Published in Agency life, Branding

As MGA celebrates 25 years in business in 2017, our milestone birthday has been a prompt for me to look at how we articulated our value proposition back in ’92, and indeed how our messaging has changed over the last quarter of a century.

We launched the agency with the line Where Great Ideas Take Off, a reference to our roots and expertise in aviation and aerospace working initially with our foundation client BAE Systems and numerous others including Airbus and Rolls Royce. At a time of considerable competition in the agency world where unfortunately, snake oil salesmen were all too commonplace, MGA’s unique selling point was predicated on our rather more deep thinking and earnest approach. It hinted at the agency’s propensity of asking clients a raft of probing questions, drilling down to find out what especially made a business problem unique, a product memorable, or a service offering compelling.

As the years rolled away, so too did the way in which we spoke about ourselves. Recently sifting through collateral we created in times gone past, I saw references to The Small Agency with the Big Ideas, Catch the Spirit, and Better Lines of Communication. All of these were certainly very relevant and compelling in the day, however as the agency has matured, I wanted us to develop a more contemporary proposition.

So, that brings me to the point several years ago when I felt we really needed to assert ourselves as the small and energetic agency we are in the crowded UK agency market. To really make our stamp. To unashamedly and succinctly tell all of our clients (and those we’re not quite working with yet) what we do behind the scenes, and demonstrate how our work stands up over the test of time, and forges loyal, longstanding relationships in the process.

At that time a planning and creative team worked closely with me to identify the few words that would say a lot, would mean a lot, and would resonate correctly and positively with anyone that we played them past. After quite a lengthy process, we unanimously agreed on the words Extracting the Extraordinary. We loved the alliterative quality of the E’s and, much more than that, the words spoke to the heart of the way we work.

And the way we work is essentially finding the shiny truth that’s sometimes simple, and sometimes ground breaking, that will attract and motivate an audience. Put another way, it’s because extraordinary changes mindsets and behaviours.

We work to a threefold model – first we explore. We’re used to delving through layers of facts, opinions, ambitions and considerations to discover what’s most important. Believe it or not, but we’ve travelled all over the place – into the sky, deep underground, across the seas, and everywhere in between to unearth that nugget of information, that pearl of wisdom around which we can wrap our creative expertise for wide ranging clients across all sectors.

The next stage of the process is what we call the distillation phase (It’s at this point that I have to confess that the inspiration for this stage was reinvigorated after a visit to a well known gin distillery in London a couple of years ago). Our exploration provides us with the raw material – the creative, game-changing work happens next as we shape what we’ve found into motivating messages for the audience we’re targeting. The thing is, creative can’t be extraordinary simply for the sake of it – it’s our responsibility to create a narrative that is authentic and believable.

The final part of the process is the campaign – that’s how we view every communications strategy – whether we’re inviting new customers to engage, marketing a new product to existing customers, or cascading an initiative to employees. It’s where we take the narrative we’ve developed and express it through a range of channels that fit the budget, reach the right audience and support our storytelling.

I like to think that our proposition Extracting the Extraordinary is in itself a big idea taking off. It’s certainly hit the mark very well with accolades from clients new and old. But I’m not going to swap them – 2017 and beyond is all about being extraordinary.

Damien Millns, Group Managing Director, MGA Group

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