WHO WE ARE

Tovera is a brand and reputation consultancy.

We work with organisations to help them build strong brands and reputations as both together are found to be powerful drivers of value and long-term success. We use a unique methodology – the Tovera Brand & Reputation Model – which brings leading brand and reputation thinking into a single research framework for analysis and strategic planning. We are experts in brand and reputation insight, strategy and measurement.

WHAT WE DO

 

Our entire focus is on understanding, defining, building and protecting brand and reputation. In supporting clients in this endeavour, we offer research, insight development, strategic planning and measurement.

Research

We have a tried and tested research methodology based on the Tovera Brand & Reputation model.

Insight

We take insight development seriously and separate insight development from research for two reasons.

Strategy

Our approach at Tovera is strategic, always seeking to answer: what is going to make the biggest difference…

WHO WE DO IT FOR

Problem:

Just Eat, a founding client of Tovera, made its  IPO in April 2014. At that time the leadership recognised that the business would be held to higher standards and a higher level of scrutiny than it had been as a privately held entrepreneurial challenger brand. The company needed to create an effective corporate communications strategy.

Problem:

Pret had suffered the extremely distressing  death of a customer following an allergic reaction to one of its products.  In the midst of the crisis there was a need to get a sense of its impact and how best to reassure customers, partners and the wider stakeholder universe.

Problem:

Novartis Oncology (NO) was playing in the most competitive area of pharmaceuticals in the most highly regulated industry where there are immense societal pressures on companies to balance commercial imperatives with social impact.

Problem:

Qualicaps, the pharma devices arm of Mitsubishi Chemical, had a commercial strategy problem in that they needed to bring three separate divisions into one aligned entity. These divisions were in different markets and product sectors, and had brand assets in the form of manufacturing/assembling capability and trusted brand names.

HOW WE DO IT

We work with companies at key stages of the strategic planning cycle. In the Discovery phase analysing research of various methods, quantitative and qualitative, in stages we call the Landscape and the Diagnostic, detailed below.

The Definition stage is where we develop insights from the discovery stage to inform our strategic advice on areas such as, for example, corporate strategy; brand purpose, positioning and proposition; corporate communications and public affairs strategies.

It’s important to note that we do not deploy/activate campaigns allowing us to remain independent of any channel. This gives us the freedom to develop evidence based insights informing unbiased advice.

We also advise on, and design, fit for purpose measurement systems that can include qualitative monitoring of senior stakeholders and/or quantitative measurement among larger groups such as employees, consumers and publics. Sometimes this is simply advising on improvements to existing programmes other times a full review and design of a new programme.

We have a tried and tested process that can be taken holistically – for a full brand and reputation audit and analysis leading to strategy – or in parts, depending on the brief and/or extent of existing brand and reputation knowledge and understanding:

Landscape

Our Landscape is an important first stage that gives us a clear understanding of the current situation through a process that ensures all relevant voices are heard and key people have an input to the project to ensure its success.

We do this through a combination of  a) internal interviews with key people, usually including leadership, core functions and internal influencers, b) reviewing any relevant extant proprietary research and c) assessing relevant published data. This work is conducted using our model as a guide. All these inputs help us to reveal ‘The Landscape’ – a clear view of what these tell us about purpose, brand and reputation.

This work can sometimes be sufficient for us to then develop the insights and move to the Definition phase. Often we find there are gaps to fill and/or more questions arising  that would need to be answered by primary external research. This becomes part of what we call the Diagnosis stage.

Diagnosis

Our Brand and Reputation Diagnosis is an in-depth analysis of brand and reputation that considers the perceptions and expectations of all important stakeholder groups. It starts with  looking at all available existing insight/data through the lens of the Tovera Brand and Reputation model, usually in the form of a Landscape, as described above. Where necessary and feasible, this is followed by qualitative research with a mix of critical external stakeholders, carried out by highly experienced senior consultants. In-depth analysis of all inputs reveals the specific activities an organisation must focus on in order to gain/maintain the support of critical stakeholders.

Our Brand and Reputation Diagnosis can inform various business activities. Often corporate brand & reputation strategy, or corporate communications and public affairs strategies and sometimes corporate brand architecture, operational and human resources strategies. Naturally, results have most often been used to provide the evidence and insight in development of Purpose, Positioning and Proposition.

Definition

The final stage is Definition, where we work closely with our client-side stakeholders in workshop style meetings using our findings from the Landscape and Diagnosis as input to arrive at a clearly defined outcome. These previous stages provide a clear view of brand and reputation with robust, evidence based insights to inform this final stage – definition.

