Flavor Sampling Ltd.
Great marketing makes brands better.
Whether that is helping brands meet their objectives, get listings into stores, reach a round of funding, driving awareness, or encouraging customers to choose their brand over a shelf full of possibilities.
At Flavor we believe that product sampling (when done well) is the most effective form of marketing for Food, Drink + Beauty Brands.
As a team we want to work with ambitious brands + create the ‘Best Sampling Campaigns Possible’ by:
- Understanding what each brand needs.
- Targeting audiences as precisely as possible to minimise audience wastage.
- Considering every possible means + channel to get a product into consumer’s hands.
- Curating a mix of sampling channels to meet the brand’s objectives.
- Maximising value by negotiating hard and managing as many elements in house as possible.
- Integrating the opportunity for action (whether that is purchase, recommendation, Social Content or data collection).
- Measuring and analysing everything possible to provide genuine insight on the campaign + the brand.
- Constantly innovating to find new + better ways to get products into consumers’ hands.
Historically the sampling industry had stagnated – with a lack of imagination and a same-old mentality. We want to break out of this mould and continuously challenge what a GREAT product sampling campaign looks like.
To achieve the above we aspire to create a forward thinking agency that is built for the modern world and able to attract and maintain fantastic talent that can continue to drive us forward.
THE FLAVOR FAMILY
We believe that the most motivated and proactive team is one that feels fulfilled in their lives and appreciated in the workplace.
WE WANT TO BE A GREAT AGENCY TO WORK FOR.
WE WANT OUR TEAM TO BE PROUD OF THE TYPE OF BUSINESS WE ARE.
We are a very specific type of agency that prioritises ability, hard work and honesty over everything else (including experience). This way we get to meet and work with great people, regardless of their backgrounds.
Some of the characteristics that will allow you to enjoy and thrive working at Flavor include being independent, responsible, proactive, self disciplined, strategic, ambitious, caring + honest.
After a lot of research, soul searching, and committing to moving away from the status quo of traditional agency land – we decided that the best way that we can empower our team to be fulfilled is to build a business and a way of working that is centred around four key values:
Each of these values should work together to create a workplace where we are all happy and fulfilled whilst achieving great things. Below is what we do to have these values at the core of our agency, and how we empower our team to represent + live by these values on a daily basis.
Trust is at the heart of our business and we truly believe in our team.
Our trust starts in our recruitment (centred on our recruitment policy), and having the belief in ourselves that we are bringing the right people into the business.
We know that our team inherently wants to do great work, and that we just need to create the right environment for them to flourish.
Any growing business requires some process and structure; but with our people-first approach, we can be more flexible, innovative and successful in everything we do. Any processes that are implemented are about increasing productivity, rather than enforcing control.
Empowerment + Responsibility – As a business we see the team as competent and capable individuals and we want to empower them to make decisions autonomously rather than having to continuously check with managers and have to get things signed off. As a team we are confident that our colleagues have the business’ and each other’s best interest at heart.
Our goal is to inspire people more than manage them. We want our teams to do what is best for Flavor. This, in turn, generates a sense of responsibility, accountability and self-discipline that drives us all to do great work.
Open + Honest – We strive to be open + honest about almost every element of the business; from performance and opportunity, through to our desire to sell the agency in a few years. We are building a team to run the agency in the future, so we want everyone to be in-the-know and bought into our journey.
Empowering Trust within the team
Trust is crucial between all colleagues, and even more so in a flexible working environment. By giving clear expectations around roles, responsibilities, and the parameters for innovation – we want everyone to feel confident that they are trusted and that micromanagement is non-existent!
Everyone is responsible + accountable for the growth of the agency. This means that successes are celebrated and mistakes supported as a team – this is modelled from the founders of the business all the way through to new starters.
As part of our commitment to be a forward thinking and modern workplace, we are 100% Remote Working – and have been since day one. This means that any of our team can work from anywhere in the world + don’t have to suffer through lengthy commutes or stale shop sandwiches…
We are very proud of this, but understand that it means that our agency isn’t for everyone. If you feel that you would like to have a regular office space and everything that this brings, then Flavor probably isn’t the right fit unfortunately.
The agency and its ways of working have been designed to empower our team to be able to spend as much time as possible on two lifestyle elements that we feel very passionate about – Travel and Family. The following policies have been created to emphasise this focus, and we are continuously looking at new ways to add to these and promote a flexible culture…
Flexi-time – being able to choose which hours you work across the week, and giving you the trust to know how to best coordinate working hours with team members (taking into consideration what is needed for your role).
