What can happen when you put business thinkers and brand thinkers in one room?
We often have to work together. Collaborate with founders. Collaborating with heads of teams. Of communications. Of design. A room full of creative and business minds. I love it. But business people often talk and think differently. Although the interests are ultimately the same, the approach is different. That is why it is important to get them all on the same page. If you don't, things will go wrong.
Because I’ll be completely honest: as a creative agency, it’s terrible to see good work die before the deadline. And it’s also just awful to see them pass up creativity that had achieved growth. We are never there for our own success, but sometimes it just hurts. Because of choices that are made. Choices that are often made based on short-term results, at the expense of long-term ambitions. That is why it is so important to have a clear common interest, even if the other person talks and thinks differently.
But is it really the case that there is a difference? Yes, there is.
Think about what a brand really is. It is the sum total of the thoughts, feelings and beliefs that a person has about a company. It is the way a person interacts with a company. Simply put: brand is perception. Companies are not. They are made up of people, products, shared and individual practices. Common goals and personal pursuits. Budgets, profit margins and growth strategies. And perhaps an office or offices.
Can it not be done together?
We are different. Yet we have much in common. Focus, simplicity, transparency, flexibility, vision, reliability. Applicable to both worlds and in the long run often the common thread between company, culture and brand.
So this makes building a brand for a company a synthesis. Finding the metaphorical connections between what a company does and its visual, verbal and behavioural expressions. This is both an art and a science. It requires thinking in structures and systems as well as stories and beliefs. A business IQ, combined with a creative EQ. Diagnosing where a business is in its life cycle and therefore what it needs to do and be. That is the real work.
What we do
So we are not talking about design theory at all. We are talking about creative solutions to problems. About impact on users. About the feeling you get when you work with you. Not about the intricacies of design and the shortcuts of marketing.
Business is its own kind of creativity. Look at culture, at industries. Think of something that does not yet exist, but is possible, and then build it. That is also what we are doing. So we do speak the same language in the end. Maybe our tools are different. But it is the mentality we share.