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How to run a branding agency

Interview with...

Mark Artus
CV:
Managing creative director at Fitch and chief creative officer at RPA
Business name:
1HQ
Goods/services:
Brand agency offering a combination of strategic and creative excellence to drive commercial advantage
Location:
Windsor, Berkshire
Trading for:
17 years

Mark on why he got into branding...

"I started as a creative designer doing interior architecture. I got into branding because it's a combination of strategically working out why something should exist, and then creatively working out what it should look like.

"Reflecting on the cultural issues and the brand's DNA in corporate identity became an interesting topic for me. That cognitive dissidence of bringing the creativeness and strategic together was the part that I enjoyed and is what brought me to 1HQ."

On what a typical day involves...

"I deal with the managerial responsibilities of running a business, which probably takes up 30% of the day. But the majority of the day I get involved with clients that I'm working with and ask the 'hard question', which is what 1HQ stands for - one hard question.

"There is a lot of brainstorming sessions in the business; we debate the problem we have in front of us and the brief we get from clients. I also make sure we put the right people on the project.

"My day is about running a business but also developing ideas with the team and building relationships with the clients."

A lot of the foundations that we have built our trust and our lives on have been quite violently removed

On how to rebrand a company that's lost the trust of its consumers...

"This is phenomenally difficult. I think that's why this is an interesting time that we're in at the moment. A lot of the foundations that we have built our trust and our lives on have been quite violently removed.

"'Your money is safe in the bank' - actually, its not. 'Trust your Government' - you can't because, for example they're fiddling their expenses. I think we are in a period of disillusionment and I think consumers are uncertain with the future.

"This is all reflective in the coalition Government, the last coalition was a long time ago when there was similar economic uneasiness. If you don't trust something anymore, whether is a building society, a bank or a friend, it's a huge hole to fill."

Listen to Mark's podcast on the best and worst World Cup marketing campaigns...

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