We caught up with Antenna member, Amir Bazrafshan, the Founder and Managing Director of Apricot Video Marketing. Amir’s fascination with strategy led him to get a diploma from Harvard Business School earlier this year and he recently launched two new companies, ApricotSky and ApricotBox, to further add value to his customers experiences. We spoke to Amir about the significance of Apricot Video Marketing and how it enables brands to meet their goals. Plus, he tells us why he became an Antenna member and how he is hoping to develop the Apricot brand further.
Could you tell us a bit about the work you do for Apricot Video Marketing?
I currently run a couple of marketing-related agencies. Apricot Video Marketing is a video centric marketing agency. We get to know the client’s brand and understand the core values and messages behind their work, allowing us to make and deliver campaigns targeted at their market through engaging videos. We also measure the metrics to determine the return on investment whilst supporting the growth of the client’s business. ApricotBox, is a bit more of a specialised service, helping brands to develop a strong presence on social media in order to attract and engage customers.
What inspired you to create your own business?
I’ve always wanted to work for myself and 2012 saw the rise of digital video content and the development of technology and online sharing platforms, which proved it was a great opportunity to start my own company. Apricot Video Marketing originated in 2012 under a different name, Apricot Creative Video. This was my freelance brand which later evolved into Apricot Video Marketing.
Tell us about some of your clients and the work you do for them?
We’ve worked with 200 Degrees, a Nottingham-based coffee shop and barista school, delivering a few projects for them over the years. This included promotional videos for their YouTube channel and their website – demonstrating their expertise and how to make a good cup of coffee. We were asked to create a video to promote their franchise too, illustrating the core values of their business to a potential franchisee.
We also supported the Institute of Mental Health peer support with a video campaign in order to bring greater awareness to the life altering work done by the institute. The video had immense success, resonating with the audience and allowed the institute to see a 500% rise in enquiries since the launch of the campaign.
How did you first hear about Antenna and what drove you to become a member with us?
Before I started my agency, around ten years ago, I actually worked in Antenna for a film distributor, Crabtree Films, as their Head of Marketing. I did some production for them, working with them for around three or four years – we were based on the top floor of Antenna. I knew the place very well and knew my way around the Antenna building, so when I started my own thing there was only really one place that I wanted to work in. It was ideal because it was so familiar to me.
What were your first impressions of Antenna before moving in?
It was really impressive, really swish and it looked nice. I remember coming in with Crabtree Films and being impressed with the look, the feel and the staff. We did look at other co-working places, however, as soon as we came to Antenna we decided that this is it, this is where we wanted to be.
I come into Antenna a few times a week to use the co-working space, it’s a really flexible place to work. I’m always amazed at how friendly the staff are, they’re professional but have a warmth which makes me feel comfortable being here.
As you mentioned, you recently founded two new companies under the Apricot umbrella, ApricotSky and ApricotBox. Tell us a bit about why you have started these new businesses and what services they provide?
I started ApricotBox during the pandemic because the video agency suffered a lot due to our inability to go out and film, and so it was really out of necessity to create a new source of revenue and income. The pivot of ApricotBox was to focus on B2B brands and turn their blog posts into short, engaging videos for social media. The key to this was creating a system that would enable scale, with just a small team of five, including myself, we were able to create roughly 100 videos per month! We operate on a subscription basis so they always had something engaging to post to social media. Over the last three years or so, we have worked with around 200 B2B brands on these kinds of projects, getting more involved in their campaigns and strategies as well.
Drawing on my knowledge and experience with B2B digital marketing, I decided to launch ApricotSky. The insight I had gained from working with numerous brands allowed me to see gaps in the market. ApricotSky takes a very customer-centric approach to building a strategy and strives to make it as easy as possible for our customers to engage with the right people on social media.
What are your future plans?
The main focus is building up ApricotSky because I think it could become something that is really useful and has quite a unique perspective, that could resonate with a lot of B2B brands. It plays to my strengths of building strategies and I have a studio of creative minds who are great at creating content to help me and the business grow. There is also an opportunity to try something different and to be a different voice in the area of marketing.
For the last seven years I’ve been delivering leadership coaching for Seth Godin’s altMBA, it’s something I really enjoy and would like to do more of in the future. Finally, I would like to find different ways to leverage working with strategy. Earlier this year, I earned a diploma from Harvard Business School in strategy, it’s something I find fascinating and would like to do more in that area in the future.
If people want to get in touch, are you happy for them to reach out?
Yes, people are more than welcome to get in touch. You can check out our websites to see some of the top work we’ve done for our clients. Please get in touch using the contact page or if you see me around the co-working space in Antenna, please say hi. Also, I am easily found on LinkedIn and can be emailed at: [email protected]
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