What we do
We’ll help you be clear, vivid and real – so your story makes sense, so your ideas come to life, so your message sticks. We do it in three ways: thinking, writing and training.
We’ll help you:
- Use words people understand and arguments they can follow
- Tell stories and use metaphors that capture people’s imagination
- Understand how your audience thinks and look at things from their perspective.
Change one word, one message for another and you’ll get a different result. Our work has tripled sales, halved complaints and once saved a bank £500m it expected to lose.
“I knew I was going to be working with people that understood the problem very quickly.”
Pensions Manager, financial consultancy
We help you crack what you need to say and how you need to say it, from brand strategy to tone of voice.
We craft copy that gets you the results you want, from white papers and websites to policy and puns.
We train everyone from frontline staff to CEOs to talk more persuasively and write more effectively.
We’ll help you crack what you need to say and how you need to say it. We might help you articulate your vision, your values or the big ideas in your brand.
- Brand strategy
- Communication strategy
- Content strategy
- Tone of voice
From white papers and websites to policy and puns, we craft copy that gets you the results you want.
- Marketing material – advertising, brochures and sales aids
- Technical documents – policies, white papers and tenders
- Digital content – websites, emails, apps and tweets
- Articles – stories, features and think pieces
- Scripts – for film, animation and speeches
- Conversations – structures for calls and meetings
- Letters – answering complaints, explaining changes and driving response
We run workshops, courses and events that help everyone from frontline staff to CEOs talk more persuasively and write more effectively.
- Copywriting workshops
- Communication skills workshops
- Brand roll-out sessions
- One-to-one coaching
- Keynote speeches and events
- Online learning
- Video and podcasts
How we’re different
Here are a few ways we’re different from the next agency (or duck):
We’re word specialists
Some agencies specialise in channels, like advertising or direct marketing, and some in audiences, like employees or shareholders. We specialise in words. We think they’re an untapped opportunity for businesses. When you’re good at using words, you’re not just better at winning customers or closing deals. You’re better at explaining your ideas, sharing your enthusiasm, and getting stuff done.
We think really deeply and analytically about language. We’re fascinated by how people react to words, how they process information and how they make decisions. Like a kid who dismantles a toaster to see how it works, we’re always taking sentences and paragraphs apart to work out how to improve them. That means we can back up every choice we make with evidence – and give you an objective rationale you can use to convince other people.
Our work is always about thinking for doing’s sake. Clever thoughts are only useful if they help you make a decision or do something differently. And our work’s only effective if it helps you solve a problem or hit a target. We’re interested in the outcome you want and putting some nuts-and-bolts ideas in place that help you get there.
We love passing on what we know
We want to sharpen your skills, not show off ours. Whether it’s in a workshop, a meeting or just a Friday afternoon conference call, we want to open your minds, stimulate your thinking, and suggest ways you can improve what you do. It’s about equipping you to do the job yourself next time, leaving you and your business better off.
We come up with unexpected answers
We’ve got experience in brand, marketing, publishing, design and digital. But many of us also work in TV, film, theatre, books and music, and we use that experience to shake up the way you think. We’ve used Shakespeare, Dickens, Mad Men, The X Factor and even Professor Brian Cox in the past. Every time the aim was the same: to steal the best ideas and use them to make your communication more powerful.
Four reasons we do what we do
We help our clients be clear, vivid and real when they communicate. Here’s why that matters.
1. We want to help our clients grow by connecting with people outside their bubble
Every one of our clients wants to reach the right people, in greater numbers, with a message that connects. But they’re held back by what’s sometimes called the ‘curse of knowledge’. Knowledge is obviously an awesome thing, but like many awesome things, it comes with an unwanted downside. When you know a lot about your subject, it’s hard to communicate with people who know less than you. The more you know, the harder it gets. You say too little, because you assume the person you’re talking to knows more than they do. Or you say too much, because you assume they care as much as you do about the detail (which they almost certainly don’t). Even if, like Goldilocks, you get the amount you say just right, you still won’t get through if what you say only makes sense to other experts. To grow, you need to connect with people who know and care less than you. Our job is to help you do it.
2. We want to help people make better decisions about the future
It’s a cruel irony (in the actual sense, not the Alanis Morissette sense) that the issues that affect our future most are the ones that excite us least. Money, health, energy and society are important, but they’re also invisible and intangible. They’re hard to understand and even harder to love. That’s a problem for individuals, because we can only make choices that leave us better off in the long term if we understand those choices and what they mean for us. But it’s a problem for society too. We’ll only tackle big issues like public health, climate change or the ageing population if everyone feels confident asking questions, challenging assumptions and contributing ideas. If we want more people to join the conversation, we must make it more meaningful to more people. That’s why we exist.
3. We think words are an opportunity
We’ve come together from advertising, marketing, branding, design, PR and publishing. Many of us have also worked in film, TV, theatre and music. The biggest thing we share is a love of language and a belief in its power to bring people together. We think words are an opportunity for businesses – to spread their ideas, to thrill their customers, to fire up their people. We’re all really nerdy about how words work. If you want a discussion about why your love of simple language increases with your level of education, or why underachieving children do better if you call a subject ‘drawing’ instead of ‘geometry’, then you’ve come to the right place (40 Bowling Green Lane, London EC1R 0NE).
4. We want to build a really special business
We’ve thought a lot about what that means. To us, it means a business that learns something or tries something new every day – and gets a kick out of passing its knowledge on to others. It means giving super-smart people a place they’ll be supported, challenged, valued and inspired – whether they’re our colleagues or our clients. And it means taking pride in why it’s here – to change businesses, industries and society for the better. Because of our work, there are more people saving and investing. There’s more money available to beat cancer and diabetes, and more renewable energy flowing into people’s homes. People are better informed and better off. That’s exciting.