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How Fika can spark creativity

Manchester, January 10th, 2019

Battalion has a core team of international experts working together with talent from all over Europe. The creative agency, based in Berlin, Germany and Manchester, UK truly believes that diversity is fundamental to creativity.

We got together with Theresa Karl, Project Manager at Battalion to find out what is the agency’s creative discovery process.

Theresa describes Battalion as a creative agency, passionate about helping tech companies communicate their brand to the world, by bridging the gap between consumer and technology.

“Battalion aspires to be a creative agency with a fundamental difference. We question everything, are forever curious, support innovation and build remarkable brands. We don’t simply offer a set of services, but a set of solutions. Working above and beyond to achieve results for our ambitious clients,” she emphasised.

What is Battalion’s design process?

We create work for a range of innovative tech, lifestyle and music industry clients. We believe that iteration and collaboration are the keys to creativity. We strive to outsmart our client’s problems, to do impactful work that goes beyond the brief.

We begin a project with an open dialogue. This helps us get to grips with the problems that we need to solve and the client’s goals. To kick off our work, we determine an approach and create a project roadmap ensuring timely delivery and strong results.

After laying out a plan of action, we brief the team best suited for the job. Drawn from our internal and freelance creatives, we work with the designer or artist who is most in step with our client’s vision, but also best situated to come at the problem from a different angle.

After we have created a brief, we use it as a jumping off point to explore variations that tackle the problem from a variety of different angles. Once we have a series of alternatives, the final sprint in any given project is the process of taking these elements and merging them into a cohesive and clear whole.

In your opinion, what ingredients are key to create a successful digital campaign?

Research – research of the market, audience and a deep understanding of the client’s business and purpose.
Strategy – a clear, defined plan with a clear objective at heart.
Creativity – a critical ingredient which adds depth, emotion, wow factor, and challenges the status quo.
Data Analysis – Review and analyse the results, understand the metrics to optimise moving forward (things can always be improved).

If all these things are in place, you can create measurable results to be learnt from.

What’s the secret to connecting specific emotional responses with the visual form?

Many techniques and theories connect emotional responses to visual form.

Colour can trigger specific emotional states, for example in western culture red is danger, blue can be calmness, green means permission or nature. However, tones need to be considered to add further depth to these underlying assumptions. It is worth noting that with any design relating to colour it is important to know your audience. For example, green has several emotional connotations based upon culture; high tech in Japan, luck in the Middle East and death in South America.

Great use of colour can have a significant impact on a consumer’s behaviour both online and offline.

What challenges does Battalion face today?

In any agency there are always challenges to overcome, many of these relate to the service level. It is crucial to ensure we manage our client’s expectations as an agency while monitoring the amount of time we spend on a particular campaign or project. Most agencies tend to over service, but it is essential to watch this closely to ensure the service being offered makes sense and there’s a good balance.

How would you describe the creative culture of your agency?

We believe in nurturing a culture at the agency that is curious and questions everything. This is important to drive creativity, everyone is allowed to come up with ideas and failure is considered a valuable component of development, rather than anything negative.

How is that culture cultivated and maintained?

At least once a week we have Fika – the art of Swedish coffee break, where the team sits down in a breakout area, drinks coffee and eats cake.

The only rule is, you are not allowed to talk about work. This ensures our team can not only rest their mind but socialize and communicate in other ways. These sorts of activity help to spark creativity and nurture future collaboration.

What first drew you to the creative field?

I have always been a creative person with a passion for and interest in the performing arts, visual arts and literature. I am not an artist myself, but my work as a project manager in a creative agency allows me to surround myself with creative people and inspiring work all the time. Having my input in creative work is my favourite part of the job.

What is your personal definition of creativity?

Creativity has a lot to do with the ability to see beyond the obvious. In today’s day and age where it is easy and often tempting to just copy what others are doing or have done before, being creative means to have the courage to look at things from different angles and bring a vision to life whilst keeping an open mind.

To which qualities of creativity are you most sensitive?

How creativity is generally used to grab people’s attention and trigger emotions. A real creative piece of work can be extremely powerful. I love observing people’s different reactions to a creative piece of work.

Do you consider yourself a team player?

Absolutely – I’ve moved to the UK from Germany about 4.5 years ago and throughout both my private and professional career I have worked with a big variety of different people. Being a team player does not only make you more tolerant and understanding but is also is incredibly rewarding.

Please list a few of your favourite digital brands:

Apple, Airbnb, Asos

What do you like doing in your free time?

Hiking, city breaks, anything to do with theatre, concerts and musicals, read a good book.

Thanks Theresa!

By Geny Caloisi.

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