Ready to reinvent? Challenge accepted.
You probably won’t hear this from your typical management consultant but strategy is fundamentally a creative exercise. Our new B2B reinvention model will help you reframe business challenges and consider strategic choices you never knew you had.
The inside story: why your people shouldn't be just passengers on your brand journey.
The secret to creating a successful brand is right in front of you: your employees hold all the answers.
Four creative lessons B2B designers can learn from B2C
B2C design is known for being fun, provocative and daring. B2B doesn’t have the same reputation – yet – but it does have the same potential.
The different ways we find moments of calm
From a short walk outside to a couple of minutes spent learning something new, these are some of the little things we do each day.
Trendspotting: what’s caught our eye in technology
What’s new? What’s coming? And how are brands using these trends?
Let's talk about X
Twitter, as we knew it, is no more. There’s a famously fine line between genius and insanity. Which camp does Elon Musk’s latest move belong in?
Carbon dating: the power of trust and relationships in driving business strategy
It’s not every day you get to combine business strategy with baboon spotting. But that wasn’t the stand-out experience of our recent Tanzanian adventure.
And the winner is…
At Cannes, and closer to home, humanising business marketing is striking gold.
Cut the jargon. The best B2B writing is plain and simple
Far from making you sound smarter, complex language makes things – well – complex. Stick to simple language to engage your audiences and stand out from the crowd.
Design lessons from the middle of the Atlantic
What do sailing across the Atlantic and a career as a Digital Designer have in common? Quite a lot actually. Fear, adaptability and teamwork all play a vital role in the success of both.
The Estorick Collection at 25
2023 marks two milestones: London-based Italian art gallery, The Estorick Collection, celebrates its 25th anniversary and The Frameworks marks its 20th year working with it.
More than an afterthought: UX builds emotional connections
You can’t reverse-engineer emotional connection, so stop trying to cram UX into the end of your design process.
Not a debate: mental health support at work is imperative
Remote working makes it all too easy for employees’ mental health to fly under the radar. Mental Health First Aid could close the awareness gap.
Credibility in ESG means showing your work
We’ve seen enough greenwashing. It’s time for the companies that are genuinely working hard to improve their sustainability to take centre stage by using more truthful storytelling in their sustainability reports.
Trendspotting: what’s caught our eye in design
What’s new? What’s back? And how are these trends being used by brands?
Everyone’s a winner: exchanging value in B2B marketing
Marketing can sometimes feel like a one-way conversation. With interactive marketing it becomes a conversation.
No creator is an island
A developer, a designer, a strategist and a writer walk into a bar and... discuss how they collaborate to deliver creative magic for clients.
Print isn’t dead: The power of print in reshaping user experience
That new book smell – could it be your next piece of content?
How to be the dumbest person in the room
How do Strategists find simple solutions to complex problems? We focus on the “what”, the “why” and the “how”.
Understanding ABM in five steps
Are you thinking about account-based marketing (ABM) but aren’t entirely sure what it is? Fear not. Whether you’re new to ABM or want to remind yourself of the method, we’ve got the basics for you.
The party’s over. It's time for marketers to embrace privacy
As privacy laws tighten, what’s the future for data in marketing? Something a bit more transparent – and a bolder creative approach.
The problem with playing it safe
When the most risky thing to do is to play it safe, you’ve got to be bold and take some calculated risks.
We are The Frameworks
A year in review: 2022
Art is a catalyst for regeneration
Once a seasonal seaside town, Margate is now thriving all year round. Turner Contemporary is at the centre of this regeneration.
100 years of the BBC… sort of
This year marked 100 years of the BBC. We thought we’d celebrate this giant of video and audio by looking at the one thing the BBC doesn’t do - advertising.
Want to be more creative? You’ve got to get weird.
Too often, timelines and client demands can stop the most creative ideas from seeing the light of day. So, how can you deliver fresh ideas and keep clients happy? It’s time to embrace your weird.
