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Making wellness look good with Wondersuff #CompanySpotlight

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This week, we spoke to Paul Alderson, Managing and Creative Director at North Eastern wellness branding specialists Wonderstuff.

Wonderstuff does not pitch. The team has been expanding solely through referrals and word of mouth, but their plans to amplify their reach are just getting started – and pitches still don't seem to be part of that picture.

How was your company born and where are you based?

Wonderstuff launched in 2009, with a goal of helping business owners bring their business to life, and to succeed, using brand to communicate with clarity. Based in Northeast England we started working with local businesses, and through our 15 years have worked with clients as far afield as China. Our focus is now on working with UK based businesses in the health and wellness space.

What was the biggest challenge to the growth of your company?

While we have had our work recognised by our industry, and delivered highly visible work that has had public awareness and recognition, over time our wide range of work led us to a position where marketing ourselves was a challenge.

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We worked with various sectors. Delivering various strategic, design, and marketing tools. In 2020 we took time to reflect on our goals, clients, and services and chose to move forward with a focus on Health and Wellness. Over the last 4 years, we’ve steadily built our reputation in the space and are working with more and more ideal clients.

Which was the first huge success that you can remember?

Lane7 was our first huge success, in 2017. We worked closely with the owner throughout the development and through the launch to local, and national acclaim. We developed the brand name, hand drawn logo, visual and verbal identity, interior and exterior graphics, and marketing collateral.

What’s the biggest opportunity for you and your company in the next year?

To really dial in on health and wellness, learn more about the space, and demonstrate how brand and marketing is integral, and essential, to any businesses success in the space.

Can you explain your team’s creative process? What makes it unique?

Our creative process isn’t unique. On the whole we follow designs double diamond process, helping our clients explore their opportunity, refine ideas and execution, and deliver creativity with accuracy.

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Our work is built on a balance of logic, and creativity, with clear communication at all times with our clients. We have developed our own tools and approaches which are used to help clients and out team.

How does your team remain inspired and motivated?

Creatives of all types are interested in the world around them, and with so much content online and offline, find inspiration everywhere. We are learning more about AI and it’s uses to help iterate and demonstrate ideas to clients. I have no doubt that it will be a powerful tool for all businesses as it develops and will become as ubiquitous as websites and handheld devices. 

How has COVID-19 affected your company?

We moved to a fully remote working practice – something we had discussed implementing at a smaller scale, and have found this is useful to provide more flexibility for our team. We are now exploring how and when our team comes together to retain the creative buzz and bounce ideas off each other.  

Which agencies do you gain inspiration from? Do you have any heroes in the industry?

There’s so much inspiring work out their - I love what the founders of Robot Food have achieved with both the work they produce, and that they have launched a product-based businesses in an area they love. I also admire many independents, such as Made by James, and Dotto, by Dani Molyneux.

What is one tip that you would give to other agencies looking to grow?

Know why. Then do.

How do you go about finding new clients/business? (Pitching, work with retainers, etc.)

New clients come to us from their own research online, having found or seen a project that resonates with them. We also use a lead service who gathers businesses and owners that are looking for design, who we can be introduced to.

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We don’t pitch, or do any work for free, and don’t travel to visit prospects. We do include site visits in projects where needed, though many projects can, and are delivered remotely.

What’s your one big hope for the future of the industry?

That design of all kinds helps the world improve. Through using it’s power to make the things that are good for us (movement, healthy food, self-care, care of the planet)  easier to adopt, and to make the things that are bad for us (waste, junk food, drugs) harder to adopt.

Do you have any websites, books or resources that you would recommend?

I love Pinterest, Behance, and relevant industry blogs and newsletters such as Fitt insider.

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