As a kid, Rob Bloxham bluffed his way through school by turning everything into doodles and drawings. He’s turned that visual talent into a thriving business with clients that include corporate powerhouses
What’s the difference between ‘Hell Yeah!’ and ‘hell, yeah’? According to Rob Bloxham ‘Hell Yeah!’ is that moment when you suddenly realise a solution to a problem. It’s when you exceed expectations and truly surprise people. It makes your brain bounce and your toes tingle. Hell Yeah! is Rob’s promise to transform a business’s brand. Confused? It’s all perfectly logical to Rob – and clearly it’s delivering big-time for clients, including the likes of RBS and KPMG, too because his branding agency is one Birmingham’s growing success stories. Rob set up ORB Branding in 2004 and after spending the first few years acting as a lone consultant working pretty much from an office at home, he moved into a succession of offices in the Jewellery Quarter as the business expanded before arriving at the current base on the 25th floor of Alpha Tower in the heart of the city. ORB now has a staff of 15, and growing…
Rob is a Brummie through and through who says he knew from a young age that he wanted to work at “something visual”. He confesses: “To be honest I was awful at school. I just wasn’t interested. I somehow got through my GCSEs by using visual prompts that helped me to remember things.” He understood more clearly by ‘writing’ notes in a visual format – essentially drawing and doodling his way through school and into his career as a strategist for creative agencies. For Rob, drawing helped to unlock his own creativity. This was to become the defining feature of his approach, and later that of his company, unlocking brands and devising truly creative and engaging concepts. Rob worked in a range of strategic roles advising clients’ on how to engage their audiences at creative agencies across the Midlands. Upon realising that he could create a better team with an offer that put the client at the heart of the work, he left to create ORB – and has never looked back According to Rob, more than 50 per cent of your brain is involved in visual processing. “As we grow older and become accustomed to the ways of the business world, it’s all too easy to ignore our creative instincts and slip into habits that focus all of our energy in simply getting the job done without having to fire up our imagination. That’s where ORB comes in and can help.” ORB specialises in helping high growth SMEs and ambitious entrepreneurs define and grow their brands. They also support larger corporates looking to engage and collaborate with SMEs. ORB works with industry leading entrepreneurs from across the city such as Anthony McCourt of property firm Court Collaboration, James Villarreal of bill payment service Glide and CEO of tech start-up accelerator Oxygen and co-founder of Urban Coffee Company, Simon Jenner. Additionally they also work with some of the area’s most forward-thinking business people including Andrew Harrison, managing director, Midlands & East of England at RBS and Nick Terry, managing director of leadership events company, Top Banana.
COMPANY OF THE YEAR
In the last 12 twelve months ORB has earned a number of impressive accolades. These include being named Midlands Communications Company of the Year and achieving Recommended Agency status on the national Recommended Agency Register. ORB has also doubled its turnover by significantly boosting its client roster with major brands such as RBS, University Hospital Birmingham and Marketing Birmingham. It has also been selected as one of Birmingham’s most innovative businesses and been asked to open its doors to those looking to gain an insight into the city’s most groundbreaking companies by OpenCo, an international movement that aims to boost collaboration between city businesses. Over the next five years, Rob says he wants the business to have a greater national reach. “We are a regional agency, but I want to access SMEs and more corporates across the country,” he said. Rob is also a trustee to LoveBrum, the charity that looks to support the great people and organisations working hard to make Birmingham better. “LoveBrum really helps communities by accessing money for the smaller charities that most people won’t have heard of,” said Rob. “As a total Brummie, it’s great to be a part of something that is giving back to the community.” Hell Yeah to that!