If you enjoy creating attention-seeking work that stands out and gets noticed, we need you NOW.
We’re urgently looking for a super-talented creative with campaign and brand experience. You’ll have an obsession for ideas, the guts to be different, and a hunger to learn and succeed.
Ideally you’ll be a multi-disciplinary creative with at least 3 years’ top level agency experience – focused on ideas first, and as comfortable writing headlines as you are creating visuals. But we’re openminded and keen to hear from you – let us know what you love and what you’re good at, and if you’re not right for this one we’ll keep you in mind for future opportunities. We’ll put you on the best briefs around, and treat you right in a supportive environment where you’ll be able to shine (albeit from home for the next wee while).
Salary dependent on experience.
Please send your top 3 pieces of work and a covering note to Mail@StudioLR.com before Monday 8th March 2021.
We’ve raised a few eyebrows with all our talk about guts. Particularly when we promised our clients we’ll serve up their guts on a plate. But it’s really not as aggressive or messy as it sounds. At StudioLR, ‘guts’ stands for two things – substance and bravery. If you’re looking to sharpen up your brand and stand-out, here’s where we’d start…
Part 1. Strategic substance (AKA: Getting to the guts)
Having guts doesn’t mean shouting the loudest, or being the brashest brand in the room. It’s about knowing exactly what you stand for, and having total conviction in it.
It’s a question of focus. Sharp, single-minded focus. What is the one thing you want to be famous for? Don’t confuse narrow with small – a sharp, singular focus will propel you much further than a vague notion. Like a powerful power hose, rather than a sad puddle.
Here’s an example…
Imagine you just wanted your business to behave and be known as ‘good’. Seems fairly safe territory, doesn’t it? But think of the resources you’d have pour into covering all that vague ground. And think of the contradictions you’d have to make to your team and your customers…
You’d have to prove you were fast and responsive (because that’s ‘good’) but also that you were considered and fastidious with the details (also good)
You’d have to prove you were big and reliable but also small enough to be personal and to really care
You’d have to prove you were interested in unity, teamwork, and community but also that you had ‘stand-out’ and valued individualism
You’d have to prove you took safety and security seriously but also that you took risks to innovate
To be useful, brands have to be much sharper than people.
You’re probably familiar with these ‘everything to everyone’ sorts of strategies. The definition of ‘good’ is so wide that it’s almost impossible to convey and is an instantly-forgettable brand. Brands built on vagueness become walking contradictions that stand for nothing. They’re more expensive to build as they have to cover so much ground. Their employees don’t know what’s expected of them – so they don’t give a consistent service. And their customers don’t feel anything about them beyond the function of the product.
People are walking contradictions. We all are. But people care about people. Nobody inherently cares about your brand. Nobody will devote the time to really get to know every side of your brand.
A singular, sharp focus will make you stand-out, be memorable and easier for people to understand. And, if you’re really lucky, to relate to too.
Getting to that singular focus takes a lot of gut-digging – poking around deep in the workings of your organisation, asking awkward questions about your leader’s vision, your competitive landscape, and your customer’s wishes. But once we get it, the rest is (almost) easy…
Part 2. Creative bravery (AKA: Having guts)
Armed with a single, sharp focus, we put our efforts into magnifying, dramatising, and following through on it – 100%.
The beauty of focus is that it takes some of the subjectivity out of judging creative work. And it takes some of the personal risk out of making ‘brave’ work.
We’re no longer looking for ideas we ‘like’, or the ‘best’ ideas. We’re looking for ideas that are right and ideas that are the most [insert your brand focus here].
If your brand was focused on freedom (like Harley Davidson), whether you’re judging a new product idea, a sponsorship opportunity, a new product name, an ad campaign, brand identity development – your question is always ‘Is this the most free?’ rather than ‘Is this the best?’ or ‘Do I really like this?’.
Not everyone in your team has to like it. But everyone should remember it. And see how it fits your brand’s sharp focus. Remember, camp-splitting is usually the sign of a high-impact idea – it’s hard to have a genuinely strong opinion on a bland idea.
Focus gives you a license to think big, and create surprising, eye-catching, stand-out work. Safe in the knowledge that it’s underpinned by a sound, consistent strategy. It’s not about a marketer’s ‘bravery’, or willingness to gamble with their career. It’s about their guts to believe in their decisions, to shun vagueness, and to commit to building a sharp, valuable brand.
