By Andreas Markdalen, Chief Creative Officer, frog. For 20+ years, Andreas has been leading and forming relationships with the leading global consumer and enterprise brands across industries/domains; shaping new capabilities, building new ventures and leading teams to make end-to-end innovation real. In the CCO role, Andreas provides guidance and support to account and industry-focused teams within the Capgemini Group, leads the positioning and brand strategy for frog in the market, while socializing the values of human-centric, empathy-driven, outcomes-oriented design processes to drive culture and community within and outside of the organization.
New frog Branding Seeks To Lead By Example
It’s no secret: There are very few independent creative consultancies or agencies left. But joining a larger enterprise or organization doesn’t always have to be a death sentence for creatives. In fact, it can offer immense opportunities for creatives to have a seat at the global business table.
Like many creative firms operating at the global scale, frog has faced immense challenges over our 50+ year history. But the key to our survival has been in continuously transforming our business and always “taking our own medicine,” meaning we try and do for ourselves what we tell our clients. So, with pressures mounting from a global pandemic, drastically changing consumer needs and behaviors, and all-around uncertain futures, we doubled down on our core purpose and beliefs and chose this moment of acquisition and re-invention to also reignite our brand. Because a brand is not just a logo, colors or fonts — a brand is about defining a purpose and a mission, serving as a rallying call to your people, your clients and your community at large.
While many creatives might fear a large-scale integration, we have chosen to embrace it. As a part of Capgemini Invent, frog has grown in many exciting ways. We now encompass new and expanded capabilities that help us meet market demands and the changing needs of business leaders. We’ve grown from 500 to 2200+ designers, strategists, technologists, data scientists and consultants. And we’ve expanded our global footprint to 35 studios around the world.
With this change comes an opportunity to re-define what “creativity” means, and to craft a narrative that is distinguished in the market. The “new” frog brings together the world of insights-driven, human- and planet-centric design, with the world of emotional storytelling and big ideas. We believe magic happens in the intersection between these two universes. So in many ways this is a natural evolution for us—we’re just expanding our toolkit.
Having a clearly defined and scalable brand, purpose, and calling allows us to lead by example for our clients — many of whom are struggling with the same pressures. In an era where everyone is competing on experience, so many brands are starting to look and feel the same. In light of this, quality of craft has now become a differentiator. But for many business leaders, an investment in craft or design can be uncertain and scary. We call this the “positive friction.” Much like a CMO charged with bringing a legacy giant into a nimble new market, this friction points to the crucial transition between where we are now, and where we would like to be in the coming years.
Our new brand strategy serves as a vehicle for this change. As part of the launch, frog is bringing its brand calling Make Your Mark to life. Make Your Mark celebrates the visionaries and rebels that dare to challenge the status quo to make an impact in the world around them. Through a new set of storytelling and visual principles, Make Your Mark speaks to clients, employees, peers and communities that strive to make a difference as individuals, or as part of a team. It speaks to the bigger picture and the impact of the work we all do. And perhaps most importantly, it provides a platform for us to tell the stories about the people who inspire us.
To start, we’re partnering with RSA Films and award-winning director Henrik Hansen on a new short film dedicated to our venture partner and long-term client Alto; a startup based in Dallas that is disrupting the ride-hailing industry by focusing on an elevated rider and driver experience. Where this storytelling differs from our past work is that it’s focused on the people behind the brand and the work. It ties into the emotion and the mindset of the creative, celebrating the beauty and poetry of our work, not just the activities, but also the moments in between. We hope it will strike a chord with a new generation of innovators, thinkers and makers that are looking for purpose in everything they do.
In addition, we’ve used Make Your Mark as a platform for individual expression and interpretation. Designers across our global studios are creating their own versions of the words written in their own languages, their own calligraphic styles and with their own identity represented. It has created a broad spectrum of interpretations that are now showcased in our communications and visual storytelling.
As we go forth, we’ll continue to look for new ways to share these stories, knowing we’re making strides in our ongoing journey. For now, we’re releasing a rallying call to the dreamers, makers, rebels and challengers out there among us. To you we say: Join us. It’s time to make your mark.