The All-Hands Creative Approach in the Agency Delivers Unique and Effective Solutions

Early advertising giant Ed McCabe once said, “Creativity is one of the last remaining legal ways of gaining an unfair advantage over the competition.” Fine tuning the way an agency runs by using an approach where everyone in the office contributes creatively, or an “all-hands” creative approach, is what separates your average agency from the elite.

Creativity is one of the last remaining legal ways of gaining an unfair advantage over the competition. - Ed McCabe

Creativity is the price of entry to work at Sands Costner, and because of this, we are able to tap into the finely curated set of abilities and personalities that our entire team has to offer.

Most agencies are creative in nature. In small and medium sized agencies, it’s no secret that employees are often required to maximize their creativity by wearing multiple hats around the office. These environments regularly form close relationships and a sense of team camaraderie that can offer a unique, powerful voice to clients. Certainly this is the kind of small agency Sands Costner is.

A recent survey done by Second Wind, a marketing research resource, shows that clients of marketing agencies want ideas. They want ideas that “…help them sell their products, move their goods, impact their marketplace and their industry.” Designing, manufacturing and delivering creative ideas takes creative thinking.

Clients of marketing agencies want ideas that help them sell their products, move their goods, impact their marketplace and their industry.

It’s our “all-hands” creative approach, combined with our strong understanding of our clients’ markets that sets us apart. It’s an approach we implement from client discovery to concepting and through to delivery. We know from experience that the natural outcome of tapping a team of creative thinkers are actionable solutions for the real world hurdles our clients face.

We’ve seen the effectiveness of this approach when Sands Costner began an identity and branding refresh for Watson’s Greenhouse and Nursery based in Puyallup.

At an early concepting session, the entire office gathered to cultivate the ideas our research had sprouted. Through a combination of practical and artistic viewpoints, we derived that the value of Watson’s had surpassed that of just a nursery selling plants and home goods. What they offer is no longer simply tied to a season or a holiday schedule. What really matters is how Watson’s customers use the products and the knowledge they gain from a visit to the store.

Spring MagazineThis uncovered the next questions to guide our creative concepting; “How are Watson’s values related to their customers’ experience?” And on an even more basic level, “What is Watson’s for.”

Expanding from these questions, we started talking through the list of Watsons’ values, and began to uncover the solutions that shaped the new tagline. “What is Watson’s for?” Watson’s is for “home”, “life”, and of course “garden”, but we knew that it went beyond the obvious. The intrinsic value of Watson’s lies in how the products and knowledge gained influence the customers’ lives … and the new tagline emerged; Watson’s is “for living.

The Watson’s “for living” brand successfully aligned their marketing efforts across all seasons and continues to clearly communicate the true value of Watson’s throughout the region.

Our “all-hands” creative approach continues to be successful because Sands Costner collaborates from the top down with the entire company involved. We regularly benefit from creative people in traditionally non-creative roles because it grounds our inspiration in reality. Combine this with the personal attention and dedication to detail clients get from our agency, and you end up with great ideas, high creative value and an unmatched brand experience for your customers.