Unprecedented. Never before has one word been used so much. Unpredictable, on the other hand, seems to keep cropping up as much as expected. We decided we would not start 2021 with a set of forecasts – and instead are making a set of commitments, a set of tangible actions that we will turn into reality.
We know this is of no great consequence to anyone else by the way, but 2021 is a big year for Tangible. 2021 is Tangible’s coming of age – marking 21 years from our birth – and it feels like a good time to confirm or reaffirm what Tangible is all about. 2020 was the worst of years, and strangely perhaps also our best year yet, (on the basis that no one will be interested in reading this self indulgence we can safely record this here – we won more new clients than any year since our start up, developed more new services than ever before and have built a great team of brilliant people working together brilliantly well. Not in spite of, but because of, everything that has happened) so here are Tangible’s Three Actions to create some certainty about what we are doing in 2021:
- Our business is about helping other businesses succeed by understanding the real lives of real people. We do it by valuing human intelligence above AI (others are much better than us at this) to research and understand humans in the context of brands. Our proposition is about our people doing valuable work for our clients – we think this is good for everyone and the broader economy so in 2021 we will take action to ensure we leave the year with more people in our business than we start with.
We are pleased that our co-founder, Gail Balfour, will continue to help the Tangible team turn consumer insight into wisdom for brand owners as she works with us on a consultancy basis from the New Year.
- Flexible working practices are challenging to manage in a small client service focused agency. We need to ensure we have cover covered, responsiveness ready to go, solutions to real problems in real time. 2020 has seen super human levels of performance, endurance and commitment; we will remain a real company of people not a virtual association of remote laptops whilst finding new ways to strike a better balance for our people and our communities in 2021 and still deliver outstanding results for our clients when they need them.
- Brands have a big role to play in 2021. As badges of trust and sources of confidence we believe they can help improve people’s lives. Innovative new brand launches, branded content, brand led communities and brands operating beyond products will be essential elements of recovery. There may be a V shaped bounce back, a W, a treble U or a long flat U shaped comeback – take your pick, or better still take action to make it stick. Making good things happen is the only way to be sure that good things do happen and entrepreneurs, shareholders and investors will back ideas that look like good bets. Tangible will increase the odds of success by de-risking bets with faster, lower cost consumer research tools that identify whether brand new ideas meet the real life needs of real people. We have started with QuickQual, online Indicomms and concept testing and we will keep innovating.