The end of office culture? The open talent economy is just the beginning
Can the open talent economy end office culture? Hasn’t office culture always been about far more than just the office? We certainly think so.
Faking bad: why marketers need to maintain standards in a post-truth world
When does creativity become dishonesty? Can you lie ethically? Ultimately, it’s about striking the right balance between outright lies and creative authenticity.
Clients want people-led problem solving, not a list of services
The days of securing clients by offering up a list of services and a snazzy PowerPoint are over. It’s time to treat client relationships more like social relationships and lead with our humanity.
Interview: the culture of recruitment
Sheri spoke with Silicon, a UK business technology publication, about the importance of culture in hiring, especially in the context of the “great resignation”. Here’s what she had to say…
Designing an authentic emotional connection
In conversation with Rose and David: it’s not just about creating an emotive campaign, the most successful brands are the ones that genuinely know their audience and can authentically reach them on an individual level.
Designing and developing web experiences for everyone
The web is continually evolving with new technical approaches and developments appearing every day. As developers, we must stay on top of these changes and make sure that inclusion is the key consideration when creating new experiences.
How to inspire decision-makers to be bold
If you continue to create traditional, “safe” content, you’ll be seen as a traditional, “safe” brand. But what’s bold for one organisation isn’t the same for another, so how bold should you be and how do you get decision-makers to agree?
Telling authentic tales
As tempting as the latest marketing trends can be, brand authenticity is more important. That's not to say there's no room for creative storytelling, brands can still be bold and experimental while staying true to who they are.
Where logic meets magic: why strategy underpins every great idea
While the strategist’s primary role is to lay solid creative foundations on which creative ideas can build, it’s not the whole picture. Strategists must also know when to sell and when to step in, step back and step up.
Why bold design is good business
Design is a great differentiator. It can stop people in their tracks. Make them laugh. Bring them to tears. And even set your brand apart from the competition – if you dare to be bold.
International Women’s Day: A call to inspiration and creativity
Two of our Frameworkers were featured in articles written by Creative Boom founding editor Katy Cowan on International Women’s Day. Here’s what she had to say…
Why marketers need to think local to sell global
We work with clients with international operations, including IBM, Siemens, and UST on projects that are both central and focused on local markets. What we've learned is how to manage that central-local dynamic — and how to avoid its pitfalls.
Research is how we ask questions, listen and learn
Our Think/Frame/Make/Work process always starts with Think: Research. We ask questions to validate a brief, and then we ask questions to get to the answers. But what we do most is listen, and look for opportunities to learn more than we expected.
The importance of being curious
It may have killed the cat, but we need to embrace curiosity to unleash our creativity.
How to turn insights into great creative
Good strategy with bad creative and bad strategy with good creative both lead to the same thing: a missed opportunity.
Operations in a post-Covid world
Covid pulled the operations function of our business into the limelight, and it responded. Insights into how we made it work.
Humanising B2B and leading with empathy
The sweet spot for deep engagement lies between education (knowing your stuff), and inspiration (thinking beyond it)
Building resilient businesses
The sheer pace of change can make it difficult for businesses to predict and respond to challenges and turn them into opportunities. So, how can businesses develop resilience? Clive Stevens, Chairman of The Frameworks, offers his insights.
Creating connections through design
Audience interaction is vital for brands looking to improve engagement. Good design elevates storytelling by turning an idea into something people can relate to.
How we build successful long-term client relationships
We work hard at our client relationships because it leads to excellent project outcomes, award-winning strategy and creativity, and long-term business success.
How to succeed at digital transformation: Influence many different people
Changes in human behaviour are at least as important to the success of digital transformation as the change in technology. And you can’t expect anyone to change – or become champions for change – without effective and empathetic communication.
How internal comms leaders can help firms reap the rewards of flexible working
Tips for internal comms to consider in order to build a flexible working environment based on trust.
