Curiosity kills cats but it’s a lifesaver for understanding clients and their briefs. What’s the ultimate objective? What are the limitations and parameters? What are the hidden hurdles or agendas? We like to get close to our clients and their worlds, searching for nuggets of information that can help fuel our Chaos Thinking™.
We look at the bigger context, as well as the tiny details. How does each advertising campaign, experiential piece or marketing communication fit within the bigger picture? What were the last campaign results? What can we learn from what’s gone before? Even tactical exercises will get the added benefit of our strategic thinking.
We’re always curious to know more. We look at the market, your competitors and your past campaigns. We look at customer journeys, lifecycles and touch points. We hold workshops, focus groups and stakeholder meetings – although sometimes our gut feeling can be as illuminating as a formal research study.
Every client has different ambitions, operating sectors and audiences. But is there a clear picture emerging? Are there untold stories? Are the USPs merely SPs? From our challenges and investigations, we’ll have relevant observations, considerations and recommendations to share as part of our Chaos Thinking™.
How do we make you look fantastic without pushing rules and appetite for change too far? We quickly learn the Brand Guidelines and how best to adopt and adapt them. We work out if cries for ‘revolution’ really mean evolution. We’ll consider lingual and cultural sensitivities of wider audiences. We’ll consider what is and isn’t ring fenced. What we’ll never do is sit on the fence as we understand the parameters and push the boundaries.
It’s unique, spontaneous and inexplicable. It’s what makes us different and gets us up in the morning. Brainstorming, thought showers, watercooler moments, working lunches, in the bath or on the treadmill, or at a client groupthink... ideas can come from anywhere at any time. And they can’t be forced or bottled. So we give ourselves free rein to think, without ever being too formulaic. That’s the Chaos Thinking™ but when the time comes for structure, we whittle down, refine and distill.
Everyone and anyone could be the catalyst that brings the big idea to life. Creatives or Account Directors, Designers or Project Managers, Friends and Influencers, Chief Enthusiasts, Brand Evangelists or Devil’s Advocates. Our clients are often involved in contributing to the thinking as well - afterall they’re likely to know more about their products and markets than we do. The important thing is that it happens, not who starts it or how it ends up. Then it’s down to us to pool our expertise and experience to deliver the idea through integrated thinking.
Having ditched ‘silo’ thinking years ago, we involve the branding, creative and digital teams, experientialists, advertising gurus, Chaos Network partners, relevant specialists…..even our clients have been known to join our brainstorms. We’ll collaborate with whoever it makes sense to. Whether we’re pushing the envelope or subtly stretching the brand guidelines, it’s all about unearthing ideas that connect with the real world and are realistic in expectation and execution.
Clients often choose between integrated agencies and specialists. We say, why choose when we can integrate both? We’re a specialist in our six key communications disciplines with the ability to integrate them speedily and seamlessly for effective branding and campaigns. It saves our clients having to brief and bring together multiple specialist agencies. Even if we don’t have a certain specialist skills internally, we have the wider resources to extend and create a virtual agency team as necessary, to look after our clients’ interests.
Brand awareness, engagement, activation, acquisition, or retention. Whether it’s a quick hit or a multi-phase long term campaign, we plot, plan and develop the right phases for the project in line with our clients’ interests, budgets, schedules and deadlines. We integrate campaigns and branding above the line, below the line, online and offline to enable joined up thinking
Segmentation or sector messages. Short term engagement or long term partnership. High frequency or low profile. What’s the best way to reach the people you need? How can you excite them and cut through the clutter? We address every route to market — internal, direct, dealer, retailer, distributor. We also plot the customer journey or audience path to ensure we’re communicating at the right time, in the right way, through all the right channels. And we think about what to say now and what to save for later.
Questions asked, inspiration achieved, comms channels determined. Now it’s time to get on with it and put the ideas into action. This covers many jobs – from writing copy and art directing imagery to planning print or deploying eDMs. It all takes experience, timing, and a keen eye for detail. We keep track of everything, so the end project is on brief, within budget, on time and whenever possible, hiccup-free.
In most cases, we fully implement end-to-end ourselves and take full responsibility for project or campaign delivery, but for some projects, we’re asked to let our clients or their internal teams manage implementation. We know we’re not always required to do everything but being client-centric, we’re always happy to. Whatever it takes to get the job done efficiently, be it media buying, print procurement, organising an exhibition or monitoring CRM activity.