It’s been a while.
Sorry about that – we’ve been building our business, and our purpose.
This isn’t going to be about our work. Not in the conventional sense, anyway.
It’s about the creative process: the what, the why and the wherefore.
Let’s go back to a different era.
Our agency had posted a record-breaking 2019 and we were enjoying a flying start to 2020.
Then came Coronavirus.
On Monday March 16th our 12-strong company started working from home, in case a ‘lockdown’ situation was imposed by the government.
We thought we were rehearsing, but by Wednesday it was clear this was going to be our foreseeable future.
For creative agencies the foreseeable future is a matter of weeks, 3 months at best. That’s how far we can predict our income with a reasonable degree of accuracy.
After that anything can happen: abundance, scarcity, and everything in-between.
This level of unpredictability isn’t something the human brain likes very much. It’s stressful.
But unpredictability is also what we sell.
Perhaps creative people secretly thrive on it?
Hmmm. From the perspective of our daily work, yes.
Paying the mortgage? Not so much.
Then a strange but wonderful thing happened.
A pitch, in lockdown.
A totally different challenge from anything we’d ever done.
Not just branding, but communication strategy, messaging, social media.
B2B, completely digital, nothing tangible or printed.
A launch date already committed to. Two months away.
Count ‘em Jim. Two.
With that many barriers to entry there was only one possible response: jump in and start swimming.
We won the pitch by immersing ourselves in the client’s business, and in the emerging category that they hope will bring a lot of future business.
It helped that we knew the company culture: co-operative, built on partnerships.
We convinced them that we would make their ambitious vision come to life.
In two months.
One month and twenty-nine days later, we had the weekend to put the finishing touches to our launch.
You know, the kind of ‘finishing touches’ that really could do with an extra week.
“Which version of the brochure am I checking?”
“Who’s got the client feedback from midnight on Friday?”
“Shouldn’t that button click through to somewhere?”
“How the f**k can a letter just drop off the logo??!”
Monday June 1st.
Not quite as early in the day as we had intended, but the website made its appearance, signalling the birth of a new global brand for Health Benefit Solutions.
Apart from our own, the first website we’ve designed and launched from a blank page.
Thanks to our partners at Lionhouse for the build – their weekend was even tougher.
Thanks to our partners at Omni for directing the movie – goosebumps on that last frame!
Thanks to our partners at Friesland Campina – for your trust, encouragement and belief.
We did it guys!
Bring on the next learning curve.
We hope you enjoyed this first edition of Unpredictable.
Feel free to forward to a friend.
And remember, as Yves Béhar once said,
“Good design accelerates the adoption of new ideas”
Back in a month. Promise.