Reactive Marketing: Why timing is (still) everything
Unlikely associations between seemingly disparate brands can be a stroke of reactive marketing genius.
Why marketers must fight for equality of representation
As marketers, we have a unique privilege. We can choose to act as a force for good, or we can squander that privilege. We see this play out in the stories we choose to tell on behalf of influential brands – and who we choose to tell them to.
Match point: how we created an integrated campaign for Wimbledon and IBM in just two weeks
In the grand scheme of things, two weeks is a very short period of time. It can flash past in what feels like a second, leaving you scratching your head, wondering what you achieved or who you caught up with. But put your mind to it and you really can pack a lot in.
How we navigated lockdown to deliver a suite of video content for Wimbledon and IBM
As sad as we were when we learned Wimbledon was not going ahead this year, seeing how the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club (AELTC) has pivoted was truly incredible. Being part of the campaign to celebrate this unorthodox Wimbledon year is something we’re very proud of.
Remote control: why we may never return to work as we knew it
If you’d have asked me where I’d be in May of 2020, I'd have told you that I would be celebrating my first year living in the UK and looking forward to revelling in a (mostly) sunny London summer. But plans change, evidently for the whole world.
Upskilling (sort of) in a time of lockdown
With daily commutes now virtually non-existent and our focus turned to activities much, much closer to home, Frameworkers have taken on (or returned to) all sorts of new interests. Here’s a look at the novel pursuits we’re all enjoying outside of WFH hours.
How to deliver cracking video content during lockdown
Just a few weeks ago, the thought that upcoming video shoots would have to be cancelled because of something as surreal as social distancing would have felt like – ahem – a sick joke. So much of the everyday reality of work has needed rethinking since then, but when you’re involved in creating content for brands, a lot of that being video, the need for new ways of working has been particularly pronounced.
All together now: how brands are lifting spirits in response to Covid-19
How things have changed in a matter of weeks. The seismic shift in, well, everything, has left us all grappling with a new reality. There’s no playbook for this new normal but there’s a heavy sense of grief for the things we took for granted.
Home truths: what it's like to start a new job in the age of isolation
Day one of a new job can feel daunting at the best of times. But what’s it like to join a consultancy when your new office has effectively just gone into quarantine? Our new Creative Strategist, Maja, reflects on two weeks spent getting up to speed with the “new normal”.
New hires bring fresh talent to the team
While it’s currently very far from business as usual, we’re thrilled to have added three new Frameworkers to our team while navigating the realities of lockdown.
Reactive marketing: why timing is everything
What do Sainsbury’s and Beyoncé have in common? Until recently, not very much. But, thanks to a stroke of reactive marketing genius, this unlikely association brought Sainsbury’s a surge of engagement on social media. What can marketers learn from it in order to capitalise on other brands’ publicity, turn a PR disaster into a PR triumph or score serious engagement from a single post? One thing is clear: when it comes to reactive marketing, fortune favours the fast.
Our five favourite ads from Super Bowl 2020
Sunday 2 February 2020 marked a pretty big day in the advertising (and sporting) calendar. As in previous years, this year’s Super Bowl mainly had us talking about the things that happened between key events on the field. With the cost of a 30-second TV ad reaching $5.6 million, the standard for creative output is notoriously high.
Secrets of success: how to get ahead in a creative career (part 2)
More advice from Frameworkers as they reflect on the things they wish they’d known before starting out in their careers.
Harnessing the power of social media for good in times of crisis
Australia has gone from sunburnt to fire-scorched in a matter of months. The frightening impact of fires so furious they generate their own weather conditions has included the startling loss of animal life (it’s estimated that up to a billion animals have died) and utter devastation to homes and property, livelihoods and any dreams of a future unscathed by climate change.
