Look outside your category for creative inspiration.

We’ve been taking a lot of time to consider the next phase in the development of our agency recently. It’s probably a Covid thing, and others are probably doing the same, but these unusual times seem to have been conducive to change. We are confident that by the time we are past the C-word, Punch will be a significantly changed agency for a number of reasons.

Some people find joy in disruption, they break something to see what happens and enjoy the rush. Maybe even go full Dominic Cummings and throw a pretend hand grenade while walking out of the room having done the breaking. Part of the last 18 months have felt a bit like this, only not self-inflicted. But, as we all suddenly had to work from home, you realise what you can achieve – when it comes from necessity. We have had some clients cease to trade and others take a different track for their marketing strategy by moving things in-house, or simply stopping altogether. This has tested us in two ways: the first is by testing how adaptable and agile we really are. The second is by changing the landscape of our team.

Should there be an ‘I’ in team?

I have a friend who ran a digital agency for a number of years. I was always amazed as his team grew as a reflection of himself, all guys, all doing the same thing, just at different stages of their careers. The obvious result of this was a seemingly very efficient but also very rigid and one dimensional approach to client work. The agency became a conveyor belt, well honed to take the client from A to Z through a number of pre-defined stages, a bit like that Nissan car plant in Sunderland. Over time the clients and work all started to look the same, and most projects resulted in the same outcome, because the narrow mindset of the team had a very specific comfort zone, so they always proposed the same approach.

Learn from Leonardo, and Steve.

There has been much written about the secret to creativity. Two of the most famous creative minds in human history; Leonardo da Vinci and Steve Jobs may have lived hundreds of years apart, but they approached creativity with a similar open mind. Both opened up their creative process to a wide range of influences and perspectives. Jobs worked with musicians, poets and historians to develop the first Macintosh. Leonardo used the same approach to open up the art of the possible, working with the great minds of the time in Florence to consider far reaching ideas such as the human powered helicopter – over 400 years before it came to reality.

Think big to stand out.

This is one of our mantras at Punch. To us, big thinking is a bit like the magic room theory; consider what is possible then work out the skills mix to achieve it. In the context of marketing those considerations can only be done with a true mix of voices and skills around the table. Our marketing challenges need an agile response and the process needs to work in close partnership with our clients to take them on a journey. Yes, we can work to a specific brief, but the real client benefit happens when the brief is challenged, or the brief is a challenge. Rather than “I need x,y,z” try thinking in terms of “how can we achieve x,y,z” I guarantee the process will be far more impactful for your brand.

You can read why Punch might be a good fit for you here: punch-creative.co.uk/why/

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