We’re an integrated communications agency and we do what is needed until YOU punch above your weight!

enquire today

Campaign of the Week: Our Cheeky New OOH Ad for Glebe Farm

‘Oat-no you didn’t!’

Oat-yes we did.

Our new OOH ad campaign for British oat milk brand Glebe Farm, which pokes a little (well, a lot) of fun at a certain competitor and the infamous lawsuit that took place last summer, lit up the big screens at Victoria Station this week.

Challenged to cut through the noise and grab the attention of passers-by – in an environment where time and attention spans tend to be short – we combined punchy, tongue-in-cheek copy with clean, minimalist visuals that put the product front and centre (technically a little to the right, but you get the point). As well as coming up with the idea and delivering the final creative, we planned and bought the media for the campaign.

The work has already garnered plenty of attention online, featuring in both The Drum and Campaign.

We’ll raise a glass of pure British oat milk to that.

A new client is born

Following a competitive pitch we’ve been appointed to help King’s fertility, one of the world’s leading fertility clinics, to develop their messaging strategy and marketing communications to position them as the legitimate voice of the industry, promote their total transparent approach and to promote their services to both the private and public (NHS) sectors. Watch this space…

The Benefits of Design Thinking

01

The revolutionary problem-solving process

Habits and uniformity are an important part of business efficiency but they can hinder innovation and future growth. As one Interaction Design Education study illustrates;

“Humans naturally develop patterns of thinking modelled on the repetitive activities and commonly accessed knowledge. These assist us in quickly applying the same actions and knowledge in similar or familiar situations, but they also have the potential to prevent us from quickly and easily accessing or developing new ways of seeing, understanding, and solving problems”[1].

This is where design thinking can help. This revolutionary problem-solving process encourages business owners and their employees to think like designers in order to boost innovation. Design thinking focuses upon identifying the needs of a product’s end-user and draws upon a variety of tools such as brainstorming sessions, rigorous testing and feedback surveys. By ‘thinking outside the box’ businesses are encouraged to develop new products, services and business strategies that they never would have previously envisaged.

02

What are the key principles of design thinking?

Design thinking was first described by Nobel Prize laureate Herbert Simon in his book The Sciences of the Artificial (1996). Over the years there have been many versions of design thinking which embody the same principles. As IDEO CEO Tim Brown aptly explains;

“Design thinking is a human-centred approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success”[2].

Most recently, a five-phase design thinking model was suggested by the Hasso-Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford which revolves around the following principles[3];

Empathise with your users

Define your users’ needs, their problem, and your insights

Ideate by challenging assumptions and creating ideas for innovative solutions

Prototype to start creating solutions

Test solutions

Since design thinking encourages people to ‘think outside the box’, these principles need not be followed in any particular order. Businesses are encouraged to host brainstorming sessions to ‘Empathise’ with their target market, ‘Define’ the unique needs and interests of their key consumers and ‘Ideate’ so they can develop insightful new solutions to pre-existing business dilemmas.

Companies are also encouraged to adopt a hands-on approach to ‘Prototype’ and ‘Test’ processes. By experimenting with new concepts, demonstrating them to focus groups, encouraging one-on-one interactions with consumers and conducting feedback surveys, companies can quickly ascertain the strengths and weaknesses of new ideas. Thus, businesses can continuously repeat the design thinking process until they have rectified any errors. Listed below are some of the main benefits of this design thinking process and their applications;

03

Focus on the end user:

Design thinking is ‘human-centred’ i.e. it focuses on the needs of your consumers. Hence,  you can cultivate products and services which customers will actively want to use. Once an idea has been generated from a brainstorming session with employees and external contractors, businesses are encouraged to utilise focus groups, feedback surveys and public product demonstrations to maximise understanding of your consumers’ real needs, interests and buying trends. A successful example of design thinking in action has been IBM. As Anne Quito of Quartz explained;

“In a recent project, an airline approached IBM to improve its kiosks to speed up passenger gate check-ins. While the engineers started by improving the kiosk’s software, designers went straight to gate agents to ask why the check-in kiosks weren’t used more effectively. Designers found out that female gate agents struggled to keep kiosks charged because their constricting uniforms prevented them from reaching electrical plugs behind the machines. By finding the root of the problem, IBM delivered a mobile app that significantly eased the boarding process and reduced airline costs”[4].

