A CEO’s view on developing your agency proposition
Our CEO, Alex Wright, was recently interviewed by Robin Bonn at Co:definery, a new business management consultancy. The interview was focused on creating an agency proposition and how we have done this at Friday with the launch of our new proposition at the end of May this year.
Below is a shortened version of the interview, but you can find the full interview here.
RB: I believe everything good in agencies, from standout and winning to culture and fun, stems from a great proposition.
But how does all this look from the agency side? Well, Friday should know - they’ve recently refreshed their proposition and this interview with their brilliant CEO, Alex Wright, is chock-full of insights.
For anyone who doesn’t know, tell me a bit about Friday and, at a high level, what have you changed?
AW: Friday is a nine year old independent agency with 80 people. We’ve worked on digital product and service design with clients including HSBC, Nuffield Health, Nespresso, TalkTalk, Anglia Ruskin University and the British Red Cross.
We’ve never been very good at telling people what we do, who we do it for or the impact we create. But we’ve always had conviction about what we do. So this wasn’t a pivot; we’ve just made the signage outside the shop match what’s inside.
RB: How did you know you needed to do this?
AW: Clients would say ‘I had no idea you had this level of quality or depth’ or whatever. And although we got most of our new-business via word of mouth or referral, we also knew that competitors had higher profiles, so found it easier to get onto potential clients’ radars.
Basically, strangers weren’t approaching us – because of how we were describing ourselves.
RB: And why have you decided to make these changes right now?
AW: Well, obviously our discipline is in demand from clients. That’s why the management consultants and systems integrators have been acquiring companies a bit like us - like Seren, Fjord and Adaptive Lab.
And although our body language was like an agency’s, our impact was a lot like that of a management consultancy or systems integrator. So that helped us come in through the ‘agency’ door and then create deep value - without facing much competition.
But that’s getting harder now. The management consultancies and systems integrators are using their C-suite relationships to promote our kind of customer-centric, design-led modern engineering skills.