The 'Big Book of Bournemouth'

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We were featured alongside some local agencies in a recently published coffee-table inspired book last week. 

If you haven't been able to get your hands on a copy, we wanted to share Joanna Cruickshanks, our co-founder's interview with you. But no new book smell here. Pop in for a coffee if you'd like to see it. Failing that, you can read the interview below:

What do you do?

We're a content, commerce and strategy agency who leads with purpose and has worked with some of the best fashion and lifestyle brands since 2003.

 

Why would clients choose you?

Clients choose us because we have a new and different perspective to building brands, telling stories and designing ecommerce platforms online. It's one that is people-centric and based around connection and real human experiences. We have a 14 year heritage with fashion and lifestyle brands building on Magento, but now we're really keen to use what we know about discerning digital experience to all other industries. The key is, they have to want to do the things the Folk way. We're a B-corporation, so the 'Folk way' is a perspective on strategy, design and build that fosters good in business. So they have to be businesses and leaders who get that this is the basis of any good strategy going forward.

 

What is your opinion on the future of "your" industry?

The client/agency paradigm is one that has to shift because of the landscape and we're evolving the way we work to become more useful to our clients. It's no longer useful to use some of the old agency models - they are based in 1950's service business model - that's why we focus on being able to collaborate authentically and use our zoom in, zoom out thinking to transform our clients' businesses. We've been focussing on how to be agents of change for our clients - resilience is how we can most help our clients, so that's what is guiding us into the future.

We've changed so much of what the norm is in the industry at Folk internally and we're always innovating this. We now don't have one commercial team - when you start a project with us you work immediately and directly with the makers and there is utter transparency about the scope and the work. Every team member is a partner at Folk, there are no traditional hierarchies, no official job titles, is no set holidays, etc. We foster an environment of trust and autonomy - businesses based on people and trust are the future, so we have we re-organised the whole culture to embrace this.

 

What will be the biggest threat or opportunity to your industry in the next 18 months?

I'm going to answer this from a large perspective because 'our industry' is inherently linked to all other industries. I think 'old-thinking, outdated mindsets and siloed approaches' are the biggest threat for every industry and developing brave, purposeful, agile collaborations and strategies, with the right partners, from a foundation of trust, are biggest opportunities for us all.

 

What's the most exciting/interesting thing you've seen recently?

What excites me most is meeting, working and seeing people who want to make a change in their world. I meet and see a lot of people doing this, but one in particular interest me. A small local, company whose vision and mission is to re-think early years education. They have mapped all old models and taken research from the latest innovation in neuroscience to develop a new approach to nurseries. It's exciting because I think that a lot of our challenges today are due to old thinking in education, and because I know that getting these years right is crucial to having the leaders in the world who want to create businesses from a perspective of doing good and being commercial.

 

Bournemouth is one of the UK's top 10 digital helps why do you think this is?

A couple of reasons; I think we're braver and more entrepreneurial because we're not limited by the pressures and rules of London. If Folk was a London agency, we probably wouldn't be able to be as off the wall and different because we'd be bound by the same in London agency unspoken 'rules'. I think the sea air and having a broad horizon gives us headspace to be more creative business people. I think more and more people, through digital are wanting lifestyle and business. I for one moved back to Bournemouth from London when I was pregnant because I didn't want children up there. I also think our universities are great and getting better. I think we could be in Portland US of the UK - that would be cool.

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