Our Definition process is rigorous in ensuring that all possible options are examined and that evidence is available for any recommended route, whether that be for a renewed Purpose, a more powerful competitive Positioning or a more compelling Proposition. As well as these, our work to date has helped define strategies for corporate communications, marketing, reputation, public affairs, stakeholder engagement and more.

Measurement

There are now any number of methodologies that claim to be the best for measuring and understanding a company’s reputation or brand.  Pretty much all of them treat the two elements of brand and reputation as separate entities.

Our approach is to build bespoke measurement systems where we always consider the influence of both brand and reputation on the willingness of stakeholders to support a company. We can start from scratch or we can work with any established methodology the organisation has in place –  whatever it takes to ensure measurement systems are tailored to deliver the results an organisation needs.

Our experienced analysts and consultants develop systems to track and monitor reputation and reveal its impact on key business success factors such as revenue sales, market share, contracts awarded, crises averted, amongst others.

This involves developing a system that brings together – and makes sense of – any related metrics that may already exist, and completing the picture to track both brand and reputation across the key audiences that are critical to the success of the organisation.

This approach ensures the most cost-effective, fit for purpose measurement systems that are built to enable managers to take action to protect and improve corporate brand and reputation.

WHY WE DO IT

We take pride in doing good work. It’s the driving force in all we do at Tovera; we genuinely believe in our own core purpose.

Our Purpose: In advising businesses on how to build the strongest corporate brands and reputations, we’re helping them be the best they can be vis-à-vis their customers, their stakeholders and wider society. In our own small way, we are making the world a better place through improved corporate behaviour that benefits us all.

CORE TEAM

Below is our core project team made up of leading experts in fields of brand, reputation, data analysis and marcomms. We are supported by our Board of Experts as well as parters such as Dynata (large data collection company in the EU).

Spencer Fox: Spencer has over 20 years of experience in brand and reputation strategy and is a passionate advocate of brand differentiation. The early part of his career was spent in advertising and it was during his time at JWT that he first used the Thompson Total Branding protocol. He later founded Axis Communications, a consumer brand and advertising agency where he developed The Foundry, a brand positioning methodology working with clients such as Levi’s, ITV and Abercrombie & Kent. This work led him to pursue a role at Reputation Institute where he established the UK business and led major corporate reputation research projects for organisations such as IHG, Samsung, Tesco, AstraZeneca, Kellogg’s and British Gas. The combination of his brand and reputation experience led him to establish Tovera – the UK’s first pure-play brand and reputation consultancy. Spencer has a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from Cass Business School in London. He is a member of the Market Research Society (MRS).

Ann Binne : Ann is a highly regarded brand and research expert. She previously worked as Board Planning Director in three top London advertising agencies before setting up her own business, latterly in partnership with a fellow ex-planner. Client experience is extremely wide: Mars, E & J Gallo, News International , BBC Radio, Charities Aid Foundation, Barclays Wealth, Landor, The Reputation Institute, Ogilvy, and JWT are just a few examples. As an independent consultant she applies planning principles, consultancy, research and facilitation skills to strategy, positioning and communications development in the wider branding and design world, across sectors that include charities as well as commercial, international as well as UK. Ann has an MSc in Business and is a qualified Enneagram teacher. She is a full member of the Market Research Society, a member of the Marketing Society, a Fellow of the RSA and has made contributions to books on Design Agency management, acted as a judge on APA (now CMA) annual awards, taught on MRS Summer School and since 1995 has had an entry in Debrett’s People of Today.

Sarah Hornby : Sarah is a communications and corporate affairs professional, with 20 years’ experience across sectors, in areas including science and technology, healthcare, business and corporate responsibility. She helps brands craft their stories and communicate with impact. She has worked for companies like GSK, where she led media and communications activities for some of the company’s high-profile partnerships, including the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and global partnership with Save the Children. In 2015, she spent 6 months working with Save the Children in Colombia, working on a health education programme for schools in rural areas. More recently, she led communications for the UK Government’s Vaccine Taskforce in support of the UK response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

She is inspired by the power of storytelling and as the Communications Director for TEDxLondon, helped share ideas worth spreading both on and off the TEDx stage. She is passionate about equality and diversity in healthcare and education and has worked as a mentor to young women and girls as part of the Taylor Bennett Foundation and the Inspire Education Business Partnership.

Rachel Kirk : Rachel is a data analytics expert. After graduating from the University of Warwick with a BSc in Mathematics, Statistics, Operational Research & Economics, Rachel embarked on a career in the Government Statistical Service.  She held positions managing and analysing National Statistics in the fields of labour market and immigration, as well as providing quantitative analysis in several research projects concerning UK immigration and the NHS.