04

Take advantage of collective expertise:

By opening up your development process to new voices, you can foster a more efficient problem solving environment within your business. Studies have shown that 69% of design-led firms perceive their innovation process to be more efficient with design thinking. Moreover, a separate Adobe study reported that 71% of companies created approximately 10 times the number of assets in the space of a few years when they used design thinking[5].

In this manner, the design thinking process enables you to leverage the collective experience and expertise of your workforce in order to highlight and implement previously unseen possibilities. The ideas generated from design thinking liberate your employees to exercise creativity which will in turn increase their effectiveness in tackling daily administrative processes and meeting the needs of your clients.

05

Improve the quality of your products and services:

Design thinking encourages rapid prototype testing and generates feedback from actual users that can be used to improve products and services. This streamlined testing system enables businesses to create, finely tune and distribute higher quality goods in rapid turnover and for a reduced cost.

Ultimately, the rigorous prototyping processes of design thinking means you are interacting with consumers throughout the design and development processes so you will be more likely to meet client objectives and consumer demand. By the time your product is launched it will have undergone several rounds of testing and client feedback, which in turn assures the quality and value of your end product.

Encouragingly, 50% of design-led companies report more loyal customers due to these advanced design practices. This study also showed that companies who foster creativity enjoy 1.5 times greater market share[6].

06

Enable your company to evolve:

Exploring new ideas through design thinking enables you to evolve and expand as an organisation. This ongoing process of feedback, testing and evaluation enables you to continually improve your understanding not only of your target audience, but also of the inner workings of your company as a whole. In fact, 71% of organizations who practice design thinking say it has improved their working culture on a team level[7].

If you’d like to learn more about how to implement these design thinking principles within your existing digital marketing strategies then please feel free to contact our Cloud Ten customer service team today.

Sources 

[1] interaction-design.org

[2] ideou.com

[3] interaction-design.org

[4] forbes.com

[5] cmo.com

[6] cmo.com

[7] cmo.com

creativebloq.com

creativebloq.com

drewlepp.com

You don’t need a million pounds. Just a million-pound idea.

A few years ago, an article appeared in The New York Times about a new breed of accountant.

After trying his hand at being a rock star, Jason Blumer eventually took over his father’s accountancy firm. Bored out of his tiny mind, he set about transforming how he did business.

His radical idea was to do away with suits. And timesheets.

Charging by the hour meant that his worth was set in measurable units of time. And selling time rewarded people for dragging their heels on tedious jobs.

The system wasn’t geared to providing valuable insight into how to run a business more efficiently and ultimately save a shed load of cash. And it was those complex, exciting projects that the rock star in him wanted to dedicate his life to.

His ambition was to make and save his clients enough money that they’d pay him a handsome fee, without wanting or needing to ask how long it took. Jason became a leading figure in a brave new band of accountants that call themselves Cliff Jumpers.

From flat, milky-grey bookkeepers to fearless, adrenalin-fuelled Cliff Jumpers. Without a doubt, a multi-million-pound idea.

Now let’s go back in time to when Napoleon was romping across Europe. Prussia needed to fund their war effort.

The Prussian royal family asked the wealthy to exchange their gold jewellery for iron replicas. And they obliged, providing the military with a much-needed cash injection.

Then a very interesting thing happened.

The rich were out of pocket. But at balls and banquets, the blackened iron around their necks eventually became a symbol of patriotism and commitment to the cause. Temporarily at least, the jewellery became more valuable as status.

A relatively cheap source (the salary of the royal advisor who came up with it). Revenue generated. Target audience happy. Million-pound idea.

So today, how can you maximise your chances of getting that million-pound idea, without paying a million pounds for it?

After all, no one really knows what a big idea is worth when it first presents itself. It’s only over time that the real value of an idea becomes apparent.