Secrets of success: how to get ahead in a creative career (part 1)
We love visitors at The Frameworks, and we’re always pleased to welcome people to our London studio (not only so we can show off our amazing view). Recently, we had a visitor who made an impact on all of us. A graduate who has worked hard to get through university and was keen to glean some advice on the reality of breaking into – and sustaining – a career.
Too much story. Not enough telling.
A great deal of virtual ink has been expended over the past decade or so on the theme of storytelling in marketing. And it’s easy to see why the idea is so appealing.
Which women inspire you?
Today, we’re celebrating some of the inspirational women in our lives. Women who have inspired us creatively and professionally. At home and at work. Women who have played a part in shaping who we are – and continue to influence how we look at the world. Today is International Women’s Day.
My Bed, contemporary art, and a question of genius
Those who know me will be aware that as well as being Non-Executive Chairman at The Frameworks and Executive Chairman at Kreston Reeves, I am also the Chair of Trustees at Turner Contemporary, the gallery that is at the forefront of art-led regeneration in Margate.
Tonight we hosted an event: The Art of Storytelling. With talks from the very talented and lovely @turnercontemporary @drword @wearestylus @terrybrissenden & Clive Stevens.
Tonight we hosted an event: The Art of Storytelling. With talks from the very talented and lovely @turnercontemporary @drword @wearestylus @terrybrissenden & Clive Stevens. Thank you to our insightful speakers but also to everyone who came! Our little office has never been so full!
"The commonality between #art and #business is authenticity. It is what helps us make sense of the world." - Clive Stevens @TCMargate
"The commonality between #art and #business is authenticity. It is what helps us make sense of the world." --Clive Stevens @TCMargate
Onwards and upwards
Six months ago, The Frameworks engaged in an act of vandalism. On our clean white office walls, we broke out the Sharpies and released our inner Banksy. A few hours later, we gazed with satisfaction at the mural in front of us – and then we took a sledgehammer to it.
Teaming with creativity
There can be few more encouraging votes of confidence than an industry award. And when it comes to awards there are few better than a Cannes Lion.
Four ways designers can help save the world
Our planet is precious and many people are fighting to protect it. But sometimes I can fall into the trap of thinking “what impact can little old me really make?”.
Microinteractions (small but mighty)
The Japanese narrative: re-defining a national identity
If I asked you to describe your personal narrative, what would you say? What characteristics would you use to describe yourself? Would you draw from your own experiences or try to project other people’s perception of you?
Sell me your monsters
I hate to break it to you. It’s never about the magic of Christmas. It’s about the magic of marketing – or branding, to be precise (but I’m a sucker for a dollop of alliteration like I’m a sucker for a dollop of cream on my mince pies).
I've got something to tell you
It has taken me nearly two years to find the courage to write this. So please bear with me. Since I wrote my last blog post, I've given birth to a beautiful baby girl (without even popping a paracetamol), taken 12 months' maternity leave to care for her full time, returned to my role as Creative Content Director (on a part-time basis) and watched more episodes of Peppa Pig than I can count. I'm a "working mum", like so many others, juggling and stressing and laughing and crying. Doing my best to be my best – at the office, at home, at the pub, at the play centre. When I'm wiping away tears. When I'm pitching to clients.
Value your brand? Then take IT security seriously
For most people, IT security is a bit like flossing: you know you should do it regularly, but somehow you never get round to it. We all know we should have a different password for every app, service or site – and that we should change them every few months – but how many of us actually do?
What the Tour de France can teach us about teamwork
Leicester City – not Jamie Vardy or Wes Morgan – won the “fairytale” Premier League title in 2016. And it was the United States that dominated Rio 2016, not Michael Phelps or Simone Biles. Time and time again, sporting success depends on the combined individual efforts of the people that make up the team.
Challenge university: making a case for apprenticeships
It’s September and the new academic year is upon us. Children are going back to school, teenagers are starting their A-levels and more than a few 18-year-olds are frantically filling out student loan forms, eagerly anticipating the freedom of university.
