Fifteen months ago we left the comfort of the nine to five. We left behind sick leave and luxurious, four week paid holidays. Our reasons were these: we were often being told what to design and how to design it; we were working through formulae a lot of the time; presented with the answers before the design process began.
We were often asked to ‘just give it a little bit of that, you know, WOW factor.’ Interestingly, ‘wow factor’ is not a design principle. To try to create ‘wow factor’ when designing is akin to playing footy blindfolded, while wearing a full body cast. You will not win.
When you are as passionate about the creation of quality design as us, this became defeating. We knew what good, innovative design could do for our clients’ businesses. We knew that we could change the landscape of their professional future and bring meaning back to their brand identity.
But, we had to take a risk to get there. We had to take a giant, shit-scary leap of faith. We had to go out on our own.
The pay off was this: freedom. We are free to work with exceptional clients who are affecting change in their industries. We are free to guide clients with strategy that acknowledges identity and diversity. We are free to create design we believe in.
We have no doubt that a number of you feel the same, that’s why you went into business on your own. You were probably seeking creative, intellectual or professional freedom.
To conclude our series on brand archetypes, we are looking at The Explorer, The Jester and The Rebel. Like many of us, these archetypes refuse to be constrained. They seek freedom by challenging the status quo, developing identity through experience and living in the present. They remind us why we went into business in the first place.
Curiosity drives the Explorer. They believe that we all should have the freedom to discover who we are through adventure and exploration.
In business, the Explorer drives its employees to forge new paths. They call on people to find new, exciting ways to overcome challenges. They are skilled at remaining on-trend while creating a sense of individuality with their brand.
Jeep says it best through their well known campaign ‘Don’t Hold Back’. Your neighbour, friend or classmate suddenly becomes an object of awe given their weekends spent exploring who knows where. Lawns don’t get done and your life is comparably, inescapably dull. It motivates you to explore. And to buy a Jeep.
If you’ve never had the opportunity to visit Skittles website, it’s worth a look. Skittles has successfully used the Jester model to create a bizarre, absorbing world that leads to one thing: the desire to taste the rainbow. The man who turns everything to Skittles is a great moment in Jester history, where wit, originality and spontaneity create a lasting mental imprint. Then there’s this:
The Jester business is clever. Finding success through brainstorming and lateral thinking, the Jester makes sure their team is having fun while they’re at it. They motivate others to see the value of play. The Jester strives to live in the moment. They choose to create joy. A pretty nice way to be.
Rules are made to be broken. Seeing the possibility for change, Richard Branson created the juggernaut that is Virgin. His gift is the ability to develop cutting edge approaches and challenge the status quo. His appetite for betterment is insatiable, leading to an endless list of possibilities for the Virgin empire. Next stop, outer space…
The Rebel business is best at leading reform of all kinds. They will push their employees to think differently and to be dissatisfied with a basic, everyday response. These brands believe things can and will be better. Most often, they’re right.
If you think we can help you find – and hold onto – your freedom, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org