We’re one-year-old, and you’re thinking, “big deal, what’s it to me?!” Well, we thought we’d take a moment to reflect on a few lessons that improved our business and might improve yours if you’re a brand or founder.
- Find the purpose in everything.
It’s not always doom-n-gloom for retail, department stores can still have a purpose. When client Stage Stores realized discounting was cannibalizing business we helped them shift message to a brand value narrative. It didn’t mean we wouldn’t promote the necessary sale events to drive people in-store, but finding a higher calling for the brand (a message of empowerment tied to ‘newness’) contributed to significant sales lift when combined with the right offer.
- Culture trumps strategy.
Our own passion projects tend to include protesting inequality in a way only the Devil can. But culture trumps strategy every time. At the Women’s March in DC last Winter we made and handed out signs, chocolate, and t-shirts. We dressed up as a shirtless Vladimir Putin on a horse and made an agitprop video, but it was our bus shelter ads that brought it all home. When a riot broke out and everything was getting trashed, vandalized or burned, our ad remained unscathed. They were in the right place, at the right time.
- The best prospects are the customers you already have.
We’d been slow to market ourselves because we felt we didn’t have the work, but that needed to change. Now, we’ve become sponsors and attendees of client conferences, and you can find us AdAge LookBook, and The Drum. Sometimes you do have to go out prospecting, however, your best customers are almost always the ones you already have. Orvis (client) introduced us to Bonefish & Tarpon Trust, our first nonprofit client, and the notion stuck with us. We tapped that insight with a campaign to launch Orvis’ newest flyrod, the Helios 3. We treated the launch like an album leak targeting fly fishing influencers online. The result? Thanks to early-adopters, Helios 3 is the second highest-selling product Orvis has ever sold online (in just 3 weeks of being available).
- It takes courage to be consistent.
Infolock, a cybersecurity firm, has the unenviable task of convincing CIOs to better manage their data as the sum of the whole, not the parts. This is big, forward-thinking for the data governance space which markets primarily as defensive, not offensive business management. For ten year-old Infolock, it’s not just a pivot – we reminded them of the fact that the founders say this in every sales pitch and meeting, but their marketing was not aligned. Now we’re in the middle of a rebrand for this visionary company that will get everyone singing from the same song sheet in every channel.