At StudioLR, creativity is the name of the game. Strategy, ideas, execution – every stage is a creative task. It doesn’t matter whether we’re working with a CEO to craft her business vision, or working with a photographer to craft the perfect shot. To succeed, our work needs to be new, novel, stand-out, attention-grabbing. Creativity is the one ingredient we couldn’t do without.
Kids are creative geniuses
Kids are the most creative people in the world. But sometimes we push them to unlearn that skill as they get older. They get used to learning in blocks. An hour of Maths here, an hour of English there. They can start to see creativity as something that only belongs in the Art Department. But it doesn’t.
From the Fosbury Flop to the Ford motor car, creative thinking has changed on the world. Sport, business, science, conservation, entertainment. You name it, creativity powers it.
A simple, bitesize lesson plan
Working with Daydream Believers, we’ve created Bitesize Bravery – a framework for short lessons that bring creative thinking into every classroom. No matter the subject.
The framework is simple. Teachers can pick and choose to suit their plans – building lessons that last anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour. In Part One kids fuel their imaginations by finding and exploring examples of creative bravery in their subject. Then in Part Two they stretch their own creative muscles with an exercise. These exercises are all based on tried-and-tested tools that we’ve used in the studio.
It’s been great to hear positive feedback from teachers and we hope the lessons help a few bright sparks to carry on sparking.
Get the teaching tools
You can watch a re-run of Dave chatting through the lesson plan at the Creative Bravery festival below. Or download a free PDF of the lessons and get stuck right in. Rachel Nesbitt, a talented Edinburgh College graduate, designed the slide pack. (Thanks Rachel!).
And finally, make sure you have a look at the Creative Bravery Festival. There’s a tonne of great ideas and resources over there from so many great contributors, including everyone’s favourite company. (Lego, of course!).
Are you rebranding and worried about keeping your team motivated? Worry not! We’ve put together afree PDFwith 7 tips to help get your team behind your brand.
This week’s tip sadly means putting away the top hat and waistcoat…
Who’s brand is it anyway?
“Volatile times are only scary for the powerless. If people feel like they can influence their own future they can move mountains.” Nigel Girling
Crisis or no crisis, we’ve found this to ring true.
If you’re working on a rebrand, bring people along on the journey, don’t wait til the end to show them the big reveal of ‘your’ big idea, or ‘your’ new direction. If you want it to succeed, the direction has to be theirs.
The easiest way is to involve people in hands-on workshop situations – answering questions, giving opinions, working up ideas. Let people be honest and get hopes, fears, issues and strong opinions out in the open early. They’re not a bad thing! These are great fuel and often trigger original, authentic ideas.
The bonus result of doing this is that more brains end up working on making the ideas better. In the less-collaborative way of working, most brains are just used to ‘sense-check’ an idea. Working together boosts your chances of coming out with a high impact, creative idea.
Of course, we’re not talking about creative by committee. At some point you need to ruthlessly believe in, and drive, an idea. But by that point you should have all the input you need to make your team believe in it too.
If you’ve ever gone through a rebrand you’ll know it can sometimes cause a bit of friction. The phrase “going through a rebrand” tells a story itself. But it doesn’t have to be difficult – it should be a positive experience for everyone.
We’ve put together a series of 7 tips to help get your team behind your brand. If you’re looking to set a clear direction, boost morale and get the most out of your team, download the free PDF here.
In the meantime, this one is maybe the most important tip…
What is a brand?
When we talk about making your team feel connected to your business, we’re talking about brand strategy. We’re talking about positioning… what makes you different… why you exist… what your values are. It’s all brand.
But whatever you do, don’t call it brand.
Do not mention the b-word.
The word brand, to anyone who isn’t in the field, means ‘logo’. Or sometimes it means ‘expensive, waste-of-money-when-our-jobs-are-at-risk-logo’.
While it’s not true – and nobody ever spent half a million on a new logo – it makes a good headline, and a powerful morale-buster. Being right in this case doesn’t matter – being effective matters. It’s usually more effective to put it in the context of your team’s day-jobs.
