Norwalk marketing agency TFI Envision celebrates 40 years of business
Norwalk, CT — Published in The Hour Newspaper, Sunday, July 12, 2015 / By Samantha Tomaszewski
Tom Fowler, Inc. was started by one man in 1975 and over the years has grown into a full service creative marketing agency. In 2008, it updated its name to TFI Envision, Inc. The company is celebrating 40 years of business this year.
President and creative director Elizabeth P. Ball has been with TFI Envision for more than 30 years, starting in 1983. Ball oversees the team of 12 in its Norwalk office and more.
“The business has been a very slow and measured growth, we never wanted to supersize ourselves,” she said. “We really like the more intimate nature. I like to know who is working with me.”
According to Ball, on any given day TFI Envision has 40 to 80 projects running simultaneously and at least 10 percent of those are nonprofit work. Giving back to the community through work for nonprofits is an important part of TFI Envision’s internal philosophy, she said.
At TFI Envision, all team members have a part of each project, further helped by the digital world. Ball called the digital network “a boom to our business” and said TFI Envision is constantly updating its knowledge base. The company has two team members all the time conducting research.
“We’re really able to address client needs quickly and efficiently because the digital world lets us be so much more transparent,” Ball said. She said TFI Envision embraces change and is able to work with partners to always have what clients need. TFI Envision’s priority is to look out for the best interest of its clients, said Ball. She said she’d rather suggest that a project not be done if she doesn’t think it would be in the best interest of the client.
“I know the reason that we’ve been so successful is because we really have our clients backs,” she said. More than 90 percent of the time, according to Ball, TFI Envision finds an effective solution in the first round of working on a project.
The company has clients who have been with them for 40 years and new clients that are going to be with the company for many years to come, Ball said. She said TFI Envision’s growth is a result of clients loving their work and the company’s name getting passed on. Especially with technological advancements, TFI Envision has clients around the globe with whom they are able to carry on relationships with.
Even international clients have approached the company after seeing its work. A client in Japan researched the company and asked TFI Envision to do work for them. “We were very honored to have that happen,” Ball said.
Ball called TFI Envision the constant for many of their larger, corporate clients. The company has been asked to give new brand teams a history of their own brands, Ball said, because TFI Envision are the only ones that still have a history.
Ball attributed the 40 years of success to the diversity of the company’s work. Ball said the company doesn’t just do one thing — from brand building, brand development, packaging, promotion and more.
Since Ball joined TFI Envision in 1983, the company has won 1,171 awards for its work. This was an effort that Ball pushed for.
“It’s important that we put our work out to juries of our peers. It resonates with our clients that the work we do is being validated by juries of our peers,” she said.
Another exciting moment for Ball and TFI Envision was when two posters they designed for the Connecticut Grand Opera and Orchestra got accepted into the Library of Congress’ permanent archives. Ball said this accomplishment speaks to the fact that TFI Envision’s work is timeless and was judged as something that needs to be saved for posterity.
Ball hopes to have a celebration commemorating the company’s anniversary by the end of the year. But it is also continuing to plan for the future. Ball said she sees opportunity coming in terms of new technology affecting the industry.
“I look forward to our 50th year and our 60th year, but to be at 40 years is very exciting,” she said.
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