We want you to manage your energy and your time – and respect whatever decisions you need to make to be the best, happiest, most fulfilled version of yourself.
We trust you to organise your days to be the most productive and inspired. That means if you need to go to the Dentist, fancy a walk to clear your head, or even have a power nap, tell us as an FYI, but you don’t need to ask for permission.
We have a flexible start, but we’re usually at our “desks” between 9-9:30am and wrapping up around 6pm (earlier on a Friday if all our work is done!). 7 hours per day (plus 1 hour for lunch) is what we aim for, but sometimes it’s more, sometimes less.
We have flexible hours, so if you don’t want to work a strict 9-6 you don’t have to. You can work later or earlier, if that suits your schedule/life better. Equally if you want to work on a Saturday and take a Wednesday off – as long as you can make it work with our clients and your team – that’s fine too.
Communication is crucial for this type of working model to function, so just make sure you mark when you’re not available in your calendar, so we know when we are able to get hold of you. Keeping your status updated on Slack is a great way of managing this as well. 🙂
As you may have guessed, trust is very important to us, and this goes both ways. If we ever feel like it’s not, then we crack down pretty quickly.
Flexible employment – Offering a variety of employment types (part time, full time, sabbaticals, weekends, staggered hours, time off in lieu etc.) so that everyone has the ability to design their own work/life balance.
Benefits + Perks – A package focussed on maximising your travel and family priorities, that include:
- Opportunity to work anywhere in the world!
- Quarterly Parties
- Flavor Family Welcome Pack – for all your remote working needs
- LOTS of free + yummy samples!
- Remote Working Allowance (see page 5)
- Discounts on delicious products + services via our partners!
- Flavor group travel insurance
- Access to international partners and agency networks across the world (providing community + workspaces abroad)
- Upgrades to international data and phone contracts when travelling
- UK Network Railcard as standard
- Pre-tax loans for the likes of baby equipment, Airbnb vouchers, travel bookings, private events + more.
- Childcare voucher scheme
- First refusal on school holidays + school runs automatically scheduled OOO for parents
Unlimited Holiday – The flexible nature of the business is designed to allow everyone to make the most of life whilst working. We don’t believe in assigning a set number of days to each person. We trust the team to book as much time off as they like based on their projects, their colleagues, the needs of the business, and how much they fancy an uninterrupted jaunt!
We just need 4 weeks notice for holiday bookings (approved by your line manager), to make sure it won’t impact your projects, and that too many people in the same team aren’t off at the same time.
Birthdays are automatically booked off as well 🙂
Remote Working Allowance
To make the most of remote working and to encourage our team to work from different and varied locations, we have a Remote Working Allowance available to all staff after passing probation.
The allowance can be spent in any way – whether that is booking a hot desk to create a bit of variation from the home office, bolstering your WiFi, or purchasing a second screen to make spreadsheets even more fun!
Empowering Flexibility within the Team
Through the values that we instil in the team, the following forms of flexibility are encouraged, celebrated + rewarded:
- Flexibility to go above and beyond to strategise and deliver best in class sampling campaigns.
- Flexibility to think broadly, innovate and work across a number of different roles.
- Flexibility to help colleagues regardless of personal praise or reward.
We are an ambitious agency with clear objectives, and goals that we are determined to reach and exceed.
We encourage and expect our team to embody the same level of ambition – both for the company and for their own careers – through the following…
Opportunity + ownership – as a small and nimble agency there is an endless list of potential tasks, innovations, growth opportunities, and areas to add value to the business.
Alongside each team member’s roles + responsibilities we are committed to give everyone the opportunity to take ownership of specific business growth projects to develop + learn broader business, marketing, finance, and entrepreneurial skills – continuously pushing the agency forward whilst developing their own skill sets to broaden their horizons for long-term career opportunities.
Progress + Coaching
We are building a team to run the agency in a few years, so we are committed to plotting out opportunities to progress within the organisation, and clear objectives, coaching and training to be able to achieve this progression.
We are striving to be seen as a thought leader and innovator within our industry.
As part of this, we want every member of Flavor to be thought of as articulate, driven and proficient experts in their field and are committed to help to cultivate and promote their personal brands to reflect this.
