We sit down with Simon Manchipp, Founder and Executive Strategic Creative Director of Someone. Want to know more about who they are and what they do? You’re in the perfect spot… In their manifesto they state opinions need to be strong and adaptive – which we agree with! Simon, hello! How would you put ‘SomeOne‘ in a sentence…
SomeOne is a creatively led, award winning organisation dedicated (for over a decade) to creating competitive advantages for products, organisations and services — we launch, relaunch and manage brands worldwide.
What, if anything, would the studio tell it’s younger self?
Keep humble, keep doing, you’re going to be ok…
“Brand opinions shape the future, add value and signal change, this is what we create daily.” Talk us through this statement and how you feel you’ve adapted your own opinions across to apply to the individual companies who approach you.
Mimetic Isomorphism interests me. You find it in nature, and more recently organisational theory… it essentially highlights the fact that the more people move between organisations of a similar purpose, the more those organisations become the same. This is a brands nightmare. It needs to appeal more than its competitor, not emulate them. Yet that’s what so many brands do.
For example, so many digitally native brands are embracing the same surface mounted acid colour palette, same geometric fonts, same icon-led logocentricity, it’s become the sector norm and so it’s increasingly hard for customers to visually tell them all apart. These brands have become mimetically isomorphic. For me, it is the opposite of what branding should endeavour to do. At SomeOne it’s our job it to sing the praises of the specific advantages of brands better and in a more memorable way than the rest of the choir. To become soloists that lead their sector.
Equally, too often you’ll see commercial creativity and it’s clearly tried to tick a dozen boxes to appease a management board. But those so often fail as they lack a single guiding opinion.
Work that has a strong opinion often steers communications and actions away from the bland towards ideas that can populate culture.
Our opinion has always been to create original branded operating systems for products, organisations and services to use to develop commercial monopolies with.
Brands have always only existed to be competitive. We don’t see this changing any time soon. However, within our system there is room for MANY ways of connecting with audiences, from comedy to activism. That’s where we flex our opinions, within our well-known ‘BrandWorld’ construct. It’s permanently in flux.
You guys work across a variety of projects, from retail and travel to hospitality and innovation. How do you decide what to take on and what to leave?
The big question. And one we struggle with everyday. After a decade of doing it you do get the feel for a project that looks exciting on all levels. Generally we look for work that’s going to be ambitious, fun and fairly paid. The engineers triangle of Fast/Good/Cheap is a great way of figuring out how well a project is going… simply put, if it is a brand at a significant point of change, it’s generally worth a chat about.
Which three top tips would you say to someone who is interested in working within branding and design?
1) IDEAS-WISE: Forget logo-centric thinking. Things have moved on. You need to think about WAY more than a symbol. 1st, make a plan — if it’s not strategic, its just lipstick.
2) DESIGN-WISE: Consider all the channels brands work in. Design for as many as possible. But avoid repetitive badging, flex with the audiences and do something that has benefits for them.
3) PEOPLE-WISE: Don’t be uptight. This is a team game. You’ve got to be able to play well with others so you’re going to have to relax, the future will not belong to control-freaks.
What words of advice would you offer someone else who is just starting his or her profession in the creative agency world?
Your parents may have told you that you can do anything you want and made sure everyone went home with a balloon. But sadly, no one owes you a job. You’re going to have to do everything you can to get one. And even more to keep it.
Racking up your professional 10,000 hours can be done more swiftly if you’re affable and you knuckle down and get on with the projects you’re faced with. (10k hrs is widely seen as the amount of time needed to work before you can lay claim to be any kind of expert) Half the trick… keep going! You are absolutely not the only person who want’s to be paid for dreaming up ideas and making them happen… we get dozens of applications to join someone daily.
It’s not hard to get hired, don’t be a twit, be useful and fight the good fight for creativity whenever you possibly can. People buy into people and you want to be that person that is an automatic purchase.
Give us the three top things about having a studio in London and it’s benefits…
1) It’s endlessly surprising running a studio in the planets creative capital. Inspiration lies around every corner — where our studio is (in Shoreditch) there’s a feeling of a terrific community, people are happy to help out and work together. It feels like home.
2) We are made of a strong mix of multicultural people, from many backgrounds and experiences. As is London. So whenever possible we come together to exchange ideas. We have a weekly PechaKucha. Guest Lunch & Learn sessions with external speakers. Monthly cinema club nights. Our infamous Easter R&Bunny night. A summer yacht weekender in Ibiza… Essentially we are a party with a creative agency attached.
3) London’s never finished. It’s constantly adapting, changing and pushing for new ideas. It’s the perfect place to run a creatively led business. And the perfect example of how a modern brand needs to behave. Breathing in new influences, breathing out new ideas.
Quick round questions!
Music or silence? Music. We’re famous for it! I’ve lost count with the amount of times a client has said on the phone — are you in a club or something? It can get loud in the studio!
Biscuits or cake? Biscuit for the meeting. Cake for the afternoon.
Process or final piece? Great process = great outcome.
Group or individual workings? Group. A project is generally too big and too important to be completed by one person alone.
Town or countryside? Most of SomeOne are Country Mice who live in town!
Tea or coffee? Personally, mine’s a skinny Flat White. SomeOne’s teabagging would tell you something else.
It sounds like if you want to work with Someone you’ve got to be pretty knowledgeable in the world of design, branding and creativity! Find and follow these guys on the following social media sites – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest as well as their main Website too!!