Anyone familiar with us will know that we talk a lot about Combustion — our method for plugging creativity into the heart of a brand’s strategy. And in the past, we’ve focused a lot on the first stage of this process, the Platform. But that’s just part of the story. We’ve not shared as much about the Propulsion stage — driving and maintaining a brand’s momentum. In this edition of our newspaper, we redress the balance.
For our first newspaper since the lockdowns, it seemed fitting to dedicate the entire issue to a compilation of the first eight Position Project Papers, an initiative we launched during the pandemic. We also explain Squad’s methodology: the Rocket Launch Programme. We’ve called the edition Combustion. Because when strategy and creativity collide, stand back. Your brand’s going to fly.
Helping clients take a position is what we get asked to work on more than anything else. It can be a why, purpose, narrative, or vision, but it must be a single idea. It’s about finding a simple, powerful expression of everything the brand stands for. And then putting this at the heart of everything. So, it seemed only appropriate that in this, our fifth edition of the Words What We Wrote, our theme is position.
This issue is dedicated to sharing the stories that inspire and define our culture and philosophy as a business, from the salvaging of a floundering Toy Story 2 to the oscillating process of Messrs Lennon and McCartney, and more. To some, culture can sound somewhat nebulous, but the reality is that a strong culture is by far the best way to inspire trust because there’s a definite ‘way things are done around here’.
The last two decades have seen businesses embrace creativity and innovation, most commonly at a leadership level, but we share our insights into not only how anyone can be creative, but how to create the conditions for it. In doing so, we debunk the myth of the eureka moment and the idea that only the ‘arty’ are creative. We also suggest the secret to getting people comfortable with creative risk-taking, with some sound advice from one David Bowie.
Great brands used to be built with blockbuster ad campaigns. Times have certainly changed. The next generation of global brands are being built in an entirely different way. Out is the language of reach and frequency. In is talk of growth hacking and customer experience. Our POV* essay for this edition looks at how marketing must move from a single department to an organisation-wide culture.
The first edition of the Words What We Wrote. We didn’t set out to write this piece. It was certainly never intended to be a highly crafted work of literary genius; hence its deliberately iffy title. And it isn’t. Rather, it’s a collection of things we’ve written and posted online. Quick-fire observations that have moved us to put pen to paper. Many of which are in the form of short stories, because as a wise man once said: “You remember stories, not facts.”