Our Creative Director, Richard Lowes, founded Punch in 2007 with a simple goal. To build an agency that people enjoy working in and clients enjoy working with. In this opinion piece, Richard explains why the creative mindset is central to our brand culture.
creative [ kree-ey-tiv ]
- Having the ability to create
- Original, expressive, and imaginative
“So, what do you do?” is a question we get asked a lot. It’s a question that was central to a recent internal brand session we held at Punch. It’s also a question that I struggle with because it’s quite hard to pinpoint. It would be easy to say “we do websites or adverts or brochures or logos or social” etc, but that only covers the end product – the value comes way before that.
Creative is probably the most used word in our agency, both by the team and our clients. When somebody calls to ask for our help, they often talk about ‘needing our creative magic’ for a project. Essentially, creative is the alchemy that our clients pay for.
Although hard to pinpoint and often intangible, creative is our product. It can be defined in loads of different ways, from writing to design, animation to video, all driven by a clever strategy that is created to make the sum more potent than its parts.
The creative that we try to encourage within our team is the creative mindset. This is the ability to think differently and push the boundaries of what is possible for our clients. To begin by considering route A, but end up with something far far better through route B, C or Z, especially when route Z hadn’t been considered before.
In Ways of Seeing by John Berger (a book I was given to read before starting my degree course), Berger argues the way we see things is determined by what we know. If you’ve read the book you’ll know this is a very simplified synopsis. Whilst it may seem obvious in a wider sense, it is central to the value of a good agency; we bring our creative mindset to a project to create something the client (possibly) could not.
The right client relationship is also central to this of course. I recently had a conversation with an ex-client who has since moved on from the company we worked with. We agreed that the environment at her old company wasn’t right for us to work well together in and that the negative culture prevented us from demonstrating real value. Creativity thrives or dies depending on the environment.
Creative is an energy, a discussion about a project that becomes exciting because people around you are adding layers you hadn’t considered. This is not something that can be taught, but it can be encouraged in the right environment by taking risks, being curious and always asking “what if” to grow a positive culture of different thinking.
That encouragement comes from a positive agency culture and open client relationships. It can be a risk to suggest something different for fear of rejection, but if that mindset does not exist, the ‘art of the possible’ is never discussed and boundaries cannot be pushed.
A creative culture is central to agency life at Punch. It is core to our client offering: an agile agency solution that creates a virtual company for the benefit of each client…every client needs something unique and we are set up to deliver that. The truth is that when creativity is part of your culture it creates an environment of continuous improvement. Every idea we’ve had is the result of creative thinking. Creative thinking gave us the ability to survive and adapt through Covid and it is essential to what makes the next chapter in our brand development the most exciting. The possibilities are endless.