Another day, another pitch. Thankfully not a creative pitch on this occasion, but a presentation nonetheless.
We've been tendering for a Museum project dahn sarf and today has seen Chloe and I travelling the length and breadth of the country on all manner of locomotives and motor vehicles to get to our destination.
The project is for the Chatham Historic Dockyard down in Kent and we had a proper day out and as we were a bit early, we managed to see a few of the main attractions of this incredible place. It brought out the history geeks in both of us and we were thrilled to see the actual dock where Victory (Nelson's ship that he was killed on). No, really. We were. There's lots of other maritime history on offer (battleships, submarines and rope etc) and I heartily commend it on that front.
We should find out about the pitch in the next day or so - we'd really like to work on the project, so fingers crossed on that front.
If you wondered what the significance of the title to this post is, it's painted on one of the ships we saw today and we thought it highly appropriate to our pitch. Clients must get fed up of agencies telling them they'll do something and then not do it, so we thought we'd finish with that. Because that's what we're about - deeds not just words.
Now I don't think there's anyone out there who would disagree with the statement above (other than some millionaire playboy sitting on his yacht in the South of France surrounded by a bevy of beauties. But even he will, at some point, have seen the virtue of the statement).
However. There aren't many companies that take the Northern aesthetic of hard graft and turn it into a brand asset. Hard Graft are the coolest designers of fine handmade leather and felt bags, cases and laptop sleeves on the planet who seem to get it all right. Have a butchers here.
I signed up for something or other with them recently on the promise of something small but lovely and got this delightful package in the mail. Attention to detail was, as usual, exquisite and the whole thing very covetable.
Actually they do, only better. This is a bicycle made by the
Swedish firm Skeppshult. I was lucky enough to ride on one at a hotel near
Cheltenham where I spent the weekend. When I was there last I recommended on a
feedback form that they get a couple of bikes and sure enough, there they were
Beautiful things they are too - one for a boy and one for a
girl. They grabbed me straight away with their old school look that conjured
memories of being out all day, miles from anywhere, with only two wheels and my
own steam to get me home.
Superficially, they had that look of the heavy steel bikes
with Sturmey Archer gears and fat leather saddles that I remember - except they
didn’t seem to have any gears. They turned out to have automatic transmission
and weighed so little you could pick them up with two fingers.
These bikes are totally amazing - beautiful, incredibly
efficient and all about the experience of riding. Admittedly they give you that
upright riding position that makes you feel a bit like you’re in the Famous
Five, but who cares, they’re loads of fun.
The basic design of bicycles has changed little since they
were invented for one reason - it was really good in the first place. The
bicycle was born almost fully formed. But the technological and material
modifications that have happened since have meant that, although it still looks
similar, it’s actually a totally different beast.
Often, things have modern
styling to make them look new when really they’re not. The interesting thing
about the current wave of retro styling is that, because things seem warmly
familiar, they’re all the more surprising when they’re quite technologically
advanced. It’s not all good I know and I wouldn’t want it stand in the way of
genuinely progressive design. But, at my age, I make no apologies for being
seduced by this wave of design.
Well it was about time the old family was on display so myself and young Padme decided to change that! So everyone at Thompson now has their very own framed photo which they can update and change with their latest shenanigans. Make sure you pop by to check them out!
Every now and again one comes across a service, product or brand that has so well considered that it really is a genuine joy. I believe Graze is one of those brands.
Having being told about by word of mouth marketing (which is of course, the very best kind: trust is everything these days) I ordered a trial Graze box. Everything is incredibly well thought through. First of the online experience was superb - easy, intuitive, well branded simple. Basically you order a box with healthy snack food stuff in there for however many days a week you'd like it.
The box itself is really well put together too and the attention to detail is lovely, even down to the chilled pad keeping your fruit cool. This is a proper brand taking care of the detail even down to the sustainable angle and of course, each box contains 3 of your 5 a day. It's a no brainer.
Of course, it's very much a product of this time and of course, if I wasn't chained to my desk writing proposals I'd be down the allotment growing my own cherries. In the meantime, this brand is filling a food slot in my day that quite frankly usually gets filled by rubbish food, so why not eat well and feel better too?
We held a fantastic internal development session for everyone in the team yesterday.
Our old friend and collaborator Jon Moss came in on Friday for a few hours and ran the first of a series of digital training sessions. As with most companies doing what we do, keeping ahead of what's happening in the digital world is really important and critical to the success of our business and our clients brands.
We're really cranking up our digital knowledge as it's becoming increasingly dominant in the marketing world we inhabit and keeping pace with the lightning fast developments is almost impossible.
The key take out for me was that the world has changed - and is continuing to change - at a very fast speed and a lot of the traditional marketing channels we know and trust are changing too, otherwise they'll disappear. If marketing today is more about conversations and the web allows more of these conversations to take place anytime and anywhere, then being plugged in and connected is everything.
The one thing that I do know is that a lot of clients are increasingly reluctant to commit huge sums of money to traditional media. In the past they'd have said, lets produce a huge piece of print containing everything and then send it out to everyone. I had a discussion with a client this week who previously did that but now puts most of the information online and drives traffic to the site with a combination of traditional and new media.
Of course, this has been going on for the past 10 years but it seems to have reached the all important tipping point where it turns into a landslide.