CH&CO Group

Finding the perfect blend

In January 2017 we were approached to pitch for a large employer brand and internal comms programme for CH&Co Group, one of the UK’s largest and most awarded catering firms. The Group had enjoyed great success in the last few years and had recently taken the time to update its vision and values to help ensure continued momentum.

The brief

Our brief was to come up with an internal brand and communications campaign to give this diverse team of over 6,000 staff, working across 10 go-to-market brands, the room to continue to express their individual brands in their current fashion and also recognise their relationship to the Group entity.

We pitched them a single, bold idea which helped connect the purpose of the Group brand to the individual companies and vice-versa. The Group board agreed and it won us the business.

Keeping it simple, stupid

After trying to come up with a lot of ‘clever’ ideas we got out of the way of our own egos and came up with one which was pretty straightforward. We took the ‘&’ symbol from the Group company name and used it as a visual mnemonic to run across various channels and media. If a key aim for this comms project was to display the ideas of teamwork and partnership and putting the Group right at the heart of that, then using the ‘&’ as the linking device, bringing singular attributes together to form a harmonious pairing was an effective way to deliver it.

We created a fast-paced short piece of film, using the Group’s library of imagery. This introduced the campaign with some pep and was the centrepiece of their annual conference. To back it up we also created a series of activities to help break the ice at the conference and encourage people from different companies to begin to get to know each other. One of these ideas saw us producing a set of chefs aprons, each with a single word printed on them, and bringing in a load of huge helium ‘&’ shaped balloons. The idea encouraged people to go off and find a person with an apron which had a word which would work as a well-known food-related phrase around the ‘&’ when paired with their own. Some were a little bit cheeky and others were more straight down the line. It did the trick and helped get people moving, laughing and talking and created some genuine energy in the room.

Taking it into the field

Beyond coming up with the initial comms burst we worked hand in glove with the Group’s Learning & Development team to devise ideas and content for a series of training activities which would embed the refreshed Group values. Continuing with the lead theme the activities we developed alongside them have been formed into an annual L&D programme. This programme is underway and is going to build toward an exciting crescendo celebrating the unsung heroes in the business who embody the spirit of teamwork and positive ethos that the Group holds dear.