Firstly, a belated thank you to everyone sending warm wishes to us on Family (and friends) reaching the age of eight – it’s very kind and greatly appreciated.

According to one parent website “Eight-year-olds enjoy having the opportunity to solve problems independently. They have the ability to concentrate on tasks for longer periods of time and begin to use their own resources, or they may seek out peers for assistance. Eight-year-olds demonstrate more highly-developed thinking skills as well as the ability to solve problems with creative strategies”.

Well, that’s good to know.

Joking aside, our company has emerged from a kitchen table design team, with just a handful of leads into a respected and awarded branding consultancy with business in the UK, Europe the US and Middle East.

Who’d have thought? We put down our success so far to 3 factors, all of which could apply to any brand in fact.

1.    Keep the focus on enjoyment.
Our mission at F&f is to create brands that ‘people love to love’ -to engender real affection and desire through visual and verbal means.

We decided to fix our focus on just 3 types of business; food, drink and healthy lifestyle orientated brands. These correspond very closely to our personal passions, meaning we can always deliver real enthusiasm and apply dedicated energy to the assignments we undertake. Stretching that has always led to disappointment. Work must also be play in our world.

2.    Keep the team a tight one.
We decided more recently to never grow too much. Countless offers from consultants to help us work out growth strategies and plan expansion made us realise that this was not our ideal path. Small means close, personal and agile.

I guess we try to think a bit like a band, not a company. Inspired by the likes of The Rolling Stones, seeing how those guys have tightly held together their thinking and creativity for generations. We only retain a small internal team; all hands-on creative thinkers, but supported by a wider network of experts – from trends experts to print specialists, whatever is required to fulfil a brief. There are no account managers, just direct contact with our clients, or ‘friends’ as we like to refer to them (hence the slightly cute, but well understood name).

3.    Keep the thinking as big as possible.
We are not boutique design shop producing beautiful ‘artworks’. Massive admiration to those who do like that descriptor and positioning, but we rather prefer to be viewed as big-thinking agency, just without the big agency to feed.

We are primarily interested in ‘birthing’ new brands, or revitalising those in need of a lot of love, using various brand building processes and collaborative exercises to plot the course of a brand. We always start this process by immersing ourselves in the competitive context and working with consumer and market insights to uncover brand ‘truths’. Thereafter ‘commercial creativity’ drives our work – to make it as consumer centric and market relevant as possible.

We can’t rely on the past to guide us, nor can we predict the future, but in the here and now things are good – thanks to some brilliant people we’ve surrounded ourselves who act like family, and with and a number of clients we can truly call friends. Onwards.