It’s funny. I’m 33 this year, but I already look back at some of the business decisions I made not even 5 years ago and think, ‘How silly was that?’
But that’s the game.
You make mistakes. You learn from them.
It was nearly 10 years ago this month that Matthew & I started YourFilm.
It was nearly 10 years ago that Matthew and I started YourFilm.
Business-wise, I believe we’re pretty battle-scarred. We nearly gave up on one occasion. We’ve suffered through some bad times. Anyone in business for themselves will know that the lows are pretty damn low.
But we survived. We learned. We got better, and we keep pushing ourselves to get better. WE LOVE WHAT WE DO. We know to keep an open mind because we expect to look back again 5 years from now and think ‘what the hell were we playing at back then?’
More than ever before, the low cost of technology has led to a crop of newcomers sprouting up. The ones who sometimes remind you of yourself a few years ago. You see them making similar mistakes to the ones you did and wonder how they’ll fare.
But what’s sad is when a new business (in the same market as you) is brought to your attention because other people have pointed it out to you for negative reasons. Our clients and colleague agencies have been asking if this new business is something to do with YourFilm? A new division? A sister company? A subsidiary, perhaps?
The new business in question has, on the surface, nothing but love for the YourFilm brand. It uses similar colours. It uses our name in its PPC ads. Frankly, it takes mimicry past ‘flattering’ to ‘Cheeky Monkey’ levels.
The saddest thing for me is seeing the apparent lack of interest in stamping their own personality on their business. Instead, just a quick look around the playing field and the (easy) choice to chuck on the same colour jersey.
And they sell themselves on 3 words:
Better. Faster. Cheaper.
No. No. No.
Ever heard of the ‘Iron Triangle’? It’s a very well-worn project management model of constraint. There are 3 words on that too…
Good, Fast & Cheap.
When a potential client chooses to work a different supplier over us because they’re trying to achieve something good, fast & cheap, being completely honest I don’t feel bad.
So why am I bothering to write this?
Well, it’s because of calls and emails we’ve had recently. Some people have been asking if the chaps who claim to be better, faster and cheaper than us… are us!
Other people have pointed out they look a little close for comfort to our brand. Others have been flat-out confused. Which, whether the intention or not is unacceptable.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but don’t mess with the brand, man. We built it from years of blood, sweat, tears (yes, real blood, sweat and tears) and it reflects who we are, what we believe and where we’re going.
We’re proud of our brand, and protective over it too.
Because it rises above those 3 words. Way above.