So, talk about service, experience, expectations, culture – anything but brand. Unless, of course, you’re investing in training for your whole team on what a brand really is. But that’s a different matter.
As we head into our 17th year, we’ve been focussing on what we do best for our clients.
In a nutshell ‘We’re your gutsy creative agency’.
We’re here to help ambitious organisations stand out and win in their sector. If you work with us, you can expect us to get our hands dirty – poking around until we get to the heart of your organisation. And you can expect big, bold, attention-seeking ideas that get you noticed and remembered.
If that perks up your ears, head over to ournew website for a look around, call Andy for a chat, or watch our one minute showreel…
And, before you go, we’re sending a HUGE thanks to you all – clients, collaborators and friends. We’ve had 16 fantastic years working with you. Here’s to 16 more!
Do you have a clear brand strategy that you keep coming back to? One that guides the way you do things and the decisions you make? If the answer is no, and your budget is zero, it’s not the end of the world. As a bare-minimum, a quick cheat-sheet can make a difference…
There are 1,001 ‘strategy’ and ‘brand’ words out there – don’t worry if you’ve heard some and not others. And don’t let the long list repel you. There’s no exact right or wrong way to do things and no exact right or wrong answer. If your brand strategy answers the question “What do we want to be famous for?” you’re in decent shape.
Putting together a simple one-page ‘Brand Strategy Cheat Sheet’ will help give you some focus and clarity. Your one-pager should include:
Your brand idea
Why customers choose you
Let’s go into a wee bit more detail on those three…
1. Your brand idea
This should be a sort of emotional shorthand for the benefit of choosing you (whether you happen to be a product, a service, even a place). Don’t feel pressure to do it a certain way because you’ve seen it in a case study. Brand ideas come from all angles – from a social purpose to a time-of-day…
While they’re all totally different brands and totally different ideas, you’ll notice these all have a few things in common:
They’re easy to understand You get the idea in a couple of words.
They’re single-minded It takes a lot of effort to be famous for something. It’s almost impossible to be famous for multiple things. Stick to one idea.
They’re specific Paint a specific picture in your audience’s mind and you’ll stand out and be remembered. Your brand idea can’t be to be ‘good’, ‘the best’, ‘customer-focused’ or ‘engaging’ … None of those paint any sort of clear picture – they’re all too vague.
A quick and easy test for your idea is ‘Could someone use the opposite of this?’. If yes, you’re onto a winner. For example a motorbike brand could be about Freedom (like Harley) but it could just as easily be about Control. If the answer is no, there’s a good chance your idea is just an expected feature in your sector – like a ‘fun day out’ or ‘reliable advice’ or ‘products that work’. This doesn’t help you stand out or be remembered.
2. Why customers choose you
Start with a simple statement or list of exactly what type of people you appeal to. Then add what they get out of you – rationally and emotionally. If you haven’t got any up-to-date research, dig through your old surveys, Twitter mentions, Facebook comments, TripAdvisor reviews for the rough raw material.
3. What’s your brand personality?
How do you express yourself? Bigger organisations might have clear values that shape the way they behave and the way they communicate. Or you might have a full tone of voice guide. At a minimum you’re going to need a statement or a short list of adjectives that describe how you want to come across. But make sure they’re sharp, specific adjectives…
Don’t tolerate ‘engaging’, ‘vibrant’, or ‘professional’ here. Aim for personalities that would really shape a brief.
A fastidious, detail-focused ‘geek’ who can’t wait to show you the special editions in her comic collection.
A warm, friendly grandad who greets you with open arms and tells you a story.
A rebellious teenager who wants to bring down the system.
A well-schooled butler who you don’t even notice is there, but who puts everything in the right place at the right time.
A cheeky chancer who’s always spinning a tale (think Del-Boy).
A quick tip
If you’re doing this yourself and getting nowhere – don’t be afraid to define what you’re not. Find a load of personality trait adjectives and discuss them with some colleagues. When somebody says “We’re definitely not that”, the discussion about why will usually lead you towards what you really are.
And finally – express yourself creatively
With your Brand Strategy Cheat Sheet as a brief, you can now get creative with anything new you put in place. So before you create anything ask yourself – how could we make this fit our personality? How could we tie this into our idea? How do we do this our way?