But some of us do have a gauge for measuring an idea’s potential. And it’s no big secret. At You Agency, for example, we scrutinise how well we think an idea leverages a combination of brand belief, product benefit and how much of a bond it’ll make with the consumer. Three Bs, if you want to get all corporate about it.

What you can do, is employ the minds of people who use data, experience and a massive dose of creativity to do it day in, day out. And guess what? You don’t need a big agency to find them.

It’s easy to be seduced by the names above the door, the warm, cosy bosom of a motherly agency and by an historical reel spilling over with work for huge brands.

But the truth is, none of that guarantees a thing, apart from a spanking monthly retainer.

Some small agencies are filled with big people. People who use all their experience to work fast. People who have gone from big to small for a reason. Because their brains are uniquely wired. And they want to make a difference.

Those people come without the eye-watering price tag. Yet still approach every problem with the same ferocious, unbridled enthusiasm to get to brand-changing ideas. Because they can’t help themselves. It’s what gets their tails wagging.

They are out there.

And when you find them, I can assure you, you won’t be paying anything like a million pounds for million-pound ideas.

Boring Conversation Anyway..

I was at a dinner party last Saturday night with some loose acquaintances (no, not loose in that sense, it wasn’t that sort of party). We’ve all been in a similar situation where your choice of seating dictates whether you have a scorcher of an evening or a politely ankle-deep exchange of banalities with a stranger.

On this occasion, the social wheel of fortune had not been terribly kind to me, and as I sat there half-heartedly talking about schools (again) I started to muse on what the missing ingredient actually was that could transform this conversation from vapid to vascular.

I needed something to push against to be engaged. A point of view, an opinion, a stance, a spicy attitude. It was then that the upsetting truth of the situation hit me: I was clearly not providing anything for my table-mates to engage with either. Dammit.

It is curious to see that in an environment of outrageously fierce competition for consumers’ attention, not all that many brands recognise that they are in danger of being the dullard at the party. In the absurdly media-saturated lives of consumers (numbers vary but consensus suggests that consumers are hit with between 2,500 to 10,000 branded messages a day, around c360 ads are seen, c150 are registered and only around 12 can be recalled), it should be increasingly obvious that there is a need to boldly engage with consumers and to do it with audacious conviction.

 

Let’s call this Attitude Marketing

There was a time when we beat ourselves half to death trying to define a product differentiator however teeny, tiny, fag-paper thin it was, it was our Grail. How times have changed. Most brands recognise that any tangible product differentiator will no doubt be either overtaken or leap-frogged within 12 months.

I’m sure that this notion isn’t a huge shock to anyone reading this, however, what should be a shock is how few brands are doing it. Back as far as 2014, 75% of millennials agreed that they wanted to share a point of view with their brands. And yet, with notable exceptions such as Old Spice’s ‘Running on Empty’ or KFC’s ‘We’re Sorry. FCK’, this undertaking is rarely seen in earnest.

What I find the most surprising is that smaller brands, or brands with smaller marketing spends are not leaping on this as the way to punch above their weight, to get noticed, to win affection. And that not more agencies are prepared to tell their clients that they are in danger of being the drabster at the table.

The start-point in developing authentic Attitude Marketing is to fully understand the business that the brand is in. Travel companies aren’t in transport, they are in adventure. Detergents aren’t in hygiene, they are in family love. And burger and pizza restaurants aren’t in food, they are in connection.

 

Having an attitude requires commitment

During the last US Presidential election, we presented a new campaign to Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK). It required them to create a new burger made from rump meat so that they could run our campaign ‘VOTE RUMP, our thickest burger ever’ with the strapline ‘It’s a bit of an arse’. Our client at the time looked at it once, laughed like a drain and bought it. With a total budget of just £150k all in we made it happen and the results were stunning – it became their then best-selling special of all time.

 

As a post script, not only is that GBK client now Marketing Director of Burger King UK, she is also a fantastic person to sit next to at a dinner party, bursting with engaging opinions and most of all, attitude.