In 2007 we set out to make our mark on the world. It was a time when agencies were big and so were budgets. Branding was a little-known word back then and was often mistaken as just a logo. Instead, ‘Advertising’ or ‘Visual Communications’ were the commonly used terms to describe services. So having always zigged when others zagged, we went down a different path by creating a little boutique business called ‘Trent Penfold Brand Consultants’. Tucked away in the back room of our fibro house in a leafy suburb of Brisbane, we had big dreams of building our relatively unknown specialty – branding.
Before our business, Trent had spent 8 years in advertising and had worked with many iconic brands that are still around today. Everytime you see a Greyhound bus shoot past, it’s his handwriting that has scripted the typeface. When you travel over the story bridge, you’ll see his ‘Story Bridge Adventure Climb’ branding. Travel past Dreamworld and you’ll see his giant drop logo. Trent was awarded nationally and internationally for his work. So on the back of his success, we knew this was the right time to launch. Angela continued working full-time in Corporate Communications by day, and worked on the business in the evenings. The plan was to build our complementary skillsets and eventually work together.
Our strategy for our boutique brand consultancy was to be nimble, keep overheads low and provide outstanding client service. Angela had experienced first-hand the challenges from working with the big agencies, so we knew the changes that were needed. Our first DM piece to our potential clients was a relay baton. We’d written down the frustrations from a client perspective of being ‘handpassed’ when dealing with the big agencies, wrapped it around the baton and sent it away. We’ve never done any marketing since.
Jump to 10 years and here we are. The term branding is now so common, it’s strange to think we were one of the first brand consultancies. We’ve recently rebranded as Alike to pay tribute to those like-minded clients and colleagues who have shared in our success. Success is only ever team-driven and we’ve always had a great team behind us. Our team, being our like-minded clients and sibling agencies. What makes us most proud is that we’ve never had any free rides or lucky breaks. Being here today is the result of hard work, and the willingness to keep learning and investing in ourselves.
Thank you to all who have shared in our journey thus far.
Trent & Ange