The UK’s most inspirational independent agencies revealed
Launched six years ago, BenchPress, The Wow Company's agency benchmarking report, has grown to become the largest survey of independent agency owners in the UK.
This year, alongside all the usual questions on agency performance and market trends, we also asked participants which agencies, individuals and books inspired them. In the first part of this three-part series, we reveal the eight agencies who were ranked as most inspirational.
Founded by Mills and Sinx back in 2004, their mission is to build a studio where like-minded, passionate people can work under one roof, share unique ideas and bring them to life. There are now four UsTwo studios around the world, in London, New York, Malmö and Sydney. In addition, UsTwo Games has created some stunning mobile games, including the BAFTA award-winning hit, Monument Valley, while UsTwo Adventure, their startup fund and incubator, is nurturing some of the world’ s brightest talent.
Whether they’re doing innovative work for clients, bringing their own ideas to award-winning life, or launching disruptive new businesses, UsTwo has never done normal. They also have one of the best cultural manifestos we’ve seen.
Karmarama is a London-based creative agency, focused on producing highly creative and impactful communications for clients, including confused.com, the British Army, Just Eat, Iceland and Honda.Kamarama was founded in 2000 and has grown from four staff working around a ping-pong table in a tiny office to over 300 employees currently.
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They strongly believe in good karma. It guides the way they work and behave, meaning that if they do the right thing for their people, clients and the wider world, good things will happen to them.
Over the last 18 years, they've won multiple awards, including the Sunday Times Best Companies To Work For multiple times. In November 2016 they were acquired by Accenture Interactive.
Founded in 2002 and led by managing director, Adam Smith, Rawnet believes that agencies take themselves too seriously and act as if they know a deep secret about digital. Nobody can claim to have all the answers, but Rawnet are inquisitive, hands-on, passionate people who provide the honesty and clarity this industry so desperately needs.
Their mission is humanising digital experience. With just under 50 staff at their headquarters in Ascot, they are a teamof visionary, commercially-thinking strategists.
Clients include ITV Studios, Benugo, First News and Feefo.
Code Computerlove was founded in 1999 by Tony Foggett, Louis Georgiou and Wini Tse. They ' re based in Manchester and have an 85+ strong team of Computerlovers collaboratively offering cross-platform digital solutions. Their impressive client list includes Asda, BBC, Brother and HMV.
They recognise that digital experiences need to move with the changing expectations of the customer. They also recognise that the way this is approached will greatly influence your ability to change direction quickly in the future when you need to. Their way of working helps clients create world-class experiences, get ahead and stay there.
They have won many awards over the years and in December 2016 they were acquired by MediaCom.
Kyan was established in 2003 – the time of the first dot-com bubble. Since then, they have grown to a team of 40+ , who are all under one roof in their central Guildford office. They believe in fostering a strong culture of collaboration – not just internally, but with their clients as well. Clients include Sage, Wella, Zurich and Universal.
They get their kicks from making digital experiences that make a difference. They love to build the platforms, apps and digital products that take concepts from an initial idea to a living, breathing reality.
In August 2011, with a two-week old baby and £1,000 in the bank, Andrew Dobbie decided to found MadeBrave®. They ’ re all about inspiring creativity in everyone – from their clients to their team and everyone in between. Put another way, they ' re a big bunch of design, digital and social media geeks all squished together under one roof to help their clients do brilliant things… and have an awesome time doing it.
In 2015 they welcomed MadeSocial and MadeDigital to the Made family. Recently, in August 2018, they acquired Campfire, an Edinburgh-based creative video agency. The move creates a new holding company, called BornOriginal Group and will see each agency continue to operate independently.
Pragmatic is a Brighton-based web agency that was founded in 2012 and now has over 50 talented designers, developers and account staff specialising in WordPress. They transform the way that companies operate online, across the nation and around the world. They are Pragmatic by name, and pragmatic by nature, working alongside some of the biggest brands, including Martini, Bacardi and Sage Advice. They craft beautiful WordPress websites with impeccable code.
Despite their growth, they remain absolutely committed to giving back at a grassroots level, sharing their WordPress and digital expertise. This includes discounted rates for charities, consultation for small and local businesses, and a partnership with BDMA, a Brighton-based education initiative.
Fhoke is a design studio that was founded in 2008 by Brett and Ben. They ' re based near Romsey, deep in the heart of the Hampshire countryside. From there they ’ ve delivered world-class brands and websites to over 12 countries across the globe. Described as “the kind of people you 'd want building your website and have a beer with afterwards " , it' s no surprise their name, pronounced ‘Folk’ , comes from their love of working with like-minded people. They strongly believe that design makes a difference. Every project they tackle has creativity at its core – in how it looks, what it says or how it works.
Their approach has led them to work on projects with Classic Ford Broncos, GoCardless and The Wow Company. So, if you like our website and branding, you now know the creative geniuses behind it.
Verb Brands is a full-service digital agency that focuses on delivering bespoke digital strategies for luxury brands. Founded in 2011 by Chris Donnelly as a university project, the agency today has a team of 50+ designers, developers, marketers and strategists working with high-end fashion, hospitality and lifestyle brands. Services include the design and development of customer-centric websites and mobile applications and delivering SEO, PPC and social media management.
Headquartered in London, Verb Brands has recently opened a new branch in Los Angeles, US. Clients include Jimmy Choo, Boodles, AlexaChung, The Wolseley, MiH Jeans, Claridge's, Grosvenor and The Connaught to name a few.
Peter Czapp is co-founder and director of The Wow Company