Andrew Rae, outgoing Managing Director of the Institute of Promotional Marketing has launched a new agency Another Way, which will offer promotions and prize management, brand experiences and sales incentives.
Rae, who was previously head of promotions at The Black Tomato Agency, said the new business had been devised during Covid-19 and hoped to capitalise on an expected boom in experience and travel that presents a huge long-term opportunity for brands.
The agency has partnered with what3words, a proprietary geocode system that is designed to identify any location with a resolution of about 3 metres, to help guests find the exact location of brand experiences.
We caught up with Rae to find out more…
Why start a new agency now?
It may seem like a bold decision to launch a new company in this climate, but it’s a forensically considered move and one that we feel actually presents us with more opportunities than not. It’s obviously been a terrifically hard time for all industries but ours has suffered more than most, however from my position (as outgoing MD of the Institute of Promotional Marketing) I have seen how the brands and agencies that have survived and thrived are those that have pivoted, adapted and carved our opportunities to be creative, to challenge the norm and offer another way of doing things.
When you take the decision to see the climate, such as the one we are currently in, as a potential chance to reframe the way you respond to briefs and challenge the established format, it can actually become a business landscape full of great opportunity.
What kind of brand experiences will brands/consumers be looking for post covid?
The restrictions will obviously dictate the details of what is possible, but what is irrespective of that is people’s desire to engage with brands, to travel, to be part of something again. The pent-up desire to escape the normal is palpable, and the brands that capitalise on this groundswell of potential consumer engagement will be the ones that thrive. But the experiences don’t have to blow the budget, moreover they should stand out and deliver a more meaningful connection. That’s definitely the space that Another Way inhabits, we provide longevity of connection through experiences that let your consumer engage with your brand on a deeper level, creating brand fans.
As much as money can’t buy experiences such as private dining in a dormant volcano, are headline grabbing we will also channel that creativity into the smaller budget briefs. An experience for two in a Cotswold hotel may seem simple, but when you complement that with a personalised cocktail named after your guests for the weekend you suddenly elevate their experience to something that lives with them for years. Incentive wise, we look to be more creative with the journey, bookending the incentive with personal and surprising touches before and after the main event.
Will you be offering both virtual/hybrid and live campaigns?
We think that the increase in virtual and hybrid events should be embraced as part of the new way in which incentives and promotions are run. The need to be more creative around how one responds to brief is now the ‘new normal’. Of course the travel element of the package is intrinsic, but Another Way plans to absolutely combine the best of live experiences with the benefits and reach that hybrid cater for.
Why shouldn’t our best incentives be a happy marriage of the best bits from hybrid and virtual and live events? Our driving force is the experience and the way in which it delivers results, and we feel our position in the market and our unique ability to bring all elements to the event, means we represent the best choice from brands wanting to create the most engaging experience.
Do you think incentive travel will boom post once restrictions and risks are lifted? What new trends might we see?
I absolutely think that incentive travel benefit from a post lockdown boom. The groundswell of interest that Another Way has experienced already is testament to that. We have received briefs that represent this desire to travel and the desire from companies and brands to reward and inspire their teams. Obviously, it will take time to return to the pre Covid levels of activity, perhaps it may never reach the same levels, but the fundamentals of incentives as a business tool won’t just disappear.
We believe that in so far as trends we will see creativity and adaptability being the cornerstones of success. How do we meet the challenges of incentives in this new world? If long haul travel isn’t available, how can we deliver the same experience taking this into account? If travel in its entirety is out, how do we deliver incentives in a virtual manner. They are all doable, you just need to forget how it has always been done and instead look for Another Way to succeed.
How will the partnership with what3words work exactly?
Our partnership with what3words is just one of the exciting elements Another Way is bringing to the market. The types of experiences we create for our clients often include bespoke and unique elements which are essential to the narrative of the promotion or incentive. It could be meeting a world-renowned photographer or getting to a dinner table made of ice on the side of a snow-capped mountain for sundowners. The pinpoint accuracy required to make sure each element works seamlessly alongside the other is why we are so pleased to work with what3words.
The technology (what3words has divided the world into 3 metre squares and given each square a unique combination of three words: a what3words address) will be embedded into every incentive document, every experience booking we create to give people the most accurate information in the market. A recent study showed that over half of travellers (52%) admitted they’d spent more than one hour getting lost on their last trip, what3words has the ability to solve this.