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Over the past couple of years we’ve done some major things to our company:
We’ve reconsidered our why: When Lexi and I first started Wonderland Collective, our why was mostly centred around combining our skills into something that resembled an agency. Wonderland represented a mashup of skills in branding and digital that could be manipulated, somehow, into something comprehensive and beautiful enough to fool people into working with us.
Nowadays our why is a lot more structured and more centred around creating a “Wonderland State” whereby our branding and digital interventions with bold, world-changing clients enable them to accelerate their growth and make the world better, quicker.
We’ve learned a lot about user experience, customer-led and communications strategy, growth hacking and our client’s industries in order to be able to give comprehensive, well thought out advice and implementation to clients who demand more from us.
We’ve reconsidered our business model: Our business model has also had to keep pace with the changing way that the world is now working. Gone are the days of having 100’s of fixed-cost people under one fixed-cost roof; it’s almost considered egotistical in our industry to do this. We’ve managed to cut our CAPEX (Fixed Cost Capital Expenditure ie: salaries) by over 70% and our OPEX (Fixed Cost Operational Expenditure ie: rent, computers) by 50% compared to our peak; and these are savings we can pass onto our clients. Our permanent staff (CEO, General Manager and Account Directors) now work out of Second Home in London, a co-working space at the foot of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai and in the shadow of Table Mountain at Work&Co in Cape Town. We bring in world-class freelancers onto each project where we think their specialist skills will be appropriate; they do the work, get paid and then we disband the project team. Speaking of which: we’ve moved away from retainers and charging for time, and instead charge for projects based on the value we are going to bring to our clients.
We’ve reconsidered our existence: With big consultancies swallowing up agencies and lots of marketing talent going in-house, we had to consider whether there was still space in the new world for an agency. Luckily for us, there is:
We’ve also realised that our agency is built for small to medium sized businesses but, at the same time, stakeholders in large businesses just don’t want the headache or have the specialist knowledge to manage in-house talent.
With regards to consulting firms: they tell you HOW TO DO IT whereas agencies DO IT FOR YOU.
So we feel like those are different offerings, although there is a lot of overlap and a lot of the difference is merely in positioning. In terms of Wonderland Collective, we’ve recognised our strength in implementation and have invested more into strategy as the years have gone on. Hiring someone in-house remains a complex, cultural fit and managing them vs managing agencies means the latter is replaceable and less, legally speaking, complex to get rid of.
We’ve opened two international offices: As Co Founders, we always dreamed of having our work on the global stage. We’ve always joked that we’re 1st world quality with 3rd world prices but, when we consider that value is a product of quality and cost, we’ve got a track record of producing exactly that. Our international model is a hub-and-spoke one: we have sales offices in London and the United Arab Emirates whilst our production happens in Cape Town. Our Creative Director is also present in the most demanding digital capital of the world (London) so it allows us to bring a global perspective to our work whilst not charging the earth to produce it. We now work for clients in Silicon Valley, The United Arab Emirates, The European Union, Pakistan, Rwanda, Nigeria and South Africa including globally recognised VC firms and the fastest growing startup in the UK.
We’ve left a core management team in charge of production: Before we set up shop in the UK, we incentivised our longest serving developer and project manager to effectively become our CTO and General Manager respectively. They work on a short-term profit share model which moves into equity in the long term – this has ensured our business is in the hands of people who know it well and have a vested interest in it for the long term.
So a lot has happened since our last website update. We’ve shrunk and we’ve grown and we’ve shrunk again. We want to thank you for hanging around this long and hope you enjoy the next few years on our journey into Wonderland.
If you work for a brand that strives to be brave and wants to form a deeper connection with your audience, get in touch to chat about how we can help you.