After a highly successful first decade, Juicebox has re-assessed its purpose and re-launched its brand. Co-founder and Creative Director Joel Pember explains the motivation and new vision for the agency.
Change is often a choice, but sometimes it’s necessary.
In 2018 we celebrated 10 years. As we powered head first towards our decade milestone, we had unknowingly gained significant momentum, winning two coveted Gold Skulls in 2017, and culminating in being awarded Campaign Brief WA’s Digital Agency of the Year.
It was a hugely proud moment; we’d come a long way from our share-house beginnings. Timely recognition for a decade of hard work certainly meant raising a glass – but I’d be lying if I said that the months following weren’t some of the most challenging of the ten year journey prior.
Any business brave enough to look hard enough will find fractures, misaligned motivations, or opposing views simmering below the surface. It takes an even braver one to go looking when they are supposedly at the top of their game.
We’d grown fast, and the reality was that our departments had essentially become four businesses working under one roof. Departments had siloed and the lack of collaboration was unsustainable, compounded by a culture of department performance that was quickly becoming everyone for themselves.
As we welcomed in 2019, the jubilation of the previous years’ successes had well-and-truly diminished. We’d done well, but were feeling aimless as to the next step (and how to take it together).
It was time to revisit our purpose and ask: why did we start this agency; why do we exist; what do we stand for; and, where are we headed?
So began a period of soul searching. A long moment to pause and reflect on what had happened over the last decade that helped us with our success, and on what we will need to evolve.
Juicebox started the same year as the iPhone was released in Australia. This was before the ‘Like’ button, template-farm web providers, and cryptocurrency. We’ve kept pace, applying creativity and solving problems for a world hooked on digital technology, always wanting to up the dose – we absolutely rode that high.
We experienced a period of exponential change, driven by an unprecedented adoption of technology in all aspects of our lives. There’s no turning back; technology companies are now the most powerful in the world and new generations are growing up digital natives.
As we approach 2020, we welcome a world powered by AI, view our world through AR, and visit others through VR. We’re witnessing a new reality of intelligent voice command, immersive public spaces, self-driving cars, drone deliveries. Business models will always be disrupted by technology – digital agencies included – so how should we prepare and change for our next decade?
Looking outward, it was plain to see the market had evolved. Perhaps the bigger question was whether we had shifted internally – were we still aligned and standing on solid foundations? This required revisiting our ‘purpose’, our reason for being, and ensuring that our values were aligned and ready for our next adventure.
Our Sinekian ‘why’ was two-fold: Impact. Inspire.
Solidifying our purpose and values has led us on a new trajectory, including a redesign of our business inside and out. That meant restructuring our teams (no one was fired, we’re not talking an 80s corporate gutting). We even merged departments based on new leadership groups and behavioural abilities, with the intent of fostering greater collaboration and innovation.
Another paradigm shift was our approach. Juicebox no longer produces ‘widgets’; we deliver solutions. And yes, we know that’s corporate ‘jargon’, but it does articulate a critical shift in mindset that has given everyone within our agency permission to truly live our purpose.
It’s an important distinction and here’s why. If we’re to truly have an impact on those we work with we need to be able to know an organisation inside and out. From your purpose, values and mission, to what you sell, how you sell it and how its priced. We also need to understand your customer at a deeper level as well as the broader market dynamics. Then and only then can we recommend and create work which delivers.
We’re now focused on our mission to use creativity and technology to impact and inspire more Australians; partnering with ambitious organisations to drive purpose-led growth, considering their entire product and customer experience. And we want to do all of this sustainably.
So as we begin this new financial year and edge closer towards a brave new decade, we do so feeling confident and clear about the future, fearless about the prospect of change, knowing that it’s both a necessity and a choice.
Welcome to Juicebox – A new breed digital agency.