h+co studio: helping startups become brands with purpose in an altered world
As renowned author and alternative medicine practitioner, Deepak Chopra once said: “You have to think of your brand as a kind of myth. A myth is a compelling story that is archetypal, if you know the teachings of Carl Jung. It has to have emotional content and all the themes of a great story: mystery, magic, adventure, intrigue, conflicts, contradiction, paradox."
Embracing that mindset is h+co studio, a global brand experience outfit who have storytelling and emotive customer experiences at their heart. And those very same values are helping several startups drive rapid innovation through a challenging global climate.
The studio employ a unique way of working called Garage. A method that combines brand, marketing, technology and service design with the objective of giving businesses the tools they need to achieve scalability while creating products and their brand at pace and with purpose.
h+co studio founding partner, Gary Hoff highlighted the studio’s stance and the appetite for change that organisations now have since COVID-19 and the global resurgence in the Black Lives Matter movement: “Basically we want to make brand experiences more human centred and better for society, people and not just the business. With a lot of the challenges coming from these two huge changes, our clients are asking for help around their brand, their corporate culture, digital transformation and service design to meet the new normal and whatever that will be in time.”
With other global challenges in mind, for example the 2008 financial crisis. At the time many businesses believed the best thing to do was to cut design and marketing budgets. However as one noted Harvard professor highlighted, if you want to gain an advantage on your competitors the polar opposite is true.
Back in 2008, Professor John Quelch commented in a Financial Times article: “It is well documented that brands who increase advertising during a recession, when competitors are cutting back, can improve market share and return on investment at a lower cost than during good economic times.”
h+co studio Co-founder, Steve Coe is excited by the opportunity to help guide startups through the current climate by leading with compelling storytelling that turns into action: “With COVID-19 and the inevitability of a global recession upon us, storytelling has never been more relevant.
"Brands simply have to create narratives that people will connect to. Customers want to care, they often need to feel reassured and guided. Getting them to these emotive states is half the work but absolutely what we do best. I’m just so delighted that we are being asked to unearth those key moments and the many great stories that lie beneath every brand.”
h+co’s mantra is a great message to all startups: "Keep on making things better for your customers. Having a real purpose behind your brand and then delivering on that will bring you not just customers but advocates that will stay with you. Because although the current virus feels so utterly prolonged, from hereon in, service and media consumption is only going to grow. We will all come out of this smarter with new ways to adapt. And this is certainly true if we know where to look.”
h+co studio has worked with various sized clients during the lockdown, and the common feedback from them all is: "I can’t believe the pace, we thought we were just going to talk about the brand and website but you have actually created a prototype in the workshop."
As the micro workshops have unfolded more parts of the brand and service offering have been created through rapid design and testing. For one client, h+co has created a new brand, service and product proposition and built a website in four weeks.
Click here to find out more about h+co studio’s methodology and process.
Click here to find our more about their rapid innovation workshops.