If a charity triples its income in 24 months, doubles its volunteers and begins teaching kids to read that it could never reach before, then the world has changed, for the children and the charity. If an architecture practice becomes able to articulate why their approach is special, and goes on to become the award-winning category leader based on the communities it creates… the world, for them – and the inhabitants of their new schemes – has changed.
If a small consultancy can inspire a new attitude to health in 100 firms, affecting 700,000 people…
If a mid-size accountancy firm can start winning pitches against the Big Four for the first time in its history…
If a design agency without clients can become one of the UK’s leading creative forces…
…then the world has changed. Words – for that is what this is about – have what seems like a magical power to make things happen. If you’re an organisation, of any size, in any sector, we will use words to change your world.
But if you think this is about writing, you are wrong. It’s about strategy.
Because here’s the thing. Brand strategy is not a piece of research that gives way to some creativity later. It is a creative act in itself, the creation of the argument that generates change. It is an art that relies entirely on the precision and power of words for its effectiveness, for these words go on to influence everything that comes after, they are your butterfly effect.
Brand strategy is nearly always produced by people that cannot write.
Strategy is writing. And writing is strategy.
I do both. You knew that.
I have worked across all sectors: architects, charities, fast-moving consumer goods companies, tech, banks and law firms, including two of the ‘Magic Circle’. For Land Securities I wrote brochures launching several landmark buildings in London, including the ‘Walkie Talkie’ (and promoting the less new, but more famous Piccadilly Lights). I’ve helped be the voice of global brands such as Mercedes, Unilever, Bombay Sapphire and the Salvation Army. But more than anything I love working with small and medium-sized businesses and start-ups, where the potential to make a difference is vast.
I have around 60 professional awards, including several for ‘Design Effectiveness’ and ‘Transform’, 12 D&AD pencils (and a judge twice), five best-in shows and five silvers – a great many due to the ingenuity and ambition of designers with whom I’m proud to still be working. I started as a playwright – ‘Sketches in the Dark’ won a national competition and sold out at the Edinburgh Festival; ‘Bookends’ ran in Chelsea and was published by Samuel French – it is still put on over twenty years later. The dramatist’s ear for voice and understanding of motive are vital in business.
SO… what now?