Long Term Bravery

Posted: 02/09/2022

Author: Fishtank

We’ve already introduced you to our newest recruit Matt and how he’s climbing aboard to push our creative agency to new heights (if you haven’t seen it yet… Check it out here.) But we wanted to dive deeper and ask Matt about his choice to take an opportunity and be brave, even midway through an already very successful career. 

Here’s what he had to say about it: 

“In my opinion, we all need to take the time to be brave.”

Along with hard graft and ambition, it took a huge amount of bravery to get where we are today as a generation. When early humans decided to explore beyond the little patch of land they knew to venture into the next valley, over the next hill- they had no idea what they would find. For all they knew, the next valley might be full of carnivorous predators or a none-too-friendly tribe with spears at the ready.

Progress in all its forms requires brave pioneers to push those boundaries and lead the rest into a brighter future – and that’s what I aim to do in my life too. After all, that next valley might be full of fruit trees and rivers of chocolate but you’ll never know unless you go there.

From my experience, what I have learned in my 15 years of working in marketing and advertising is that in a world full of well-established brands, the most successful tend to have made the boldest decisions, and taken the biggest risks.

When Henry Ford said;

“If I’d asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.”

He wasn’t questioning the ambition of the American public; he was merely recognising that his pioneering vision of the future would be difficult for others to understand because it was so radical.

Equally, when Steve Jobs said;

“People don’t know what they want until you show it to them. That’s why I never rely on market research. Our task is to read things that are not yet on the page.”
He wasn’t suggesting that there’s no value in the opinions of the masses, just that entropy in people’s thinking tends to lead to little or no change being achieved. It takes a single-minded vision in order to really create progress.

So, what can we learn from this? How can businesses adapt their thinking to make brave decisions about their brands?

Working within a branding agency with an expansive range of clients varying from construction, retail, manufacturing, sport, health- the list goes on – we have to admit every day makes it difficult to be brave.

At the end of the day, we want to suggest boundary-pushing ideas to take our clients to the next level – for that you need to be boldly brave. Often the ideas we fall in love with are not necessarily the ones the client will favour the most and likewise the other way round. But right from the point of initial brainstorm we’re never afraid to share everything with the client, after all, they might have an insight that we just haven’t considered which means a concept that we prefer less is actually a brilliant idea in their eyes, and that’s where collaboration is key. Once we’ve gotten past that initial, wide-ranging presentation of ideas, that’s when we really get passionate about pushing the chosen route as hard as we can, exploring the edges to develop concepts that create real impact.

It’s our job to instil trust in our clients for us to get the job done for all things branding, web development, digital marketing (need we go on)… And this is no quick fix, it takes time for clients to trust their agencies to take them on the right path and believe in concepts that might seem a little alien to them. One thing I have learned from being brave is that the more engaging and unique ideas are more likely to win through and get the client so excited they’re on the edge of their seat.
I can only imagine that when a marketing team stood up in a meeting room and said “We’ve got a great idea about meerkats!”… That some of the executives at an insurance comparison site might have been a bit sceptical, but they chose to be brave, trusted the concept and look where they are now.

If we’re being honest, most businesses tend to naturally focus on steady growth and driving incremental gains in revenue – so for them, it’s hard to step off the treadmill to take that decision that might make big waves in their industry- that’s when trusting an outside influence like a creative agency can be invaluable. Providing clients with out of the tank ideas is something we do on a daily basis, we don’t like to play it safe and we prove this by working with clients like Wild PR and City Taxis to bring exciting marketing solutions that stand out against their competitors – like the innovative regional marketing campaign we ran for City Taxis that consisted of multiple marketing mediums across social media, print and advertising – or the total brand refresh we provided for Wild PR [previously known as KC Communications] that completely transformed their identity to represent the fierce females behind the business, take a look for yourself here.

Integrated Marketing Agency Fishtank and their power of regional marketing campaign iphone mock ups
Integrated Marketing Agency Fishtank and their power of regional marketing campaign with City Taxis

Here at Fishtank, we LOVE to employ people who have a different view of the world and aspire to break the mould of typical agency thinking. Coming from all different backgrounds with a wide range of interests and life experiences, we find this is what really enables us to produce and develop boundary-pushing ideas. It’s our job as creatives to not just provide great ideas but to add substance to those and bring them from concept to reality, convincing clients to come on the creative journey with us.
If as a client you can be brave and believe in the process of putting your trust in a team of marketing creatives who bring innovative thinking to the table in everything they do then truly inspirational and change-driving work can happen.

So let’s really take the time to be brave! Let’s understand that incremental steps and long term planning of a braver future – or even a big leap of faith – towards something more challenging can have amazing results on the other side of the valley! (there could always be rivers of chocolate there too)

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