The Saffron Steer story

We’re different so we wanted to tell our story in a different way. Our mini-movie does just that!

We commissioned this from the super creative team at Brick In The Wall Media. They make cinematic, narrative and message driven movies that tell compelling stories in an entertaining and memorable way.

Many people ask how the name ‘Saffron Steer’ came about.

It all started back in the autumn of 2011. At that time the financial crisis and recession were in full swing and the impact on healthcare providers was just starting to take hold. I had been doing some work in India and it struck me on my return to the UK that a sense of doom and gloom, and even helplessness, existed on how healthcare as an industry would bounce back from significant austerity. I sensed this not only within NHS colleagues but also those in the private and charitable sectors too. All the industry chat at that time was about hunkering down, cost cutting and operational efficiencies as the main tactics for survival in these tough times. No one, however, was talking about how to grow through the pains of austerity, despite several well-documented precedents that this was possible. Organisations who focus on their brands (i.e. their positioning and purpose) and are brave enough to invest in these important strategic initiatives during tough times are the ones who can win ‘on the other side’. Saffron Steer was set up to balance out eternal cost cutting thinking with a message that you can grow through this but thinking and therefore competing differently.

So, the STEER part of our name represents the concept of ‘a brand’ – a word derived from the Old Norse word ‘brandr’ meaning ‘to burn’ as in to burn a mark on cattle. Brands are still doing today what they have been doing for centuries, and that is differentiating one product or service from another. A steer can also represent strength and determination.

The SAFFRON part of our name was influenced by business trips that I had made to India in 2010, where the creativity and excitement about doing new things and growing businesses was in stark contrast to the heal-dragging, pessimistic attitudes that greeted you on return to the UK which was still making sense of the financial crash. Proper (brand) strategy affords organisations opportunities to enter new markets, develop new services and exploit new opportunities. What better way to represent this than by the most prominent colour of the dawn – saffron – which heralds a new day full of promise for fresh and exciting things.

Having read our story, you’ll probably agree that since the essence of our business is about helping others to better position and distinguish themselves for growth and sustainability, we couldn’t exactly get away with calling ourselves “A.N. Other Healthcare Partnership Solutions Consultancy”, or something equally vanilla, undifferentiated and unexciting.