how we approach things

we take people very seriously

Not depersonalized data averages devoid of real life relevance
nor biased focus group conversations taken out of everyday context.
We are only interested in small data.
People with real names, real lives, real problems.
We look for the things that make them laugh, cry, angry or scared.
So we can design right opportunities for them to act out on their desires.
Finally, we place your brands in the middle of it to trigger new behaviors.
This is why for us, people insights are never optional.
They are baked into everything we do.
It is a way of thinking, not a tool.
No matter if you are creating a new brand campaign or designing a sales force uniform.
If you are a brand existing in a consumer world, you got to do it right. Every single time!

what is communications design?

There is no one way to do Communications Design.
For sure there are many brilliant ways that we don’t even know about. That’s why we won’t teach you how to do it. Perhaps only un-teach you. And hopefully offer some useful tools to help you find your own way.
For instance, this is a definition of Communications Design that worked for us: “Communications Design is a behavior driven approach to marketing communications that feeds off of the collective knowledge of an organization to integrate needs of consumers, benefits of a brand and requirements of a business.” It is based on two principles: Shape Shifting and Usefulness

shape shifting - the first principle of communications design

You can’t cross the sea by staring at the water.
We agree. You can also never truly understand people without being with them. We are quite adamant about that.
We don’t care if you do hundreds of interviews or talk to your mum (ok, let’s not do that), but you need to get wet if you want to cross the water. It is amazing what you can learn if you only listen. But what is even more amazing is the way it changes your perception.
That’s why we don’t call it a research, we call it shape-shifting.
It is about temporarily suspending your own reality and becoming someone else. And we don’t mean day-in-the-life or consumer personas. We mean hard, uncomfortable, stepping out of your comfort zone, trusting your empathy type of shift.
Sounds easy but it is the hardest thing to do. We may have few tricks up our sleeves to help you get there.
Because changing the vantage point is the first principle in our communications design process.

usefulness - the second principle of communications design

We don’t believe marketing is changing. In fact, we don’t believe people changed either. Except for becoming experts at skipping, blocking or avoiding ads at any cost. We get it, we are often annoyed by advertising ourselves.
However, we don’t believe people hate advertising. They just got frustrated with brands constantly preying on their time without contributing any value to their lives.
That’s why value creation is the second principle in our communications design process.
Successful brands are more than just beautiful props in people’s lives. They are the tools that help us live better lives: Smile a little, cry a little, indulge or be more effective.
They don’t prey on attention; they create it by being useful.
Brands without utility are nothing more than empty calories.
That’s why we always start by asking how can we serve?

we love to play with constraints

There’s something quite exhilarating about surrendering control little by little until the only way out is through. That’s communications design. Not some beautifully packaged artifact. It’s the pain, the sweat and the fury of overcoming the limits. Powerful solutions thrive in the confines of limited spaces. This is why we use our knowledge of marketing and deep expertise of cultural anthropology to study those confines: what limits the business from growing… what limits brands from connecting…what limits people from being happy. Because problems give an idea its intrinsic value. Everything else is frivolous.
Frankly, we get really meticulous about seeing the business through the lens of human limitations.
Other than that, we are pretty much the same as any other agency. This is how we do it: We organize our thinking around business. It is what guides our choices. Always. We interrogate the problem through the lens of Culture, Consumer, Brand and the Market. It is our diagnostic tool. It keeps us honest. We use anthropology as a connective tissue to immerse ourselves in the culture. This is how we fuse brands with people. Our goal is to inspire change. Everything we do is about finding opportunities to evoke favorable behavior. If it doesn’t move people, we don’t do it.