A business owner and two design agency representatives are sat in a networking group.
No, this isn’t the start of a joke. If it were, quite frankly, I’d be embarrassed at the poor start.
One representative is based in London and works in a fancy schmancy office. The other is the owner of a smaller agency from up north.
The business owner is looking for an agency to work with – who do you reckon he went with? Was he taken in by the shiny trappings of a London office, or did they go with the solid northern agency?
I’d like to think that the business owner would see the ‘fluff and glitz’ for what it is – no more than just an extra cost. What you pay for when hiring a small, local agency like ours is pure creative talent, passion and the highest level of customer service.
Through the London keyhole: Style over substance perhaps?
Honestly, I sometimes think that when people hear the words ‘we’re based in London’, what they actually hear is ‘we’re the mutt’s nuts and you need us.’ It’s like the words are hypnotic.
Before I continue with my reasoned rant let’s actually see what you’re paying for if you decide to work with an organisation with an office based in any large city, because let’s face it, they’re not going to be cheap.
Granted, some of these examples aren’t agencies, but they really do get my point across that it pays to know where your money is actually being spent.
Mother, a creative agency, is based in Shoreditch. What was once a Victorian biscuit warehouse, is now home to a life-size elephant’s backside, a wall displaying everyone’s mum (quite like that actually), a football practice area and a 250ft concrete table for all to sit around.
Red Bull is based in Soho. I find it a bit odd that a company who so lustily promotes a product that gives you wings feels the need to have a slide enabling their workforce to travel quickly to the floors below – an activity which eradicates the need for an additional feathered body part.
Mind Candy are in Shoreditch. Famous for Moshi Monsters, they too have a slide, ping pong tables and monsters everywhere! There are also white walls for the employees to draw and paint on.
Splunk are in Paddington. An actual Pullman coach is their main board room, clients are talked through products and services in a Dr Who’s Tardis demo room and if a member of staff wants to make a personal call, it’s move over mobile phone, and enter one of the many old-style phone booths.
In the words of Shania Twain – that don’t impress me much. But, I see why people are taken in by the frippery – it’s something cool they want to be a part of, a bit like a members’ only club.
What makes creativity?
I’m pretty sure if you stuck me in a room laced with plastic flamingos donning top hats my creative juices wouldn’t flow any more vigorously than they usually would. Such a visual attack on my senses may even dull my mind preventing it from coming up with the best ideas ever.
This is my take on boosting creativity – and it’s all for free:
· Connect and talk with other creative souls
· Have fun channelling your inner child
· Doodle when the mood takes you and make lots of notes
· Listen to music
· Get outdoors
· Challenge yourself to see things differently
· Don’t be afraid to break the rules!
Small is beautiful
I urge companies of all sizes to check out their local talent – the agencies on your doorstep are just as good as the talent found in the largest, most expensive cities.
In just the past couple of years many of the smaller agencies have started to win bigger brand projects. Here’s why:
· We’re not wasteful when it comes to your money. Here at Good Communications we don’t need teams of account managers, fleets of flash German cars, flamboyant wall graphics and unlimited expenses. Not only do these things add no value to the service we provide, the price of them would ultimately fall to our clients.
· What you see is what you get. Like we said above we don’t have separate departments for sales, accounts and the like. Our team works with you in every aspect guaranteeing complete transparency.
· No red tape to hinder us. Smaller teams keep a check on their processes and provide a faster execution. We can optimise current trends quickly, so our clients stay ahead of their competition.
· We’re more fluid. Depending on your needs, we can adapt and go with the flow more than the larger agencies where everyone’s role is set in stone. We’re happy wearing the hat of a photographer, social media manager, marketer and comms professional – all at once if needs be.
· We have chemistry. Smaller agencies gain fantastic reputations by giving the ultimate service and by putting everything into strengthening relationships. We strive time and time again to be the best for our clients. We don’t have a brand name to fall back on, it’s our talent, respect, trust and skill that attracts businesses to come and work with us.
· We’re accountable. There’s no ‘sorry that’s not my remit’ or ‘I’ll just put you through to the person you need to speak with’ with a smaller agency. Simply put, we are there for you.
Bigging up the Northern Powerhouse
Three years ago, James Quincey, Coca-Cola’s CEO, made the decision to bring out more flavours in its diet range to attract the new generation. The redesign of the Diet Coke cans was in fact carried out by a two-person agency in Huddersfield.
The agency worked with Coca-Cola’s design lead to nail the redesign. On the fizzy drink’s website, they made this statement:
“If a design project is too internally driven, we can end up talking to ourselves. And if we rely too much on external partners, things can go off the rails quickly. There is beauty in both knowledge and naiveté.”
I prove my point that smaller agencies have the balls to break the rules. Because they can.
Come talk to us
If you’re in the North West of England check out Good Communications. We’re a no-nonsense, straight-talking, creative, slide-free, highly experienced agency, plus we know how to make a proper cuppa.