A journey to discovery


By Kelly Parnell, Cadent

In early 2017 Cadent separated from National Grid and became a stand-alone brand. This was a period of massive change for us. And there were lots of conversations at the time around what, as a new business, we needed to action first. The creation of a new EVP was high on our priority list. So, we put the challenge out to tender and following a competitive pitch, decided that SMRS was the perfect match for us.

We’ve worked on some big and complex projects. From understanding and defining the Cadent employer brand, to wider projects involving developing our strategic narrative and helping us to launch this across the business, developing new talent campaigns, creating content for social media pages, and re-toning and branding our new competency frameworks. And the good thing is that SMRS take each project in their stride and, as know us so well, they can just get on with it.

A joined-up approach

Perhaps more than anything, building our presence in the market was the most challenging. Following the creation of Cadent, there was a degree of uncertainty around who we were and what we did. So, SMRS helped us to combat this through targeted graduate and apprenticeship campaigns, helping to raise our profile, amplify our EVP and build our brand in areas where we were competing to attract the top talent.

Alongside external attraction, SMRS also worked with our internal comms team to help with internal engagement too. Specifically, projects focused on embedding our values across a multi-site and, at times, geographically challenging organisation.

So far, so good

Feedback so far on the work we’ve created together has been really positive. Internally, people have bought into the brand, they understand and like the feel of it and the tone of voice. Plus, the Hiring Managers are really pleased that they no longer have generic bland job profiles to work with. Externally, there’s still some work to do, but brand awareness has massively improved. People now know that Cadent is a gas distribution network. Next, we need to get across why that’s exciting, by sharing our plans for the future of gas and all the great projects ahead.

An open relationship

Over the last two years, we’ve developed a great relationship with SMRS. Everyone is really helpful and passionate about what they do. With lots of open debate and communication we explore different ways of doing things, together. Sometimes that means a change to the plan or a compromise, if we just need them to get it done. Either way, we always get there together. And the end product is always better as a result.

It’s second nature to pick up the phone and ask SMRS for help. And, with many more projects in the pipeline, it won’t be too long before we’re doing so again…