The huge success of the Alibaba project gave the company a taste of the lucrative branded content marketspace. It became the catalyst that drove Hub’s transformation to become a specialist agency known for its creative prowess in building sophisticated contents for large corporate brands. The company also harboured ambitions in enabling those UK companies with “global aspirations” to deliver their branded contents in Mandarin for the Chinese market.
But in order to truly expand with their new-found identity, Hub recognised the need to invest in a big rebranding exercise that would put the company on the radars of potential large corporates. David commented: “We had to essentially remarket ourselves as an agency. We needed to start a big marketing push, reaching out to a new type of audience.” Hub also laid out a recruitment plan to ensure that its team would be well-equipped to meet with the higher demand on a global scale, especially for the Chinese market.
The company had considered the various funding options available on the market, but after Ying De’s introduction to the UK government-backed Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa scheme, it quickly realised that only this scheme could completely fit its set of requirements. Having access to £200,000 in funding per investor with a lengthy 5-year capital repayment holiday meant that Hub could use “the capital for immediate growth” without the burden of large monthly repayments from the outset. Another key advantage of the scheme was the fact that Hub was able to bring on board Chinese investors who were identified by Ying De based on the company’s specific requirements. The investors provided the much-needed language skills and cultural awareness to help Hub service its clients’ needs for the Chinese market in delivering highly relevant branded content in Mandarin.
With the funding in place, Hub implemented its remarketing plans that included the complete redesigns of its brand and website, and that was just the beginning. “Now we have a very structured marketing program promoting our services, projects and case studies to 20,000 organisations every month,” said David. “We are now putting on events every six weeks to senior marketing individuals at top UK brands, enabling us to have a very aggressive, sustained marketing presence.”
The arrival of the Chinese investors has also given Hub plenty of ammunition to fulfill its ambitions, making it the go-to industry expert for UK brands hoping to enter the Chinese market. “Lots of the brands we speak to are struggling with knowing and understanding what type of content they should be creating for Chinese social media platforms. That is why it is very attractive for us to have Mandarin speakers within our business.”
David is a firm advocate of the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa scheme,and believes its unique benefits for SMEs far outweigh the length of the process, which takes several months to complete. “It does take time, but we can plan that into our financial cycle. I would recommend this program to others and have done so. The support from Ying De has been excellent, and we have found Ying De easy to do business with.”