We also actively encourage side hustles whilst working for Flavor. We trust our team as capable and honest individuals that can manage their own time and we accept that fulfilment of ambition in life often means creating something for yourself that you control wholly.
Celebrate + Support
To help ambition and innovation flourish we are determined to build an environment where successes are celebrated and mistakes are supported. We aim to follow the below points to maintain this type of environment.
- Give constant opportunity for celebration and progression – rewarding doing a job to a high standard as well as going above and beyond.
- Mistakes are part of the learning process, and should be shared without fear of reprimand.
- We’re in a non-competitive environment designed to encourage + support of each other.
- If we don’t sweat the small stuff we can work together to make the big stuff amazing!
We all live by these values and ways of working on a day-to-day basis, and try to pass them on to new recruits through training and our behaviour as a team.
There are many benefits to flexible and remote working, and we truly believe that it is the best policy for a modern workforce. However, we don’t ignore the challenges that this type of working creates either.
By listening to what is important to our team,we have implemented a number of initiatives focused on making our Remote Working Model as beneficial as possible.
All initiatives are designed to optimise the benefits of remote working, mitigate the negatives, and ultimately build a healthy and happy business.
Whilst we are an independent group of individuals, we still value and believe in building a community based on our collective values and ideals.
We do this through promoting, budgeting for, and encouraging:
Local meet ups – for team members that are close enough, and travellers who cross paths.
Co-working days – scheduling days where co-workers can work from the same place to get some face time.
Online + real life Team Lunches – expensable to encourage regular informal catch-ups.
Flavor Feasts – around birthdays and special occasions for the whole team to (virtually) break bread together.
Quarterly Staff Parties – hosted in a different team members home/current city, to experience what the locals get up to and haunts that only the insiders know about.
Inclusivity runs throughout the agency, from our recruitment policy through to the way that we work with each other on a daily basis – we don’t want cliques or in-crowds, but an accepted and fulfilled collective of motivated individuals.
You can read more about our inclusivity policies here.
Flexibility for us doesn’t mean that managers are not involved in your work. Having regular catch-ups and input from leaders, peers + direct reports improves decision making and creates a support network to allow us all to thrive.
There are a few other important exceptions to complete flexibility as well, and we are strict about ethical and safety issues. We have no tolerance for harassment of employees or trading IP with competitors.
When you’re not in the same room as each other it is important to work harder to ensure that communication is kept flowing, easy and unrestrictive.
We have a toolbox of communication aids + workflow tools and are continuously honing and tweaking the way that we can best communicate with each other (for projects, day-to-day, and social).
To help with this communication mantra, we have developed a simple 6 point ethos:
- Use mediums you use in life anyway, how you would normally use them – Phone, Email, WhatsApp, Slack, video calls – so there aren’t any barriers in communication.
- If you’ve spent more than 5 minutes writing an email to a colleague, call instead – chatting something through can solve a problem, or build an idea infinitely quicker than an email anyway.
- Trust + support your colleagues – everyone is awesome!
- Keep project meetings separate – to keep it focused, optimise time, and avoid confusion.
- Weekly all company meetings – so everyone can see what’s going on.
- Weekly management meetings – to make sure we are looking at the big picture.
Wellbeing + Mental Health
Wellbeing amongst our team is of paramount importance, and our initiatives + policies have been designed to help destress our team’s lives and increase fulfilment.
We recognise that Mental Health is a complex, varied and challenging topic, and we try to offer consistent support through regular communication, building established support networks, and scheduled drop in centres with managers to give our team the opportunity to share and discuss anything on their mind.
Sometimes it’s difficult to share things with your colleagues though, so through our membership with The Agency Collective we have also arranged access to an independent wellbeing partner – Health Assured – to look after our team’s mental health, emotional health and physical health with a 24/7 support line and app access. This can be accessed here, and is distributed to all staff for whenever they may need it.
We are committed to help our team through anything that life might throw at them, and try to instil a deep level of compassion through the whole agency.
Many of us have worked in environments with a sink or swim culture, and whilst we are driven to succeed as a business, we are determined to do so whilst treating each other with respect and compassion.
Whilst there are no set policies around this, our flexibility allows us to offer extended time off, extra support, and coaching to use mistakes as growth opportunities without fear of reprimand.
FLAVOR’S FINAL THOUGHT
We will continue to listen to our team, monitor and adapt these policies to ensure that it fits around our core mantra of trust, and continues to build a modern and forward thinking business that we can all be proud of!