Tongue in tweet: how social media is changing language
One of the first essays I wrote at university – in the heady days of the early 2000s – was a study of the differences between email and letter writing styles. It all hinged on the shift to a more flexible, informal approach. It seems quaint to think about it, now that many of us spend more time bashing out social media posts and instant messages than we do crafting thoughtful emails. (And remind me, what is a letter?)
You’ve got mail (that you’ll actually want to read)
How often do you bother to read marketing emails? Like many others, you may wonder why marketers are so keen to keep e-mail communications alive. Put simply: they work. Why? Because we all still keep a close eye on our inboxes every day.
Free as a bird: a case for pursuing passion projects
You might think that when I close my laptop after a long day I simply switch off. But, as I’m sure is the case for many creatives, outside of work I often find myself thinking about ideas for side projects and not always devoting enough time to bringing them to life. But I think we owe it to ourselves to make time to express our creatively.
Pick a partner: why working together is the key to success
When you think of Tom and Jerry, it’s likely the first thing that springs to mind is their natural rivalry – each episode erupting into mayhem because of the comedic competition between the two characters. But if you think harder you might remember that, from time to time, the pair set aside their rivalry and defied nature to pursue a common goal. Although cat and mouse were created to be enemies, deep down they were always friends – “frenemies” before the term became mainstream.
A brand worth living: hoping for new wave of celebrity brand ambassadors
Back in 2014, Kelly Slater, an 11-time world surfing champion and one of the greatest athletes of all time, made the surfing community question whether his brain was waterlogged when he parted ways with his long-term sponsor Quiksilver to pursue his own clothing brand. Walking away from a 23-year, multimillion-dollar partnership that had him made the face of surfing for three generations looked like a strange decision, to say the least. It was the equivalent of LeBron James leaving Nike or Lionel Messi dumping Adidas to start their own sports brands.
Why you may need to think again about thought leadership
A couple of years ago we were asked to make some strategic recommendations about how an established B2B brand could gain quick traction and momentum in an industry sector outside its traditional sphere of influence. Specifically, we were asked to consider how “thought leadership” might play a part.
In for a penny: what the world can learn from the UK’s fintech industry
I recently celebrated three years living in the UK, having moved here from Tokyo in late 2013. I wanted to see another part of the world and seek out opportunities that I might miss if I stayed home following my graduation. So I secured a visa and headed west in search of work.
Beware the new IT virus: institutionalised thoughtlessness
Nothing worthwhile has ever been achieved in isolation. Communication and collaboration are behind mankind’s greatest endeavours, from mapping the human genome to landing on the moon. So, it’s surprising to me that communication remains a real challenge even among some of the world’s biggest businesses.
Maximising conversion: how B2B brands are seeing true value in sports sponsorship
Saturday saw England kick off their RBS 6 Nations campaign against France at Twickenham. I was lucky enough to be one of the 81,902 people in the crowd. I was even luckier that I was one of the 100-odd people attending as guests of Accenture, the Championship’s “Official Technology Partner”.
Yeezy does it: is Kanye West a marketing genius?
So this is it. The week Kanye West finally went into meltdown. Debate rages as to whether his rant about Donald Trump, rage against long-time friends Jay-Z and Beyoncé and cancelled show this week are just publicity stunts, but reports of his hospitalisation have understandably sparked concern.
No shirt, Sherlock: why the branded tee is marketing’s most effective method
In an over-saturated ad market, where every brand and its dog scrambles for a voice and some worthwhile engagement, it amazes me that more marketers don’t revert to an old-school, low-cost medium like the humble T-shirt to amplify deep-rooted brand devotion.
