Reinventing Our Agency: Looking at the past for the future

Posted on 05. Mar, 2011 by in Blog

We are re-creating our own agency, by getting involved in helping start up companies and entrepreneurs, and by looking to our own roots – the immigrant experience.

Chaos seems to be the new normal for businesses. Looking back over a decade of work, nothing has had quite as much influence on our clients or our own organization as the unpredictability of the world. No, we are not talking about dealing with “change” or “crisis”. Those are conditions that most business people can be trained to handle. Just note the abundance of business school courses and consulting engagements billed as “change management”. Chaos may lack structure, but it provides the raw energy to drive people to do extraordinary things. And, one thing has been predictable. When organizations learn to find opportunities in chaos, their plans tend to generate successful outcomes.

We have grown to appreciate and even seek out chaotic situations by working with high tech firms and bold organizations whose goals are to deliver bigger or better ideas to the marketplace. When organizations acknowledge not only the threats around them today, but also the uncertainty of tomorrow, they begin thinking differently. They become hyper-aware of the opportunities around them and begin to see connections that their peers don’t. We believe that leveraging these connections in branding and positioning is what differentiates our work. Our projects are rooted in the business of marketing, but they also integrate public policy, technology, culture and economic development so that they thrive in unpredictable markets.

Our appreciation for chaos drove us to re-create our own agency, even though, as our recent white paper explains, it might seem like we’re returning to our own roots. Our name, First Experience Communications was inspired by one of the most hectic times in America, the immigrant experience – the phrase first experience was used many times when we did oral histories from surviving immigrants – in the early part of the 20th century. These immigrants didn’t speak the native language or understand the culture of the environment around them. They didn’t have a road map to survive. And often, no one was there to provide support or resources. Yet, somehow, with passion and sheer determination, many managed and thrived. They learned from their mistakes, found new opportunities, and built relationships that generated an abundance of new businesses and industries. We’re applying those same principles in market plans today, for new ventures, which themselves are perceived as “new immigrants” in the markets they serve. They made something from nothing, and created a better life — the American experience.

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