It would be easy to write a mission statement that said, “our ambition is to be the best graphics company on the planet, providing the best service, always on time and always on budget. We really care about our customers."
At least some of this should be par for the course. Like being able to give the best service you can, and caring about your customers. The others are subject to opinion and nuance.
For example, we do always try to be on budget. But in the modern world where marketing budgets are tight; where brands are trying to achieve more for less; well, realistically this isn’t always possible (but more on this further down). It's a hurdle we encounter as a production partner sometimes. It's these situations and hurdles which spur us on, help to write our own mission statement, and build our philosophy.
to be –
If we get the above right, the rest works itself out.
There are many facets to our working day, some easy, some challenging. Fortunately, if a dilemma appears, we have a good moral compass and we always try to do what is ethically right. It’s one of the reasons why we have plenty of customer referrals and retain staff. Our ethics also mean we treat each other well, and as human beings – The Graphical Tree team are the lifeblood of the company, after all, distilling the company philosophy through personal interaction, beyond the website and social media. It is also why we’re trying to push and evolve our eco graphics offering (it's our most visited single page on the website and full of information) – it is hugely important within the graphics industry that there are sustainable environmentally friendly production and materials available.
Going back to the question of budgets. If you have restrictions for a project we hope you know you can talk to us about it. We’ll be helpful in trying to find ways to achieve your budget, perhaps for example, by making suggestions in materials or production methods to get the most for your money. We genuinely want you to be successful in your job role and as a brand. Part of how we show this is by being honest in our approach, our suggestions and our pricing. Of course, another supplier might slash their costs to meet your budget, but in the short and long term that does not help.
You might receive a substandard product because the only way a supplier can meet the budget is by using budget materials. A substandard product will have a knock-on effect because customers may notice it. Maybe the graphics peel up from a wall, maybe a box is flimsy, maybe a window cling has bubbles in it after installation. First impressions count, and in retail, for example, you’re making a first impression almost every time a customer comes into a store.
Longer-term, if suppliers are constantly cutting the costs it means something suffers further down the line. Rents need to be paid, staff need to be paid, service suffers, companies will close (this is exactly what happened to a well-known large graphics supplier last year).
We’d like to say we digressed, but actually, it’s all part of the big picture and why we do what we do and behave how we know we should behave.
We don't believe in cutting costs to cut quality in production, or our ability to offer a convenient, professional service offered through our W1 Central London studio.
There's no point us having a cupboard full of knowledge if we do not share it with you; If we do not listen to the problems you are trying to solve; if we do not empower you with large format print and display information; if we do not share our experiences; if we do not build a relationship from our openness, our approachability, our care. How can you trust us to do a good job, or trust us if there's a genuine problem along the way we're trying to negotiate for you – installer access, late courier delivery etc. Or even trust us on our pricing when quoting a job? We're trying to make this a simple, effective and pleasurable process for all of us, after all.
If you appreciate that you’re getting a great, friendly, honest service from your supplier, trust that their time, experience and end product are worth it.
We’ve been in business long enough to encounter many a situation – good, bad, tricky and fun. All these scenarios shape how we operate, as people, as a team, and as a brand. The Graphical Tree is a brand and it is fuelled by our reputation...
The rest is par for the course, and maybe one day, if we’re as good as our word(s), you'll consider The Graphical Tree as the best graphics company on the planet. But that’s always going to be personal opinion.
You can read more about how we work here.