Change the model, change the world

Welcome to the future. It's June 30, 2017 and the headlines of strategy magazine (now called Strategy Worldwide) say it all: 'CMO elected prime minister of Canada.' 'War: What is that?' 'AIDS finally cured.' 'BBHFallonGoodby NakedCrispinPorterBogusky&StrawberryFrog dream team wins ToyotaGoogleVictoriaSecret account.' Too good to be true? Not if we embrace new ideas, new values and new talent.

Welcome to the future. It’s June 30, 2017 and the headlines of strategy magazine (now called Strategy Worldwide) say it all: ‘CMO elected prime minister of Canada.’ ‘War: What is that?’ ‘AIDS finally cured.’ ‘BBHFallonGoodby NakedCrispinPorterBogusky&StrawberryFrog dream team wins ToyotaGoogleVictoriaSecret account.’ Too good to be true? Not if we embrace new ideas, new values and new talent.

New ideas culture

We must re-embrace the value of ideas and move away from execution. Stewardship is important but agencies shouldn’t feel that they have to offer absolutely everything. In fact it’s counter-productive to fostering a culture that focuses on and celebrates the value of ideas.

Outsourcing execution re-emphasizes the value of ideas and re-emphasizes the value of specialist executors. While StrawberryFrog retains in-house talent, outsourcing execution was a key part of our founding philosophy. Why not get the best available talent from wherever it’s assembled for the duration of a project? And via the Internet we can transmit, orchestrate and produce an ad campaign – from early thoughts to finished commercials.

Similarly, the New Zealand-based Department of Doing works with clients all over the world and essentially just does. So they’ve built a business around brilliantly bringing ideas to life. And interestingly, they work with a number of agencies.

A new value culture

Great ideas create value. Or they should. So a new agency model is a new value culture, grounded in a business model that sees agencies partnering with clients to generate real business value, and being compensated accordingly. We do this by demonstrating that the ideas we deliver are not superficial communication add-ons, but genuinely integrated into the way the client does business. In fact, these ideas can actually generate new products with a strong brand identity and profit potential. The bottom line.

A new talent culture

At StrawberryFrog we’ve been working with multifaceted creatives who no longer fit the art director/copywriter team mould. We have discovered that happy and free individuals generate a happy, free run of ideas. So why not give clients the opportunity to put ‘dream teams’ together to work on their business?

And why shouldn’t agencies agree to collaborate on shared business with shared reward, finding whole new cross-agency dynamics to inspire exceptional thinking? The result is a more involved, meaningful culture overall – which leads to more involved, more meaningful client relationships and output.

The new client model

The future of marketing and communications should be centred on the whole concept of culture itself, where the most successful brands define culture in a social context, and where culture drives purchase decisions. Again, this revolves around the value of ideas. The new marketing all-stars are intellectual, strategic, creative people who embrace the new interactive consumer culture and the ideas that embed their products within it. They are consumers themselves and therefore the ideas are no longer just coming from agencies and clients. ‘Involved’ and ‘meaningful’ may be slightly odd words to describe businesses but they can help us move closer to the ultimate model….

The new world model

Great ideas are aimed at connecting the people who make decisions with the people who are affected by those decisions. Universal connectivity can equate to greater understanding, social change, and betterment of life. The new world model is about ideas contributed by everyone, whomever or wherever they may be, to address and resolve the issues that concern and impact all of us. Case in point is our partnership with Canada’s Mega Brands, whose management taught me the importance of believing in a brilliant, but highly undervalued universal truth: Creativity is our greatest resource and we as a society must inspire and protect it; otherwise we may witness a generation of children devoid of creativity.

What better way to contribute to a new world model than by ensuring that the power of ideas can be harnessed and endorsed by the involvement of businesses – businesses which have a responsibility to contribute ideas that will enable them to operate as productive, profitable and socially responsible entities?

That’s why I say: ‘Change the model, change the world.’ We don’t have a choice.

Manhattan-based Scott Goodson is founder/CEO of StrawberryFrog, with offices in Amsterdam and NYC.