It is often said that change is constant, but here at Bluestone360 we are not so sure.
We like the response Amazon boss, Jeff Bezos, gives to people that always ask him what will change in the next 10 years. He says the better question should have been: “What won’t change?”
As we celebrate our 30-year milestone, I’ve been thinking about what has changed, and what has remained the same. It’s true that on the surface a lot of what we do is unrecognisable. I remember the early days of the smell of Magic Markers, cow gum, of drawing tables, fix it notes, our first 33MHz Apple Mac, and 1MB Zip drives. We had great people, creative thinkers, who worked it out with paper and pencil with not a mobile phone or algorithm in sight.
I think the contrast between then and now is mind-blowing. We now have mega-GHz computers that render amazing animations and allow us to design and develop interactive connected websites that transform and disrupt businesses and brands. We have immersive technologies to instantaneously engage consumers globally via social media channels and more.
Some of our team has changed over the years, too. We’ve always been lucky to have worked with great people; some have moved around the globe with great careers or set up their own businesses. We have always worked with new young talent who have challenged the experienced old hands to help keep the business fresh and relevant. And we have worked with many of our clients for a long period forming good relationships with great people. All of this made me think about what hasn’t changed in the story of our development.
Below the torrent of technological change, we’ve remained calm and committed to our principles—we’ve maintained our thoughtful approach, creative thinking . . . and still working things out with pencil and paper!
We still enjoy discovering the values behind a brand, what drives it and how to make it engage with its markets. We still acknowledge that consumers and customers make emotive decisions and bring a crucial human element into the thinking. We still love our values, what we do and how we believe loyalty to our clients counts.
I guess a lot has changed, but not a lot has changed.
So, what is next? Newer algorithms, AI, VR? Bring it on. Especially the notion that brand values may reflect responsible ethical environmental, caring values and not on fake or transparent assertions. Bezos says that second question is more important because you can build a business around things that are stable in time.
I think this is valid for agencies. Some people put most of their effort into things that won’t even exist 10 years from now. But what are the core principles of your market? What’s true now that will always be true. These are the questions worth focusing on.
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