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Switching-Time - Public Relations Agency of the Year in Asia

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2018, Click to Enter The 2019 International Business Awards

Company: Switching-Time, Shanghai, China
Company Description: Switching-Time is a Sino-Swiss integrated boutique communication agency providing tailor-made services and solutions for fashion, luxury, lifestyle & beauty brands. Founded in 2012 by Taiwing Tian and Florent Chapatte, the agency has more than 35 employees in Shanghai. Switching-Time is aiming to be the leading agency with both creative thinking and excellent execution skills
Nomination Category: Corporate Communications, Investor Relations, & Public Relations Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Public Relations Agency of the Year in Asia (China, Japan and Korea)

Nomination Title: Switching-Time; the Premier Integrated Agency for Fashion, Beauty, Luxury and Lifestyle

Tell the story about what this nominated agency achieved since 1 January 2017 (up to 650 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms.

In an environment where the competition seemed to morph into everything-for-everyone shops, our strategy for 2017 – our fifth year - was to do just the opposite: focus on selected industries, and become thepremier agency for fashion, luxury, beauty and lifestyle clients. Our success was to be measured qualitatively byagency growth and margin,but equally importantly by thenumber of top international brands that chose us and stay with us,which in turn is fueled by thestability of our team and the work we do for our clients. By end of 2016, we lauched our strategy to make this happen:FIT for 2017.

F: ruthlessfocuson our core industries.
I:innovating for insightsandImpactfor stronger client work.
T:Team: Battling China’s notorious staff turnover this is key to winning client loyalty in China.

We carefully selected a few initaitives, knowing that the best tactic is not only well chosen but also well implemented:

The Communications to Commerce™ tool/methodology:
we pioneered live-streaming of an influencer event directly to consumers on China’s biggest e-commerce site T-mall, connecting it to sales. Thisproprietary tool is a gamechanger for generating measurables business results, and gives us an advantage vs all other agencies in our market.

Coaching program:In Chinese agencies, many young managers lack management experience, resulting in a rocketing staff turnover. Welaunched a coaching program for managersthat lasted thorughout the year.We believe change happens when you do something different every day, and is relatable to real life situations.

Establishment of N-MAP™, our New Media Alignment Tool/Process.
This datadriven tool/process ensures that we know everything that’s going on in our focus industries.

And our results speak for themselves;

We added18 new top brands to our roster in 2017, including airbnb, W Hotels, Guerlain, Tom Ford, adidas performance, adidas by Stella McCartney, Puma, Columbia, Calzedonia & Initimissimi, American Eagle & Aerie, Kronenbourg1664 and Grimbergen (Carlsberg Group). In addition, Pernod Ricard started a retainer with us for their entire premium brand portfolio(Absolut, Jacob’s Creek, Jameson, Ballantines, Havana Club, St-Hugo).Due to our fierce industry focus,we now serve multiple top international world class players in each of our four focus areas, making us a destination for the pickiest of clients. A selection outside of our clients outside of the above mentioned:

Fashion: Lee Jeans, adidas Originals and Brooks Brothers
Beauty: Lancôme, YSL, Biotherm, La Roche-Posay, L’Oréal Professional
Luxury: Bvlgari, Swarowski, Marco Bicego and Chow Sang Sang
Lifestyle: Club Med, Absolut

In summary: we innovate, pioneer and deliver proven world class quality work. We care and foster good leaders, and our team stays and grows with us. We are true experts in our chosen industries. Many of the world’s most valued brands are staying and even expanding their collaboration with us, and new world class marqee brands are flocking to join us. Having achieved this in only five years of operations in one of the world’s most competitive and volitile agency markets is what we believe makes us worthy of the title Agency of the Year.

In bullet-list form, briefly summarize up to ten (10) of the chief accomplishments of this nominated agency since the beginning of 2017 (up to 150 words).

In a market with awell known client “infidelity” culture and rocketing staff turnover numbers, we have in five years only:

-established ourselves as the premier agency within fashion, luxury, beauty and lifestyle, achieving an enviable roster of marquee brands (adidas, Lee Jeans, Puma, L’Oreal, Bvlgari and Pernod Ricard,…)
-90% client retention rate(industry average around 50%), 80% of clients increased their budgets with us, and averageclient budget increase of 96% vs 2016
-innovated for ground breaking technology solutions to drive measurable results
-achieved below10% staff turnover(industry average around 45%), much due to a caring agency culture and a manager coaching program
-48% growth from multi million USD base
-65% margin increasefrom already healthy double digit margin
-pls visit

To have achieved all of this in one of the world’s most competitive agency markets makes us worthy to be considered Agency of the Year.