Constant change. If there is one thing the whole industry, and I would go so far as to say the whole business world, can agree on, it is that society, the market and the economy are in constant change. It has always been that way, but in the past, reality was viewed discretely (in the mathematical sense of the term, i.e. at intervals), and now, in a hyperconnected (and hypermonitored) reality, we analyse everything continuously. What’s more, today everything moves faster, and that makes us anxious to understand, to be up to date, to react… Like a river that runs faster when there is more water, reality is accelerating and overwhelming us.
And that means we have to change as quickly as reality does, or even quicker, if possible. As Darwin said,
“it is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” It is not enough to re-boot periodically; we have to design our organism to be in constant evolution. That is the key to success. But it is a major challenge and a never-ending journey.
Tolstoy said that “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” At Darwin & Verne we have decided to change ourselves to keep apace with the world.
If we look at what services brands demand today, we can see that at the top of the list (excluding media buying services) are Strategic Planning, Creative, Digital Strategy, Research and Branding (AgencyScope 2020, Scopen). Darwin Social Noise has been providing those services for a long time and I believe that we do so very reliably. But if we leave it at that, the evolution in the market will run over us. As Jules Verne said, “Trains, like time and tide, stop for no one.”
If we look at strong emergent trends, if we consider what the clients of the future will demand, what comes to mind are terms such as Internet of Behaviour, Visual Search, brand publishing, interactive content, infotainment, automation, contextual relevance, inclusivity, responsibility, brand advocacy, growth hacking, audiobranding… And agencies are creating new roles like Culture Editor, Editor-in-Chief, Entrepreneur-in-Residence and Data Scientist, according to a report by our partner C4E. If we try to respond by providing every fashionable new service, we will die in the attempt.
So, do we drop anchor in the present or do we throw ourselves into the void, trusting in winds that may be short-lived? In setting out the structure of our services, we have been guided by our motto: “Understand. Imagine. Go.” We have undertaken research to understand the context, we have imagined our future based on our strengths, and we have drawn up a roadmap; a journey to go on.
Our plan is to be strong in the four areas that we think are essential for any business that needs to grow, while simultaneously designing a flexible structure that continuously monitors our environment and is able to evolve continuously.
In our view, the four pillars of marketing today are brand, digital, creativity and data.. So we have designed our extraordinary journey through those territories. Inspired by the world of Jules Verne, we have designed the Journey to the Centre of the Brand,, with strategic brand advice; the Journey to the Centre of Feelings,, with creativity and content; the Journey to the Centre of the Business,, with digital strategy; and the Journey to the Centre of Innovation,, with our technology and data services.
Within each journey there are of course many layers. For example, within brand consultancy we have two of our own strategic positioning tools, The Tree of Life,, and the Nautilus; and we also offer a (three level) service of trend immersion (with C4E),and branding services. Similarly, in Technology and Data, we offer what we call DBUX (Data-based User Experience), data analysis, real-time brand experience, and business intelligence. And so on. In many cases we call on specialist partners, such as C4E, Smartup and El Cañonazo, working with them in a collaborative and integrated way to provide the best possible service.
That structure, supported by our network of partners, is itself relatively novel in the world of agencies. But what is important is not the services we provide today, but rather the way we have prepared ourselves to evolve every day. The way we are going to observe and understand the change going on around us, and the way we are going to imagine our future in a world that does not yet exist. This is change as a paradigm for survival. In words of Jules Verne, “The earth does not need new continents, but new men.”