When the Music Stops

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AUCKLAND, Today: Newmarket agency Tenfold Creative are talking up the example of a client who appears to be turning the Covid-19 disaster on its head.

Tenfold managing partner Brendon Gleeson said: “Instead of taking a seat when the music stopped, this business owner decided to change the station and turn the volume up.

“Uren Barsal are specialists in high-quality custom-made soft furnishings; supplying interior designers, hotels, private hospitals and the aged care market. 

“Previously focussed on business-to-business sales channels, often operating behind the scenes through third-party distributors, the current circumstances sharpened the businesses focus on the need to be in control of their own destiny.”

Leveraging the skills of an experienced team of machinists, and using only the resources available to them locally, within the space of three weeks Uren Barsal have pivoted from producing bedspreads and cushions to designing a range of face masks – branded Kind Face.

“Within three weeks this business has pivoted from producing bedspreads & cushions to designing a range of face masks.”

Uren Barsal owner Chris Larcombe said: “It was about survival; when the drop off in business hit we needed to quickly find a way to help keep our team employed and business alive”, being able to adapt swiftly and recognise new opportunities were key strengths.

“The product development is more technical than it looks – the triple layer design includes natural materials to be kind to allergy sufferers and comfortable against the skin. We were also conscious about being kind to the environment, as the popularity of face masks continues to grow we were keen to help reduce the number of single-use masks going to landfill.

“Once the product had been tested and refined, agency partner Tenfold joined the team to help develop the brand and online presence.

Gleeson said: “We knew this was a great product but that we’d have to move at pace to get ahead of the influx of competitors entering this space who would have significantly more marketing resources to deploy – first mover advantage would be key.

“If you’re quick and invest in marketing strategically you can find relevance for your audience, while doing something kind for others.”

“When developing the brand name, there was a really nice story to draw inspiration from. Here was a business investing in product development and marketing at a time their employees needed it most – keeping small businesses going and food on the table for their employees’ families is a kind thing to do.

“The real insight for the brand story came from the changing perceptions around wearing face masks. As recently as a month ago wearing a face mask was considered unfriendly, a form of hiding or blocking your face from the world.

“Very quickly Kiwis are learning to love face masks, they understand it’s a considerate thing to wear and that you’re being kind to others. We wanted to capture that essence and the name Kind Face was born.”

Kind Face brand
The Tenfold team designed the Kind Face brand and developed the website in-house within a week – all while WFH. “We’re starting to see momentum build through social channels as the community embraces Kind Face, Gleason said.

“This is a great reminder to all businesses – when the music stops you don’t need to take a seat; if you’re quick on your feet and invest in marketing strategically you can find relevance for your audience in this ever-changing world, while doing something kind for others.”


Agency: Tenfold
Managing Partner: Brendon Gleeson
Creative Director: Jon Raymen
Photography: Lydia McRae
Designer: Jack Young
Social: Philippa Johnston
Talent Management: Hayley Wallace

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