The Edison Agency creates campaigns for startups and clients with a ‘startup mentality’. Before we do that, we have to focus on brand strategy, because most people starting out have no idea what a brand is. why? Because the digital culture never got it in the first place. More on that below.
What does ‘startup mentality’ mean?
There’s a new breed of entrepreneur in Australia, responding to the more favourable climate for business innovation. They may have had a brilliant idea, but they’re not sure if it is. They’ve probably watched every episode of Shark Tank, and wondered if they are onto the next big thing, or the next big flop — but they’re passionate and ready to give it a go.
There’s also a new realisation amongst established marketers — that they need to innovate and stay nimble simply to compete. It’s that realisation that has put the cat amongst the pigeons in the marketing departments of many well-known brands.
The sheer number and quality of opportunities in this space have allowed us to create a new agency offering that introduces innovative new businesses into the market in a way that allows them to truly compete and build a credible, sustainable brand platform.
We turn startups into stayups.
Edison brings the power of advertising ideas and brand strategy together with digital-age channel planning, social media smarts and the storifying of technology.
You’ve heard that before, right?
I must admit, I have seen it done, but it’s a rare bird. Working within these two disparate cultures over the years (advertising and digital), I’ve been able to see from the inside how a process based on personalities and roles clashes with a process based on the iteration and optimisation of minimum viable product.
As humans, we are adept at creating structures and systems. That’s part of the problem — once the systems are in place, they tend to override nonconformity.
What has made the advertising business so great is its flexibility, based on the insight, experience and innovative ideas of individuals within an accepted framework of roles. What makes the digital business great is its unerring efficiency in outputting powerful platforms, tools and products.
What’s the missing link?
Brand vs. Branding.
I covered this in some detail in my article ‘Painting the Furniture’, so I’ll cut to the chase. A client comes to you looking for a solution for their new business. Most digital and branding agencies will immediately start building a chair, because that’s what everybody else does. Then the chair will be refined and remodelled. The creatives (designers) will come in and paint it some nice colours, and create an identity for it. And then the client will sit back and ask “Does it have to be a chair?”
Of course this is oversimplifying to make a point, but it’s an important point.
From a brand perspective, rather than branding, the first question we ask is “Does it have to be a chair?” And then we ask a lot more questions so that, before we begin building anything, we know it’s the right thing to do. The result will be a bespoke idea unique to that client’s business. It will be noticed and remembered. And it will have longevity in the market.
The ‘chair’ here is most often the client’s new web site, but it can be any of a number of ways to best communicate their point of difference – because digital is not a way of thinking, it is multiple skill sets and channels that can bring ideas to life.
The never-ending brand story.
Of course brands don’t last forever — but we hope they will last longer than the creation of their name, logo, web site, social media launch campaign and some data capture. The brand is a summation of all the physical, virtual and emotional encounters that our audience has with the assets we create to represent our client’s business. That is something that requires a lot of thought, planning and concepting up front. Then, the brand story is about carefully crafting each chapter, so that the audience stays engaged for as long as we want them to.
If you’ve ever tried to write a story before you’ve had an idea, you’ll know exactly what I mean.