An interview with our MD, Brian Whigham.
“Venn is the place for initiative, if you want your hand-holding, we’re not the agency for you. This is the place where you can cultivate a sense of ownership surrounded by the beauty of the Cheshire countryside”
Why did we move to Alderley Park?
Because we have a lake!
To stay competitive, employers have two choices, the first is to move to Manchester or London where all our competitors are on our doorstep and therefore as an employer you have no USP. Your second option is to become an attractive destination employer.
For me, moving away from Manchester was a business decision, made to identify Venn as the go-to brand outside of town. We wanted to appeal to people in a stage of their career where they had done the city life and aspire to a healthier work-life balance.
The stress levels involved with commuting to a city centre are much higher than getting to Alderley Edge. I’m a new dad myself, so if like me you’ve already had a long morning, then once you’re finally at your desk in the city your anxiety must be through the roof.
Coming into work should be a more enjoyable, positive experience, and if you need a break at Alderley Park, take a walk around the forest to get some headspace.
How do you believe the office move will benefit Venn staff?
Our new office is going to drive a more inclusive culture with our clients and for our staff a more grown-up culture. Everyone here wants to be here and when they are, they’re being productive, there’s no clocking in and out, they are simply doing their job and enjoying it.
Attracting the right staff has become increasingly challenging, we wanted to create an environment that people can enjoy working in. What we then saw was that this unique facility could further benefit the team's quality of life. As a society, we have become more appreciative of mental health; surrounding the business with the serenity of Alderley Park is just one way, as an employer, I can encourage a healthy work-life balance.
How does our move to Alderley Park reflect the Venn brand?
This year we have re-focussed our attention and refreshed our look. Sometimes when you’re so focused on everything around you, you sometimes forget to stop and consider your own brand. With this year being our 10th anniversary I thought it was a great time to reflect and ask are we proud of what we have become? And what does the future of our brand and business look like?
We know what we are good at; tech, building bespoke websites and platforms and working in the B2B2C sector. With this realisation, we are becoming more comfortable with knowing the types of clients we can help and those we can’t. Discovering this for me has been a very enjoyable, cathartic process and has allowed us to feel comfortable with saying no to certain projects and clients that we don’t feel we can help reach their full potential. – as a client once said to me, know your manor and stick to it.
With this in mind, I think the new office has helped us focus on both the talent we want to attract as well as the type of clients, which are those looking for a long term, truly integrated partnerships. There’s no quick win with marketing, it’s a behavioural change, we want brands to feel like they can turn up at our offices for a chat or come in for multiple strategy meetings, and I hope this is encouraged through our open office structure. The more contact we have, the better our results will be.
What’s your favourite thing about working in Cheshire?
It’s the best county in the UK. I think it’s a bloody great place to live because you get all the benefits of Manchester without having to navigate the hustle and bustle of the city centre. Lifestyle is also a huge part of the attraction, with Alderley Edge down the road and Macclesfield forest around the corner you get a better quality of life and you're perfectly positioned to get the best of both worlds.
We are under huge pressure as employers, and as a society to provide a better balance in life. In my opinion, living in Manchester or London, you survive you don’t thrive. If you live in Cheshire, you just have that sense of freedom to enjoy a more balanced healthy lifestyle.
We’ve had a great year at Venn and can’t wait to get stuck into 2020. If you like the sound of us and what we stand for, why not come and visit us at our stunning new offices? Our door is always open and we would love to welcome you in. Whether you’re a passionate digital marketer looking to work at Venn or a brand searching for support on your digital journey, don’t hesitate to get in touch.