observes Cooper.
In addition, there was continued investment in staffing to "both recruit and build new skills in order to develop a dynamic business capable not only of riding out the storm of change, but of seizing the entrepreneurial opportunities that change creates," as the agency head puts it.
2021 also proved to be a year in which the agency was publicly recognised for the work it had undertaken in the challenging circumstances during the pandemic. Verve was one of only two companies to be nominated as a finalist for both the MRS and AURA Agency of the Year awards.
This was a real high point for the team, notes Cooper, as it meant their achievements were "rated by those clients they work with and the industry within which they work".
Looking to the year ahead, the Verve CEO says he is optimistic that building on the "strong foundations" already in place will ensure continued growth for 2022.