This month, Endpoint celebrates its 15th birthday. Aside from the achievement of reaching this significant milestone, what does this really mean? It’s a question we’ve been asking ourselves a lot recently. Sure, we’ve had great success. We’ve carved out a niche – trusted partner to the design and branding industry, safe pair of hands for big brand rollouts. But where next? What will the next 15 years bring? Big questions. That demand big answers. Well, rather than quibble over what could be we are stepping up the game and have some major plans for 2015.
We will be rolling out some exciting new initiatives, while building on our reputation of the past. We look forward to sharing our news with you over the course of the year – watch this space.
In the mean time, founders Gideon and Paul, have jotted down a few thoughts – 15 to be precise – on where they have come from, why, and what they’ve learned along the ride.
1. Take a punt. We had a feeling that there was a gap in the market; that signmakers were missing a trick – poor design integrity and singular focus with little regard for roll out across other brand touchpoints – but we didn’t know for sure. We took out a £1 deposit/pay the rest back in a year computer package from Mac Warehouse. I’m glad we took the gamble!
2. Hire a nutter, or two. They keep you sane at times of insanity. ‘Constructively disruptive’ is good – these people can help challenge preconception, find a new way. They can also give you a bloody good laugh at the same time.
3. A pint is as good as a Powerpoint. Or conversation over presentation, if you like. Computers are tools, they shouldn’t inhibit personal contact.
4. Ask for help. Not always the easiest thing to do, but we were bowled over by the support and advice from our contemporaries when we first set up. Even our old employers. You’d be surprised how willing people are to help.
5. People matter, really matter. I don’t mean bums on seats, or numbers on a client list. Personality, chemistry, call it what you will, it’s important to surround yourself with people that max your mojo.
6. Rebrands are all about the right mix of magic, and logic. We talk about magic and logic quite a lot at Endpoint. The magic comes from the agency and their brand vision, but you need logic in spades, to ‘make real’ what has been imagined.
7. Get great advice, but make your own decisions. No-one knows your company as well as you do. No matter how expert, how prescient the advice seems to be, you have to trust your gut to decide if it’s the right fit for you.
8. Be yourself. Obvious? Maybe. But, it won us our first big job – our client at John Lewis Partnership (JLP) handed over a huge PO based on the strength of our relationship. He said that he would lose his job if we messed it up! We’ve never forgotten that. It’s made us who we are – and we are conscious of maintaining that no-nonsense approach. We’ve been working with JLP now for 14 years.
9. Good luck will only get you so far. Focus is critical. A lot of us who work within the creative industries struggle a bit with defining a core focus – we like to explore all the possibilities, enjoy the ‘new’ and the ‘different’. But having a clear, strategic approach to where you want to take the business keeps you on an even keel.
10. When things look decidedly bad, hold your nerve. When the global economic crisis hit, like everyone else, we really had no idea what it would really mean for us. But we adjusted, we worked harder and we won Santander and Barclays in the UK, Masdar City and Emirates NBD through our Dubai studio.
11. Anyone can have big ideas, not everyone can make them stick. Idea + implementation is what has given us our name. Getting the right balance of ‘thinkers’ to ‘do-ers’ is key – it sits us in a sweet spot. It means we can bring confidence both to creative agencies and those that need us for big brand rollouts.
12. Growth is not just about size. Growth is also about skills. Learn new ones, get better at the ones you already have. Don’t stop learning. It will help you grow as a person, a mentor, a leader. Growth also means focusing on increasing the quality of work.
13. Don’t be afraid of change, in fact make it a priority. It’s easy to maintain the status quo, especially when things are going well, but that doesn’t make it right. Assess, review, adapt, change – it might be the harder route but it can also be the more fruitful.
14. Collaboration is everything. We couldn’t function as a business without it. Our work is built upon collaboration with design agencies, manufacturers, clients – understanding their needs, their processes, their perspective. We deliberately hire people who are naturally collaborative, with high emotional intelligence.
15. Focus on what really matters, it’s rarely money. Make sure that your team are motivated and inspired, that structure and processes are in place. Money is a by-product of all of that being in place.
The London team celebrate at Fifteen by Jamie Oliver