My business, m. Media Strategy, was born five years ago in London when I first started out on my own as a media and branding consultant and needed to register a business name. My bestie and I sat on the sofa in our north London apartment, surrounded by moving boxes as I prepared to return to Australia to launch my own business after five years working in London. Like many novice entrepreneurs, I was struggling with what to call it. Katie came up with “m. – it’s both your initial and it’s you doing the work. It makes sense!”
Back on home turf a month or so later, I registered the company name with “Media Strategy” tagged on, because that’s what I was offering. With a decade of experience working for news and entertainment brands, including NewsCorp, MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central, consultancy gigs within the music and sport industries flowed in. I soon realised that I wanted to build something that had more engagement with clients and allowed me to help over a longer period of time. I was genuinely sad when consultancy projects ended and the client was all set up to work with an internal team, often hired on my recommendation.
So, I had an idea: I would take on clients and offer them more than just strategy, I’d offer a variety of creative services and solutions. Casey, a friend of mine for many years, joined m. Media as our creative director at this point. At home with a four-year-old and a one-year-old, she was eager to get back into the creative world.
Since 2015, we have fully flexed our creative muscles. We’ve worked with the most beautiful and motivated entrepreneurs, helped exciting brands expand their audiences, and collaborated closely with like-minded creatives whose specialist skills complement our vision. We call these creatives our “sister agencies” and doing projects with them is the most fun!
In 2019, while wearing several hats within m. Media (managing director, strategy director, account manager, project manager, business development, client services… the list goes on), I did something quite insane – I bought, designed, renovated, created and opened a restaurant and bar with my fiancé, Rhys. After leaving the army in Melbourne, he became co-owner of a coffee shop (quite the side-step!) and frequently daydreamed about opening a bar.
I’m going to say it – 2019 was an incredibly challenging year. We sunk our savings into the restaurant renovation (with a billion favours called in from friends and family members), tore our hair out trying to hire the right team, second guessed every decision, laughed, cried, got closer, finally started figuring it out at the seven-month mark, and then got partially closed due to COVID-19. Take-away from The Citrus Club anyone?
This year I’ve been reflecting, joining the dots, and I’ve had a huge realisation – I love working with food and drink brands. Heck, I own a food and drink brand! Some of my favourite advertising, marketing and branding projects over a 14-year career have been with food and drink brands. I loved integrating UK grocery store Sainsbury’s Online into AllRecipes.co.uk, so users could buy the ingredients directly from a recipe; creating a social media campaign at MTV in partnership with Starbucks; launching an entire university summer event series with Lucozade Energy Drinks, taking it around the UK and Europe with MTV; and conceptualising and creating a music television series with Coca-Cola to align with its music-loving fans. And with m. Media, I’ve enjoyed working with gin brands, food market halls, health-food products, food and drink influencer agencies, and restaurants.
Which brings us to now, and our new focus on food and drink brands. As part of the agency’s evolution, we are rebranding to capture the essence of what we do now: The Sundae Agency – branding for stuff you eat and drink.
We have a few phases to our rebrand as it’s not as simple as switching off one and onto the other (after 5 years!). We’ve developed a fresh new website, plus we’ve changed our Instagram, and newly launched Facebook, Pinterest and Behance pages. Please check them out and like and follow. Also, we would love to hear what you think!
To all our exceptionally talented and hard-working clients who aren’t in food and drink, please don’t worry – we’ve got you! We’ll still be here to support you, guide you and create for you. We have no intention of not working with you (we love you!), we’re simply focusing on our own marketing strategies moving forward.