2023 INTERNATIONAL ARC AWARDS - GOLD
2023 INTERNATIONAL ARC AWARDS - WORLD'S BEST NON-TRADITIONAL FORMAT ANNUAL REPORT
2023 INTERNATIONAL ARC AWARDS - BEST INTERNATIONAL ANNUAL REPORT
The final report traversing Comvita's 3-year turnaround strategy sticks firmly to the communication strategy of consistency set in 2020. With initial mission accomplished it was time to close the loop and consider 'what's next'?
This report was the third in Comvita’s three year turnaround strategy and needed to clearly and definitively report back on the goals set three years ago. Having fulfilled the short-term promises made and well progressed on delivery of the longer-term ones, the company has been thinking way beyond those to a much broader series of new goals.
The task of this year’s report then, was to complete the cycle set up in 2020, and open the door on a new set of ambitious goals and strategies for 2025 and beyond.
This was also the year for shifting the report up a gear to integrated reporting, which provided the framework for greater detail on Comvita’s Environment, Social and Governance factors and their te ao Māori strategy.
The overarching strategy since 2020 has been to rebuild shareholder confidence over time with a clear strategic shift in approach, frank transparency and direct language, and to remain reassuringly consistent with that throughout the turnaround period.
The three phases of the turnaround strategy were clearly set out and have been directly reported back to in subsequent years. To reinforce the clarity of these three phases, a graphic device made up of three overlaid images was devised, and repeated over the years of the turnaround strategy: rectangular the first year, circular the second, and adopting the honeycomb hexagonal this year. Also, to reflect the strategy bearing fruit and the growing confidence as goals are met, the report itself grew slightly in dimension each year. A classic example of the visual design execution powerfully reinforcing the messages within.
The tension for us this year was how to creatively handle the transition from turnaround strategy to stable business growth strategy – closing the loop we had set up in 2020 with its consistent style redolent of promises made and kept, while introducing the new 2025 strategy with the right contextual balance and sense of excitement for the next phase of growth. This entailed aspects of document structure, messaging hierarchy, sequencing, visual contrast and succinct writing and storytelling.
With those aspects resolved, the balance of the design took a gentle evolutionary approach, although the much broader reporting detail and the move to the integrated reporting framework did require considerable additional thinking, careful cross-referencing and of course, the development of a Value Creation Model which captures Comvita’s unique approach to building a richly holistic business.
The clarity of strategy set and achieved has certainly settled an unsettled market. But changing perceptions and building trust are long term activities in capital markets, dependent upon many years of doing what you say you’re going to do. This third report evidences consistent progress and promises kept. Consistency of both performance and reporting is the only pathway to credibility and market re-rating. Comvita is well on the way. Patience and continued performance will prevail.
The report won the Gold title in the 2023 ARC Awards out of New York in the Non-Traditional Annual Report: Natural & Sustainable Food Production category.