D&AD wrote an article about 358 and our CD Ale! Read it here.
An idea can make a company more stylish, friendly or pink. We ask "will it make people like the company?" On our way to the right ideas we look at everything people do with the company, from finding the company, to using its products, and telling about them to buddies and grannies. If the most helpful thing to do is a new service, an app or a gossip magazine, that's fine by us. Actually, we've done all of them.
Companies are not empathic by nature, because ... they're companies. This is how you become empathic as a company: Sit down for a cup of coffee with a user of your bread, bank or broadband. Step into their shoes for a moment. Forget your role in your company, your processes and your departments ... oh, now you see! You already had an idea on how to improve your bread, bank or broadband. Now, let's just formulate that idea so that others understand it, too.
This is going to be quite a mouthful. Anyway… 358 is a multi-disciplinary user-centric creative agency. Multiple disciplines mean that we can form a holistic point of view. We don't have to do advertising and we don't have to do design. But we can, when needed. Before we do any of that, we take a view on the whole customer journey from awareness to advocacy. Then we give a structured and educated opinion on where to focus and which problems to crack - that's the holistic point of view.
To crack the problems we come up with ideas: communication ideas or design ideas - always a lot of ideas. Our process is highly collaborative, that's the user-centric bit. We create ideas with end-users and we even take our clients along to meet their customers. Together we develop insights, analyze ideas and create more. It makes strategy work more inspiring too. Once a CEO said "these are just like my own thoughts but well written".
Bringing companies and their customers together makes the relationship stronger. It will eventually boost sales, but you have to start from building that relationship. That's actually our mission: We help people and companies to like each other.
So, we've taken the ancient place of advertising agency between people and companies. The ultimate loyalty to that role led us to see possibilities outside advertising. Still, we love a great commercial whenever we see one.
In today's world there are more and more reasons why people and companies don't like or even listen to each other. If we can help in that, the world can be a better place. Oh, it seems we drifted away from the corporate tone of voice.
Sorry for that.