We talked to Russ Wren of PigWorks on how to build brands and social movements with compelling ideas and this is what he had to say.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Russ Wren: All of us here at PigWorks are getting along well, and no one (touch wood) has been affected by the Covid virus.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded PigWorks.
Russ Wren: PigWorks has been in operation for five years now and began when a couple of us, tired of our lives in a large corporate setting, decided that founding our creative agency was the way forward. Since then, we have been lucky to work with (and become friends with) many clients.
How does PigWorks innovate?
Russ Wren: We always try to look for the social motivation behind our client’s work. In many cases, this is relatively straightforward (charities, trusts, etc.), and in other cases, we need to learn more about the culture of a company, who they are, and what they stand for. We will also interview various people inside the client’s company to feel for the company culture and what is essential to its employees and customers.
As compared to other agencies, we feel that the vital difference PigWorks brings to the table is that we are focused on getting the proper strategy in place and having buy-in from the various stakeholders in any project before moving forward with conception/ implementation.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Russ Wren: Of course, we have seen a downturn in business due to the Coronavirus, and in this way, we are in the same boat as many/most other agencies. Luckily, we have also picked up several new clients who have provided lots of motivation for us during these times as well!
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Russ Wren: So far, we have not had to make any radical changes to our working way. It is likely due to the company’s structure (the partners tend to work directly with clients, as opposed to having account managers in this space). We feel our close connection to clients has been the key for us during the last year.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Russ Wren: Playing the guitar, video games, occasional (and safe) meetings with friends.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Russ Wren: There are many competitors in Amsterdam’s agency space, although we would find it difficult to choose a handful as “competitors.” Of course, we feel that PigWorks has some excellent creative minds and can deliver a great value proposition on (almost!) any project that crosses our path.
Your final thoughts?
Russ Wren: Thanks for the opportunity to answer these questions. Hopefully, our answers will provide a bit of insight into how we handle the current situation, which may be of some use to others in the same position.