Once upon a time, companies would conceptualize a product, produce it, then market it and wait for the right people to find it. That seemed like the natural way to do things, of course. And it certainly sounds like yesterday, doesn’t it?
But a lot has happened since yesterday. Along came Google. Hey, aren’t we ALL experts at tracking down information on the net nowadays? We dig for info, confirm our beliefs, like, dislike, blog about things that appeal to us, blog about things we are irritated by. We spread the word. Nothing gets purchased nowadays without a least a quick check. We’re smart shoppers.
In July 2010, Starbucks was reported as being the first brand to have one million ‘likes’ on Facebook. Today, that number is up to almost 20 million...double the likes in six months. Even if those extra million people didn’t really have to ‘like’ the brand to have any direct impact on the Starbucks brand, they chose to do it anyway. Why? Because we want our opinions to count, it’s as easy as that. We can see that number go up by one digit, and that feels great.
Gone are the old marketing ways. Today, Google is in the middle. Loyalty is much harder to achieve, if it even exists. And this means that the way to get to the target market is not so clear cut any longer. Consumer demand is the driving force. The consumer paves the way, and each person’s communication about a brand experience is very important.
During the past five years, many Swedish creative agencies have expanded from their core competence in order to be one-stop-shops, a place where a company can invest in everything from strategy to design to web, advertising and social media. The core competence is getting complicated. It is harder to understand...what do they REALLY do? You have heard the phrase "A Jack of all trades but master of none." But, is this the smart way to go?
The way of the future? Creative ‘boutique’ competency. A boutique is defined as a small business that serves a sophisticated or specialized clientele. To get to the right audience, those who manage brands need to have the right people in their team. These people have to focus on the specific task at hand, not on being good at everything. Specialist competence is the way to go.
Social media, advertising, packaging, copy, strategy, digital....everything must adapt to todays amorphous existence. It is hard enough to stay attuned, but trying to juggle every competence at the same time and be BEST at it is just highly unlikely, especially in a tiny country.
There is an attitude shift within small creative companies today, and it has to do with strong NETWORKING. Creative specialty agencies are looking for partners to team with. We’re not looking to step on each other’s toes any longer, wishing to steal work from other small companies with similar but different focuses. Instead, these people are considered ‘colleagues’ and we want to work TOGETHER to strengthen a brand, should the right project come along.
It’s time we start talking about BRAND TEAMS.
Who will you choose to be on YOUR creative brand team , if you are a brand manager? How will you know that you have the cream of the crop? And how will you keep your brand alive, well and thriving if you are stuck in a contract with a monster of an agency where time reports are perhaps as important as the actual creative brand work that comes out?
Bakerscape is proud to be a creative boutique agency, a tiny agency specializing in design for product brands and packaging. It’s that simple. And that simplicity means that it is realistic to be the best in that area!
Written by Gail Baker, creative director at Bakerscape
BakerScape AB was started in Stockholm, Sweden by designer Gail Baker in June 2010. Prior to the start-up, Baker has invested twenty years in building a reputation for superior quality and creativity, with a heavy influence in the packaging industry. Her employment background as a designer includes eight years with Brindfors Enterprise IG (now The Brand Union), and three years with Identity Works. Baker has created designs for numerous well-known companies such as Coca-Cola, Wella, Arla, Scan, Cederroth, Coop, and Swedish Match to name a few.