Small agencies can make a big difference

Winning Creative Agency of The Year showed the world that you don’t have to be a huge agency to make a real difference. So, what went into the win?

As many in our industry went to ground as the pandemic hit, we decided to fight. Not just for our own survival, but for the survival of as many brands as we could possibly help to get through this challenging time. It started with a single post on LinkedIn, and quickly gained momentum until our whole team were fully committed to bringing all our clients through the pandemic.

As we found our feet, our objectives shifted to a bigger goal. We didn’t just want our clients to survive, we wanted them to thrive. To buck the trend and grow in these challenging times. Not a single one has gone out of business and most have been able to follow our lead, not furloughing anyone and many actually growing their business, creating new jobs.

The award was a highly valued recognition of all the hard work, courage and commitment it took to make that happen.

Pandemic response

During the pandemic, we realised that small businesses like ours would need to fight to survive. As the country pulled together to sew PPE and look out for elderly neighbours, we could see that whilst our runs to the food bank and other charity work were important, our most valuable contribution was going to be making sure that as many companies as possible not only survived the pandemic but thrived in spite of it.

We launched a range of services suited to smaller clients and opened up our expertise to an entirely new pool of brands who needed our help. We also introduced flexible payment plans for clients in industries that were under pressure from the pandemic.

Many of these new smaller clients have become friends of ours and have shared their business growth stories with us during the time that we’ve been working together, with many posting substantial growth numbers over this challenging period. It has been so rewarding to see our work help these companies to thrive.

From the inside out

Genius has always believed in having a healthy balance between life and work and even pre-pandemic offered flexible and remote working to our team. From our foundation, we’ve had an emphasis on understanding the whole person, not just the one who showed up to work. The pandemic was a real test of how deeply this culture had been embedded and we’re very proud of how we were able to cope. All but one of our team members had kids at home during the lockdowns, ranging from small babies to homeschool-allergic ten-year-olds.

The team approached the challenge with a high level of commitment, flexibility and energy. There was never a question of letting a client down, no matter how challenging our individual circumstances were. Everyone mucked in to help each other and found ways to keep the magic flowing, as demonstrated by the incredibly positive responses to our client survey.

Through our culture of compassion and understanding, we were able to keep spirits high, with no one being made to feel guilty if there were days that they couldn’t be completely present and everyone receiving extra support as required, so they never felt alone in their struggles.

This award meant so much to have our inclusive, supportive and high-performance agency culture acknowledged, and spread the word that great results don’t have to come at a cost to employee wellbeing or client relationships. We’ve proven when commerciality and creativity go hand in hand, it’s possible for an agency and its clients to thrive, even in the toughest of trading conditions.