I took my video camera on a visit to 2 winners of the Queen’s Awards recently.
(Read a transcript of the video.)
The dog-friendly office and workshop of Aquapac was my first port of call. I counted 4 very relaxed dogs on the morning I visited. The atmosphere in the office was energetic and cheerful matching an excellent mix of vintage jazz and jump blues playing in the background.
Founded in 1983, Aquapac International Limited is a previous winner of a Queen’s Award for Innovation.
Aquapac is in the business of keeping things dry if there is any water around! Producing 100% waterproof cases for both the leisure and industrial markets, (customers range from hikers, bird watchers and boaters to industry - oil rig operators - and the rescue services. The company won a Queen’s Award for International Trade for outstanding achievement over the last 3 years. Exporting to 61 countries, overall sales have increased and exports now account for 75%, which is well above the average for the sector. Tim Turnbull told me Aquapac has found social media is currently the most effective way to maintain customer contact and product support. The company has also silenced inferior competition with the Aquapac 5-year replacement warranty on all of their products.
On the video Tim speaks about the positive effect winning a Queen’s Award has had on staff and the company.
My next visit was to the Farringdon base of Audio Network where I met with Juliette Squair (Managing Director) and Scott Pearce (Director of International Strategy).
Established in 2001 by music industry executives and eminent musicians, Audio Network Plc provides a huge catalogue of music representing a range of genres for use by audio-visual producers worldwide. On any evening watching television you will certainly hear something produced by Audio Network.
A plan to create the best quality production music library ever recorded meant getting the top writers, producers and players involved. Now Audio Network has around 400 composers (and around 40 submissions from composers wanting to join every day!). As well as recording with major artists and orchestras all over the world Audio Network release around 12,000 new tracks a year.
A new approach has delivered a simpler subscription model fit for current media. Removing previous barriers to people using the music gives producers and editors the creative freedom to use as much music as they want; the extra use results in better broadcast ‘public performance’ royalties for everyone involved.
The company wins a Queen’s Award for International Trade having doubled its sales; its exports account for 55% of turnover contributing to an overseas earnings growth of 107%. The company has an established overseas infrastructure and a progressive training policy for local representatives to support sales in Europe, Australia and North America.
In the video Scott encourages more media-type companies to consider entering the Queen’s Awards and Juliette speaks about how much prestige the Queen’s Award emblem has, especially in overseas territories.
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