So this is my first post on our shiny new website and blog. A site that has taken some time to launch as we have been so busy! And to kick things off I want to share some personal perspectives with you that underpin what SupaReal is about. This should be easy, right?
Well to be honest I’ve found it a challenge to decide where to start. I’ve got notebooks full of ideas and viewpoints. There is so much I could write about!
Well you know what, after all that over thinking, I decided to share a few key things with you that have influenced SupaReal in its early stages and shaped its reason for being. I will expand on some of these themes in future posts, as well as investing time and effort into content and resources that will hopefully help and inspire you.
So here goes…
I swore I would never run an agency again, and look what happened!
You know, working in agencies for such a long time, has taught me so many things. Not only about marketing and innovation and business, but a lot about what’s important in life. Not that I want to get all deep or anything, but agency life can be extremely stressful. You have to think and perform at your absolute best every day, the hours are long and the pressure can be pretty intense.
The stress of agency life is not sustainable
Whilst I have to admit that I often come up with my best ideas and do my best work under pressure (really annoying), its constant presence can be damaging. I have seen people crack psychologically in this industry on more than one occasion. I myself have suffered from the effects of stress during my career. And it’s only when you take a step back sometimes that you realise it’s not sustainable. It cannot carry on.
So after enduring a lot of pressure, ridiculously long hours, dealing with internal politics and a clash of cultures, I really didn’t think I would ever run an agency again. Haha, how deluded I was.
Being inspired and working with brilliant people make it all worthwhile
You see I also forgot for a while what I thrive on. I love working with talented people to solve interesting problems in strategic and creative ways. To really make a positive difference to the people working together and on the business outcomes for the clients we work with (and by default their careers too). This is why I love agencies. It might be hard work, but it is often inspiring and a creatively fulfilling environment. No two days are ever the same.
Focus on the people and the way we work together
My point is that everything I learned was invaluable, even the difficult stuff. In fact I probably learned more about how not to do something if I am being completely honest. And the biggest lesson of all is that people are the centre of everything. They really are the most important asset an agency (or any business) has. And for SupaReal, it’s all about the team.
But as an industry, we have to start nurturing talent better. We have to start empowering people more. We have to start using technology smarter. We have to start evolving the way we work so that the people doing the work can perform at their best whilst remaining engaged and fulfilled.
And most important of all, we have to find the right people, not just anyone who might have some of the skills we need. I love this quote from Simon Sinek to illustrate what I mean:
Designing and building a business is a creative process
So in the end I came back to thinking about what I had learned along the way and what I enjoyed in terms of making a meaningful difference. And this left me with one option, to start my own company and create something that I believed in. To create a company from the ground up with brilliantly talented people, simple but effective technology, a magnetic culture, a differentiated brand, and a remarkable and measurable impact on our clients’ businesses.
This is what drives me every day.
SupaReal was created to make a difference in the world of marketing and business - a meaningful difference, a difference that matters to all the people involved. Me included!
It is a journey that is well underway. And it’s probably a journey that will never end, as every business must continually evolve. Standing still is not an option.
Keeping it real all the way - easier said than done?
One of the biggest obstacles I had when setting up the company was coming up with a name. There are so many new companies and startups with unusual names, or names that don’t mean anything. The issue of limited availability of domain names can be a sticking point, especially if you want a dot com. And for me, the name had to have some meaning, and not just be something throwaway.
See red wine is very useful sometimes
It was actually a boozy night with a good friend of mine when the name SupaReal first revealed itself. Well...my friend blurted it out loudly in a drunken ramble and it stuck. It felt right and encapsulates a lot of things about the company that are very important.
Telling it like it is and meaning it
For instance, I am well known for being pretty direct and straight talking. I have never been much of a liar or spin master, and have learnt that there is a lot to be said for telling it like it is.
You don’t have to be rude or crude to get your point across. But sometimes there is no point in sugar coating it either if you want to be clearly understood. So the name SupaReal definitely works from that perspective. And you will see that embodied in the content we publish and how we work with our clients and partners.
You can’t fake it to build relationships and expect to build trust
But beyond that our name reflects something far more important. I believe that businesses need to be honest and open to be credible and to build trust with prospects and customers. Surely nobody would disagree with that? (Ahem, you would be surprised!!)
Of course this doesn’t mean that you have to tell them everything, but what you do put out there should show people what and who you really are as a business in a compelling and authentic way. Don’t become one of the many businesses churning out bullshit that delivers no benefit in return, especially over the long term. Keep it real!
Embracing the challenges we face makes it more fun
So there you go, a little bit of insight into where this company is coming from and heading to. We want to make a difference to how marketing is done. We’re all about empowering and inspiring the people we work with. We are committed to creating an environment, structure and systems that help our team be amazing, and most of all, happy and fulfilled.
I am only skimming the surface here with what I have to say - watch this space! And be rest assured I’ll soon be talking less about SupaReal and more about how we overcome the new challenges of marketing. And how you can do so too!