We’re very grateful for support from local agencies who have help fund our festival and keep the tickets at amazing prices. Here’s some details in their own words from the excellent Sixth Story, who are based in the Jewellery Quarter.
Introducing Sixth Story, The Creative Growth Agency®
Sixth Story’s story. It can be challenging to rethink your own agency’s positioning, but definitely a good thing. A few months ago, we did exactly that. It wasn’t a ‘rebrand’ how you might imagine but we wanted to work on a new proposition and website to help take Sixth Story to the next level. You may have heard that Mr Rolex was once asked by an acquaintance “How’s the watch business?” and he replied with “I don’t know, I’m not in the watch business.” Which gave us some food for thought. Rolex isn’t in the watch business as much as we’re in the ‘web design’ business. Rolex is in the luxury business and it was time for us to ponder the question, what business are we really in?
Repositioning ourselves took a little longer than normal. There’s always real client work to do, meetings, business travel and deadlines to meet. We had to treat ourselves as though we were one of our clients, which isn’t as easy as it sounds!
Sixth Story has grown up!
Sixth Story started in the home office of our boss, Sian, then to the first studio in Digbeth and now resides in what was once an old pen factory in the Jewellery Quarter, it’s been a bit of a journey. Where we are now is an incredible location, a Grade II listed building that’s quirky, rustic and authentic. However, our location or office has never been our defining element and we don’t need to be anywhere particularly ‘swanky’. You will always find good coffee in the studio though and friendly rivalry over a game of table tennis to remind us life needn’t be so serious. It also goes without saying, we love Birmingham and the innovative and ambitious businesses that we are lucky enough to meet regularly.
What has helped define us are our values, our attitude and way of working. We have to put our team first, be open with each other, take responsibility, produce amazing work, never stop learning and remember we aren’t always a ‘yes agency’. We have created a unique culture that welcomes a certain kind of individual, always professional with clients but there’s a kind of personality here that makes us unforgettable. We strive beyond a ‘that’s good enough’ attitude to achieve the best result possible which may mean pushing boundaries and asking tough questions but it works for us.
We love our team and we love what we do.
There’s a buzz when we arrive in the office and happy faces, even on a Monday morning! Our boss and founder started this company to create a place where people love to come to work because happy teams do the best work. We don’t have layers of account management, project management and client relationship management. Instead we have small teams that collaborate closely with clients to make sure we deliver the best possible results and they’ll never get anything that doesn’t add massive value to their project. Profit keeps us in business yes, but our promise of delivering value and great design work is far more important (and helps us sleep soundly at night).
Whilst we started as a branding and design agency, we’ve grown to become much more than this. We’re flexible, adaptable and in everything we do we have customer experience (our client’ customers) and business growth are at our core. Whether it’s designing a website to increase traffic, optimising and automating processes for efficiency or driving sales with targeted and creative communications, the end goal is always growth. Everything is about helping our clients to grow because when they do, so do we.
With this in mind, it was a natural progression to becoming who we are, The Creative Growth Agency®.
Over the past eight years, we’ve come a long way and it can only get better from here. With this all in mind though, we asked our newest employees what their first two months at Sixth Story have been like. They’re both brilliant designers (not that we are at all biased) and this is what they had to say:
“Throughout my career, I have worked in-house and in an agency environment. I have found working in an agency environment suits me better as I like the variety of work and working closely with clients and a tight-knit team. I have only been working at Sixth Story for two months and have found that it pushes me creatively more than any other previous role has.
When we start a brief we take it back to basics, we have a discovery meeting with the client to establish their goals and how we can help their business grow to meet those goals. We keep these in mind when we start the design process and we take pencil to paper which I had never done previously and was a little nerve-racking to do so at first (I hadn’t drawn in over a year). It has helped my creativity and to come up with more original ideas along with finding a new love for drawing. Being able to present these to the client helps them see the process which I have struggled to show clients in previous roles.
Another major factor why Sixth Story has stood out compared to my previous experience is the team. Firstly, they’re a sociable bunch and made me feel part of the team immediately but at the start of the process, we brainstorm together ideas which can push an idea even further than I may have done independently. If someone is having a creative block or is swamped with work we are always keen to help each other. Also if I am ever stressed, the office dog Biscuit is always there to calm me down along with the team! So, all in all, I am entirely grateful to be a part of the Sixth Story family and cannot wait to see what the future holds (many more pints at the Rose Villa Tavern hopefully!).”
“Working at Sixth Story has been a fantastic experience so far and, as cliché as it sounds, I legitimately love coming to work here every day. It’s a fun atmosphere and it’s always a laugh! Working in a small team has been great as everyone is super talented and always willing to help each out, there’s a real feeling of comradery. As a designer, I’ve learned a great deal in my first two months as I’ve been able to work much closer with clients than in previous roles meaning projects are much more transparent and the best possible outcome is achieved because nothing gets lost in translation. To conclude, I’m having heaps of fun and look forward to what the next few months will bring!”