Since joining Tovera in 2015, Rachel designed research programmes for clients such as Just Eat and Highways England.

Spencer Fox : Spencer has over 20 years of experience in brand and reputation strategy and is a passionate advocate of brand differentiation. The early part of his career was spent in advertising and it was during his time at JWT that he first used the Thompson Total Branding protocol. He later founded Axis Communications, a consumer brand and advertising agency where he developed The Foundry, a brand positioning methodology working with clients such as Levi’s, ITV and Abercrombie & Kent. This work led him to pursue a role at Reputation Institute where he established the UK business and led major corporate reputation research projects for organisations such as IHG, Samsung, Tesco, AstraZeneca, Kellogg’s and British Gas. The combination of his brand and reputation experience led him to establish Tovera – the UK’s first pure-play brand and reputation consultancy. Spencer has a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from Cass Business School in London. He is a member of the Market Research Society (MRS).

Ann Binne : Ann is a highly regarded brand and research expert. She previously worked as Board Planning Director in three top London advertising agencies before setting up her own business, latterly in partnership with a fellow ex-planner. Client experience is extremely wide: Mars, E & J Gallo, News International , BBC Radio, Charities Aid Foundation, Barclays Wealth, Landor, The Reputation Institute, Ogilvy, and JWT are just a few examples. As an independent consultant she applies planning principles, consultancy, research and facilitation skills to strategy, positioning and communications development in the wider branding and design world, across sectors that include charities as well as commercial, international as well as UK. Ann has an MSc in Business and is a qualified Enneagram teacher. She is a full member of the Market Research Society, a member of the Marketing Society, a Fellow of the RSA and has made contributions to books on Design Agency management, acted as a judge on APA (now CMA) annual awards, taught on MRS Summer School and since 1995 has had an entry in Debrett’s People of Today.

Sarah Hornby : Sarah is a communications and corporate affairs professional, with 20 years’ experience across sectors, in areas including science and technology, healthcare, business and corporate responsibility. She helps brands craft their stories and communicate with impact. She has worked for companies like GSK, where she led media and communications activities for some of the company’s high-profile partnerships, including the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and global partnership with Save the Children. In 2015, she spent 6 months working with Save the Children in Colombia, working on a health education programme for schools in rural areas. More recently, she led communications for the UK Government’s Vaccine Taskforce in support of the UK response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

She is inspired by the power of storytelling and as the Communications Director for TEDxLondon, helped share ideas worth spreading both on and off the TEDx stage. She is passionate about equality and diversity in healthcare and education and has worked as a mentor to young women and girls as part of the Taylor Bennett Foundation and the Inspire Education Business Partnership.

Rachel Kirk : Rachel is a data analytics expert. After graduating from the University of Warwick with a BSc in Mathematics, Statistics, Operational Research & Economics, Rachel embarked on a career in the Government Statistical Service.  She held positions managing and analysing National Statistics in the fields of labour market and immigration, as well as providing quantitative analysis in several research projects concerning UK immigration and the NHS.

Since joining Tovera in 2015, Rachel designed research programmes for clients such as Just Eat and Highways England.

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BOARD OF EXPERTS

Unique to Tovera, The Board of Experts is a group of leading practitioners that provide advice to Tovera clients in two ways. First, on specific projects, the Board can give expert advice on the implications of recommendations arising from our research. Secondly, they are available to provide external, informed view points on specific questions from clients, providing a confidential place for sound advice on anything that might be likely to affect reputation or brand.

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Peter Thomas

EXPERT: Corporate Communications, Public Affairs.

Peter Thomas is Corporate Communications and Public Affairs expert with more than 30 years of senior level global experience. Peter was Director of Corporate Communications at Reuters for over 20 years, with international responsibilities for Public Relations, Investor Relations and Staff Communications as well as strategic adviser to the Board on reputation and communication issues. Before that, Peter held a number of senior management posts at Reuters in Marketing, Strategic Planning and Product Management with postings in London, Brussels, Toronto and New York.

After leaving Reuters, Peter held several non-executive roles in the public and voluntary sectors. He was a member of the Board of Kingston Hospital, where he chaired both the Audit and Strategic Risk Committees. He has worked with large and small charities and was a Trustee of the Richmond Council of Voluntary Services.

Peter is able to bring a unique viewpoint to Tovera projects, providing advice founded on many years of experience.

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Seamus Gillen

EXPERT: Governance; Reputation Risk.

Seamus Gillen is the founder of Value Alpha Limited, a firm offering specialist governance advisory services.

