Innovation studio

Gendall Design (ATI1)

Gendall Design are a full-service agency creating online and offline customer experiences for clients in the travel and tourism sector. First founded in 1986 by Tess Gendall and formed in her garden shed, they’re now one of the leading agencies in the South West who are successfully exporting their design services outside of Cornwall, into regional, national and international markets.

What’s the innovation?

By adopting the latest in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and Voice Activation (VA) technology, Gendall Design are reinventing the ways in which people can find, book and enjoy their holidays. Using this triad of innovative technology, Gendall are developing new software which will enable holiday seekers to find their perfect vacation by simply using their voice. Their innovative idea is facilitated through the introduction of voice activated assistants (such as an Amazon Alexa, Siri or Google Assistant) and is an area of innovation in which there’s increasing interest, demand and market growth potential.

Why are they doing it?

Creative agencies, by nature, are a hive of ideas. But not all ideas are realised unless there’s a client willing to pay for them. With an ATI innovation grant secured, Gendall now have the opportunity to explore an innovation that they may not have otherwise pursued, due to a lack of time and resources. In doing so, Gendall hope to create a new product or service that they can sell onto their clients and create a more regular stream of income. Greg Welch, Managing Director at Gendall Design, explains:

“As an agency, we are sometimes at the whims of our clients’ discretionary marketing budgets, so we do have quite high peaks and troughs in terms of when the work comes in. What this has enabled us to do is have a product or service that we can put out into the marketplace and, hopefully, have a regular income that comes in every month”

What have they achieved so far?

So far, Gendall have a working prototype for their innovation and are in the research and testing phase of the Innovation process. They’ve also approached their clients for feedback, all of which has been very positive and are keen to adopt this new technology. Additionally, Greg says that the project has been great in terms of “team success” and has become an important “motivational piece’” of work, encouraging employees to think more innovatively and share their ideas – all aspects leading to an enhanced culture of innovation within the business.

What business support have they received?

Gendall were first referred to ATI via Oxford Innovation, following which, they quickly got into contact. In the initial stages, they received one-to-one business support with a Business Innovation Advisor to outline the parameters of the innovation project. Through the program, it became clear that they would benefit from receiving specialist guidance on areas such as Intellectual Property and patents, as well as enhancing their employees’ skillset through attending various innovation and project management workshops. Within three months of their first engagement, ATI’s Fund Manager had helped them through the process of applying for their Innovation Grant which will financially support the developments of their innovation.