The finalists for Saskatchewan’s 2015 ABEX awards have been announced and among them sits Lloydminster’s Red Bicycle Communications. The marketing company was nominated in the Young Entrepreneur of the Year category and is up against six other Saskatchewan businesses.
The ABEX awards, which were started in 1984 by the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce, honour outstanding achievements and businesses excellence. Owner and creator of Red Bicycle, Jill Morrison, was excited when she learned she was up for the award.
“When I found out I was over the moon about it,” she said. “It’s very humbling and quite an honour to be even nominated, so I was pretty thrilled to know I was a finalist for it.”
Morrison, who is originally from Lloydminster, started out working for an advertising agency in Halifax, N.S. called Extreme Group. Her fiancee then got a job offer and they moved back home in 2013 but Morrison had already become accustomed to the agency life. She says she was nervous at the time because she wasn’t aware of marketing opportunities in Lloydminster so she decided to create her own business.
Last year, she came up with Red Bicycle Communications and now has a good-sized client base within the Border City.
“Basically, what I’ll do for clients is I’ll work with either the existing marketing person within a business or I’ll help the owner or the general manager,” she said. “We work on strategies to find who the target audience is, how to identify them and how to communicate to them. Because there are obviously different languages you would use when speaking with a child (versus) a teenager, a 20-year-old or a senior.
“Then we try to find a niche for them to make their marketing efforts really stand out. Anyone can have a storefront sign for example, that’s really important, but how can we talk to the people you actually want to talk to? Instead of saying, ‘I want every single person to come to my store.’”
Some of Red Bicycle’s clients include Harvest to Home, the Lloydminster Region Health Foundation, Kings Energy Group and Habitat for Humanity Lloydminster Society.
Morrison received her bachelor’s degree in management and marketing and social responsibility in Lethbridge and also earned another bachelor of arts for sociology and graphic design. She says she’s always known she wanted to be in the world of advertising and having a sociology background mixed with marketing has worked out well for her.
The name Red Bicycle may also sound interesting to some and spark a curiosity as to the story behind it. Morrison says she wanted something that was fun and creative and that had a sense of freedom to it.
“For me growing up it was riding my bike through the fields. I really enjoyed that sense of freedom and then just the imagination you have when you’re a child, how you can play and pretend anything. I wanted that to be reflected in the name and for me Red Bicycle does that.”
The 2015 ABEX awards will take place on Oct. 24 at TCU Place in Saskatoon.