Tom Critchlow
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Some Interesting Agencies

A few fresh approaches I've seen recently

December 16, 2016

As an independent consultant who has been thinking a lot about the concept of an agency or brand as a container for work (reference) I’m always on the eye out for fresh thinking in the agency world.

So here’s a few interesting tidbits and ideas of fresh thinking on agency structure and positoining.

Loyal.is - a community agency

Loyal is a community strategy agency run by Sarah Judd Welch and is comprised of a distributed team of collaborators, freelancers and other agencies. While this structure is actually quite common, Loyal is clear and up front about the way they work. This approach feels refreshing and inspiring - after all behind the scenes all agencies are trying to figure out flexible staffing, part time work, consultants, partners and more… By embracing this structure I think Loyal is ahead of the curve.

Fastforward Labs

Fastforward Labs is a hybrid research and consultancy agency.

Fast Forward Labs helps organizations accelerate their data science and machine intelligence capabilities. Every quarter we profile a different near future technology, producing a report on its development and a prototype demonstrating its application. Paired with our advising services, our reports and prototypes enable you to make the most of the recently possible.

I love this quarterly focus and what’s truly surprising for a tech-heavy startup is that they get design and produce beautiful reports that you can buy.

Glenn Allsop’s Portfolio of Agencies

Glenn Allsop is a fascinating individual with an incredible track record of putting things on the internet in all kinds of shapes and sizes. His latest venture gaps.com outlines his story where I got this quote from:

Along with my business partner Diggy, we realised that creating SEO companies for specific regions (like Singapore) and industries (like Automotive) made the challenge of closing clients 100x easier.

As of writing this we have 11 agencies focused on specific markets, with 2015 being a record year for us, bringing in (very low) 7-figures, which was mostly profit.

Isn’t the idea of vertical agencies (with, I imagine, a robust and scaleable outreach/sales component) intruiging?

August - Absolute Transparency

Many organizations have pushed the envelope on “radical transparency” but none have gone as far as August that I’m aware of. Their maintain public.aug.co which feels like the real working Google Drive for the business (minus client work, for now). Poking around you can see legal contracts, proposals, presentations, discussions and documents being edited and created in real time. They even have a weekly finance spreadsheet that anyone can look at.

Fascinating, but also genuinely useful for finding examples of how other businesses operate.

What have you seen?

I’m always looking for fresh thinking, not just with nicely designed websites but more specifically - fresh positioning, thinking and approaches. I’ll leave you with this:

Throw me some comments if you’ve seen anything new and interesting recently!


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