A matter of facts: The EU referendum and the power of mistruths
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ll know on Thursday the UK will flock to the polls to decide if the country remains in the European Union (EU). It’s a referendum that has divided many thanks to a tawdry campaign that has been a bilateral race to the bottom of taste and truth. And at some point along the way, some dynamic schism-monger in the “Vote Leave” campaign offices took it upon himself to stand on a chair and issue an edict to those gathered below:
A problem shared: how World Community Grid volunteers are powering scientific research
When the lights go down for the night at Frameworks HQ, some of our most important work begins.
When inspiration bites: Nine ways fishing informs creativity
Every summer, I spend a week fishing on Cranberry Lake in Danbury, Wisconsin. Friends, sun, beer. We don’t take the fishing very seriously, until we do. I’ve been lucky enough to win the coveted “Fish of the Week” trophy exactly once.
The girl and the daffodil: the importance of breaking down stereotypes
Last week, while walking to work, I passed a schoolgirl who had stopped by a patch of daffodils in a garden on her way to school. She bent down, reaching out to grab one – no doubt, I thought, wanting to rip it from its grassy home, fasten it to her backpack, place it in her hair or to give to a friend.
All the way to the bank: why we should be paying attention to Monzo and the fintech revolution
I went to an event last month that opened my eyes to the future of finance. It was at the London headquarters of a startup called Monzo (formerly Mondo). You might have heard of it – it crashed crowdcube’s website within seconds of its crowdfunding campaign going live three weeks ago after enthusiastic backers pledged £1 million in a minute and a half in exchange for equity in the startup.
Tending to the task at hand: finding writing inspiration in the garden
I may just be ready for spring, but while I watch the snow fall outside and type away in The Frameworks Minneapolis office, my mind continually takes me back to the garden. Growing up in North Dakota, I learned to cope during long, dark winters by finding solace in my work.
A shore thing: how art is helping to regenerate the English seaside
I grew up in Margate on the UK’s North Kent coast. As a child in the 1960s, the seaside was a magical place – it still is – particularly in the summer season when the town buzzed with activity. The Winter Gardens was fully booked with television stars coming down for the summer show and Dreamland was in full swing with its rollercoaster, thrill rides and brash “kiss me quick” sense of fun. My first paid work, before training to be a Chartered Accountant, was working on the deckchairs on Margate Sands – the best summer job ever for a 17-year-old boy.
Brand building in the Lone Star State
Welcome to the great state of Texas – or East Texas, which is where I’ve lived for almost eight years. If you consider each US state as an individual brand, Texas is one of the most iconic. From cultural symbols like cattle and cowboys to historical figures and events like Davy Crockett and the Battle of the Alamo, Texas is instantly recognizable by Americans and people across the globe. And when you look a little deeper, it’s fascinating to see how brand Texas is growing and the role Texans play in shaping and building it.
Can success be a four-letter word?
Recently Lou and I attended the Copywriting Conference 2015 and one of the sessions really stood out for me. It was all about swearing. And how we don’t do enough of it in our marketing. Interesting subject, I thought, because of the very fine line between being crass and being clever. Get it wrong and you cheapen your brand. But get it right and you can achieve real standout. This got me thinking about the value of swearing, why we do it, what we hope to achieve and its overall impact.
Writing the future: six tips for copywriters
It’s not often you find yourself in a room packed to the rafters with copywriters. So Lucy and I were pleased to find ourselves among the word nerds attending this year’s Copywriting Conference at London’s Haberdasher’s Hall on a sunny October day last week.
Inconspicuous luxury? It’s just human nature.
What does luxury mean to you? Is it the brand name emblazoned across your handbag? The comfort of a five-star hotel room? Or the quiet satisfaction of knowing you can afford the best?
Think Frame Bake Cake
Last week we held our second Macmillan Coffee Morning, where we all got together and enjoyed some baked goods created by Frameworkers. It got me thinking. At The Frameworks, the work we do is a little bit like baking a cake. Bear with me. There’s the science – or, for us, our “Think Frame Make Work” philosophy. There’s the creativity of the finished cake – or, for us, an identity, a logo, a website, a change programme, a book. The list goes on