He was formerly Policy Director at the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA), the international qualifying and representative body for company secretaries. He authored ICSA’s 2010 guidance on ‘Boardroom Behaviours’, and led the working group which produced the Financial Reporting Council’s 2011 ‘Guidance on Boardroom Effectiveness’. He oversaw the production of ICSA’s technical output, including its best practice Guidance Notes on boards and directors, and has been responsible for a range of initiatives relating to the NHS and not-for-profit sectors.

Seamus has been at the forefront of thinking on governance issues, in the UK and internationally, as a public speaker and author. He has been a trainer and coach, including for the Institute of Directors, on ‘The role of the company director’, ‘Directors’ duties and the law’ and ‘The Director’s Role in Managing Reputation’. He has worked with boards and directors in the UK, as well as in the UAE, India, Malaysia, South Africa and the Baltic States.

Seamus has executive management experience gained in senior roles. He was previously the Group Company Secretary and Director of Regulation at Anglian Water (later AWG) plc, and Head of Public Policy and Regulation at O2 plc. Originally a senior policy adviser in Whitehall, he was Private Secretary to John Gummer MP, Secretary of State for the Environment, and John Prescott MP, Deputy Prime Minister. He has also served as an adviser to the French Government.

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Dr. Dominik Heil

EXPERT: Organisational Culture; Strategy.

Dr Dominik Heil has recently founded the research and consulting firm Works Access Ltd in Oxford/UK He is a Director of Reputation Institute South Africa, a sessional lecturer in strategy and leadership at the Wits Business School in Johannesburg and a tutor at Cranfield School of Management

He has extensive consulting experience and has worked with most of South Africa’s largest corporations and a number of multination

John Ludlow

John Ludlow

As Chairman and Director of Lead-in Risk Limited, John is working to enhance corporate reputations through responsible management of risk.

John has 15 years of risk leadership experience and 15 years of leadership experience in hospitality multi-site operations.

John is Deputy Chairman of Airmic, Fellow of the Institute of Risk Management and Visiting Fellow at Oxford Brookes University.  Previously John was SVP and Global Head of Risk Management at InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG).

Most recently at IHG he:

  • Established a world-class global Risk Management team at IHG who have built significant corporate trust and protected brand reputation.
  • Developed global crisis and risk management capabilities which include; Enterprise Risk Management, Safety, Security, Risk Training and Risk Financing.
  • Won a number of awards for leadership, innovation, partnership and training, including Risk Manager of the Year and IHG’s Knights Award for the MEA Crisis Management team.

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RICHARD JONES

Expert: Strategy: innovation, legal and compliance 

Richard was on the founding team of MyCityDeal which after 3 months of trading was sold to Groupon. Richard is a highly enterprising digital business leader who worked across various aspects of the business finishing up as Head of National Sales for Northern Europe. He has front line experience in developing a business from idea through to a scaled mass market public organisation. He specialises in reviewing market opportunity, and defining actionable go to market strategies and relaunch strategies for digital organisations. Since leaving Groupon, Richard has been working with a number of different digital businesses defining go to market strategies, and growth strategies national and international. Richard has a hands on approach to all work tasks, is a self defined ‘player-coach’ who has run large teams cross borders (sales, partnerships, account management, legal and compliance). Richard is also a skilled legal and compliance operator having run legal and compliance matters across Northern Europe for Groupon; including regulatory negotiations with the Office of Fair Trading and the ASA. Richard is a qualified corporate lawyer who has worked for Baker & McKenzie, has an MBA from Cass Business School. 

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JANE GARDINER

Expert: Internal Communications

Jane Gardiner is an Internal Communications specialist with 15 years experience across global, independent and start up businesses in a range of industries including Consumer Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals, Banking, Beverages, Advertising and Media. With a Masters in Strategic Communication from Universita della Svizzera Italiana including MBA modules undertaken at Berkeley Business School, UCLA Jane’s focus is on evidence based, strategic internal communications that partner with the business to drive strategic alignment, engagement, change and capability as required. Her experience includes working with Senior executives and leadership teams from individual messaging and delivery capability to large scale change and mergers. Jane also works with brands to develop in house communications style including look and feel and tone of voice. New launch consumer brand work includes brand personality development, copy writing / visual development and guidance.

TOVERA

TOVERA stands for Two Truths:

The two truths are that to be successful in the long-term, businesses need both a strong brand and a strong reputation. ‘To’ is taken from some Celtic and Scandinavian spellings of ‘Two’ and ‘Vera’ is derived from the Latin for True Cause – Vera Causa. Together they make TOVERA: two truths.