Lucky Enterprises - the recently launched holding group of creative shop Lucky Generals – has opened the doors to its second start-up in the space of three months, an experience design company to be led by former R/GA executive Kelly Wright.
The new company aims to capitalise on increasing noise around ‘customer experience’ and the rise of the ‘customer director’ role. The likes of John Lewis, Notonthehighstreet and British Airways have all restructured in recent months in a bid to ensure continuity between on and offline and that marketing is effective across all touchpoints.
But, claimed Lucky Generals co-founder Andy Nairn, creative agencies have failed to keep up with this growing demand and are structured in such a way that they can't deal with the complexities of such an approach.
“We’re always hearing clients talking about their experience and how important it is to get it absolutely right across all channels and a bit of frustration over who can help them. We realised it was a live issue and no one was nailing it. Then we met Kelly and the combination of client need plus the right person made it feel like we could do something really entrepreneurial,” he told The Drum.
The timing of the announcement shouldn’t be overlooked. This week, Karmarama – the UK’s leading independent creative agency – sold to management consultancy Accenture for a rumoured £50m after realising that delivering ‘brand expereinces’ at scale was something it simply couldn’t do with the expertise it already had. With Karmarama within its walls, Accenture believes it will be able to create, design, build and connect customer experiences.
But how a corporate giant like Accenture retains the unique culture of a creative agency has been the much-discussed point since the acquisition. Lucky Generals would argue that its approach of expanding organically beyond the traditional creative remit and into areas such as experience design is the best way of retaining it.
“The agency world is still relatively silo-driven and mapped to old structures. The top creative shops are focused on developing communications, rather than creating the products and services that are defining customer experiences,"Wright said, speaking before the Accenture/Karmarama deal had been announced.
"Meanwhile, the best digital agencies offer device-based user experiences but they struggle to translate this into an engaging human experiences, across all channels. We intend to provide a more holistic approach."
Wright explained that her team – which is still in the process of being assembled – will be “multi-disciplined, work within integrated teams and there will be a strong digital practice at the heart.”
“There will be really strong partnerships for data and analytics,” she added.
Like all of Lucky Enterprises’ launches, the holding company will retain a majority share but with Wright and other Wild Things partners – to be announced in the New Year - holding a significant minority stake.
The group's first venture was sports marketing firm Dark Horses, led by former BBH Sports executive, Simon Dent. Launched in August, it has already won clients including City Football Group, Harlequins RFC and Yorkshire Tea.
Wild Things has launched without a client, a deliberate move which Nairn said “makes the agency hungry” and keeps its opportunities open. There will, of course, be scope for those already of the roster of Lucky Generals and Dark Horses to expand their remit into experience design.