Q. What do you do that’s different? (Current question from hell)
A. We’re changing how marketing and communication functions so that it can become a more useful tool for society and business. We have an innovative business model and products that give us new ways to listen to, capture and share conversations about what people need to be fulfilled. We focus on supporting the growth of new commercial opportunities that improve the ability of future generations to meet their needs while managing the planet’s finite resources.
We are a sustainability communications agency that embraces commercial opportunity as the route to change and brand-led conversations as the way to achieve it.
We combine innovation and communication know-how for better returns in a world that is uncertain, unsustainable and is going through transformational change.
We are led by the most important areas for change and not by the biggest budgets. So for example, we’ve set up Collide to harness and take into business the ideas of young adults on inter-generational problems that will impact their lives.
Q. What difference will you make to my business?
A. We’ll improve your consumer insight and relationships so that you are creating products and services that will create new value for them, you, society and the environment.
Q. Isn’t this just PR?
A. No if the definition is about reputation management, yes if it starts with having a relationship with the public. Our focus is on finding the right insights to build brand-led conversations.
Q. Do you have the right level of understanding and contacts within key sustainability issues?
A. The understanding of sustainability for anyone who works within this goal, from scientists to politicians, is constantly evolving, as we understand our planet and the impact of our actions on it, better. So we will always challenge ourselves to keep learning and collaborating. Over the last four years, the core team has worked directly with over 200 SMEs who are solving sustainability problems in sectors such as energy, transportation, agriculture, we have also worked with organisations such as Richard Branson’s Carbon War Room and the UK’s innovation agency, The Technology Strategy Board.
A. Are you just exploiting a trend?
Q. No in the sense this is not about green-washing, yes in the sense that we want sustainable business to be a trend that changes the unsustainable behaviour of consumerism that doesn’t account for the full impact on the planet and future generations.
Q. Am I the right customer for you?
A. We believe that to succeed in creating the changes in behaviour that might be required being creative with communications is not enough. We need to take risks in doing things differently, that means we might fail occasionally, in fact we hope we do so that we can learn how to be better. We understand that means most budget holders probably won’t want to work with us, but we’re exciting about what we can achieve together with the ones that do.
Q. Do you have the experience to work with big corporates?
A. The core team all have a successful, award littered, track record for delivering outstanding work for big and little corporates. We understand the dynamics and time to make things work.
Q. What evidence do you have of leading successful behaviour change campaigns?
A. We’re happy to talk you through case studies and have won awards for behaviour change that has had demonstrable impact on the bottom line for global banks, energy and education companies, as well as for UK PLC.
Q. Is the team virtual? Have other commitments? How does that work
A. Yes to a degree. We believe in the flexibility of getting the right talent for the job…
Q. How good is your insight?
A. As long as a piece of string! However, we are believers in design thinking so are keen observers out in the field and have our own habits to keep us alert to emerging signals. We also apply much of the discipline we’ve seen innovators use over the last few years and is in our experience much more rigorous than the standard communication industry practices we’ve also been part of.
Q. Is there anyone you wouldn’t work with?
A. Yes, anyone or company that we deemed to have unsustainable practices that they are not whole-heartedly committed to transforming.
Q. How do you measure your own impact?
A. We want to go further than any other communications agency and track everything from jobs created to CO2 saved. We don’t believe in limiting how we measuring outputs to just twitter followers. We’re working with the International Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communications to find a way to do this.
Q. Do you practice what you preach?
Q. I want to work with the principal, how will I know that you’ll stay on my business?
Q. Can I afford you?