HomeHero’s Head of Communications Nana Wereko-Brobby talks through the process of making a brand film to showcare life at your organisation.
Culture seemed to be the buzzword for 2020. Companies, especially startups, were both challenged and applauded for their work culture during a stressful time that saw people pushing back more than ever against toxic environments and burnout.
When I joined HomeHero, I was not a stranger to less than optimal work environments but took it as an occupational hazard: If you’re trying to do hard things in fast growing businesses, you can’t rely on a comfortable work environment. The fact that my 15 month journey with them (so far) has been one of comfortable growth, unrelenting support and – frankly, more important than anything – compassion in leadership, is something I knew it was important to recognise and communicate to those outside of the organisation.
Your colleagues are not your family; let’s not slip into that rhetoric. However, working with people you trust, respect and actually like is what I think will start to define successful startups in a new world where good, ethical companies actually count for something.
So how better to translate this than in a video introducing a few of the faces who work at HomeHero.
What we wanted from a video
When you’re producing your first employee film there are a few things to keep front of mind:
1. Will people be happy to put their faces to the brand.
2. Will we be able to pick an agency that, as a pre Series A business, is both creatively talented and affordable.
3. And, most importantly, can we somehow avoid the trap of producing a stiff, grey and unoriginal HR film?
We interviewed 6 agencies and ended up going with Beacon. But why?
1. They gave a detailed proposal with 3 concepts for the film. Every other agency just sent a generic portfolio.
2. They were able to offer options to suit our budget and also proposed a long term solution for working with the footage to create up to 12 months of edits to help the content stretch further.
3. They aligned with our values.
Why you should pick an agency with your values
From 10+ years experience working with agencies I’ve learnt that it’s worth taking the time to get to know the team and their values – and see if they align with yours.
For brand films, this makes the collaborative process much easier and you’re more likely to have them “get” who you are and what you stand for well enough to translate it to screen.
Our company values are at the core of who we are, they’re our guiding principles and what we refer back to every time we need to make big decisions.
- Boutique but expert – We’re research driven, each member of the team has a passionate focus on an area in the industry which they are constantly keeping themselves well informed on.
- Good culture and good environment- Everyone is responsible for maintaining our good culture and we work hard together to have the best time and enjoy what we do!
- Champions of inclusivity as well as diversity– We passionately believe that true innovation and success comes from a diverse team which can provide unique and different insights to ensure the best possible solution is provided to our clients. It’s something we are massively behind not only in our own company but the tech industry as a whole.
- Flexible, agile and dynamic- With a lot of our clients being new technology start ups it was incredibly important that we are built in a way that allows us to rapidly respond and be dynamic with ever changing situations. 2020 really proved this ethos for us as everyone was thrown into unexpected water.
- We’re here to help our clients succeed – The first and last thing we think of at the beginning and end of every Beacon Day
Find out more about Beacon here.
Refining your concept (and why you should ask Agencies for 3)
It’s important that your in house team has full involvement in the concept of the film and that you ask for options. Three different concepts is ideal.
Nobody knows your brand better than you do and even the best agencies can’t translate all the nuances of your culture without collaboration. We were keen to stress that we were deep thinkers, creative, ambitious, diverse and empathetic.
So after an hour long briefing with their creative team, they came up with three concepts for how to represent your people and culture on film.
We talked to Beacon’s Creative Director Thomas about developing a concept.
The concept stage is always one of the most exciting parts of a project like this. We identified the core aim as delivering dynamic, engaging, but natural videos, that bring to light the vibrant culture at HomeHero.
Concept 1: Creating A Portrait Series
This concept was going to be focused exclusively on individual interviews with various members of the HomeHero team. Based on the idea that the best way to get to know a company is by getting to know the individuals that embody the culture, we would get to know people from across the business in a series of personal interviews.
Why this format?
This is a great format to generate unscripted, authentic, genuine content with your subjects. With HomeHero’s recent focus in the past year of being a home-first working environment, the individual profile-style interviews would have let us get a glimpse into the homes, lives, and environments of a highly diverse workforce. This behind the scenes format works well across industries.
Concept 2: Leading with Narration
When we were looking at how to portray the diversity and equity of voices at HomeHero, we considered the alternative to a visual representation, and instead focus purely on the words being said, rather than who is saying them, shifting the focus on to what they have to say, and everyone having a stake in the discussion.
Why this format?
This would have been visually the most highly stylised of video concepts, using almost exclusively ‘B-roll’ footage of the office and people in their homes, showing people in meetings, working together, working at their desks and so on, all in black and white, but with animated text laid over the footage.
At the end, we would then reveal the faces of the interviewees, showing a full range of employees from HomeHero, without ever attributing certain words, ideas, or concepts to individuals – focussing rather on what they have in common – the shared values and ideals of HomeHero.
Concept 3: Quickfire Questions
This concept of ‘50 questions with the HomeHero team’ would give the illusion of a choreographed single take shot through a day in the life, with different people coming into shot, almost as a relay, to answer a chunk of 8-10 questions, before a micro-interaction on camera, and the next interviewee taking over. The answers would be quick, humorous, varied, and also engaging, with the interviewee speaking directly to camera.
Why this format?
This is a great way to get across key information about HR and the organisation, demonstrate diversity, show off the brilliant office location, and create a beautiful, warm, and potentially amusing, piece of content to share across all channels.
We were also keen to demonstrate the seamless way the organisation works together, showcasing the look, feel, and vibe of the HomeHero working environment, and the community within it that is so important to HomeHero, as well as incredibly useful to applicants when they’re applying.
The Final Concept
After a consultation process we distilled elements from across all three concepts to produce a ‘What to expect on your first day’, style video. With the camera acting as the eyes and ears of the new starter, we were able to create a strong, effective narrative that guided the viewer through the culture at HomeHero, with all the benefits of having unscripted, natural conversations with the HomeHero team directly.
Time for another? Head to Startup Life for more articles.
Interested in joining the HomeHero team? Head to Workable.