There comes a time in every business person’s life, no matter how good the product, no matter how strong the market, when they have to go to an advertising agency and say: “please: make them like me!”
This is the least enjoyable part of working with a marketing agency. And it’s not something you want to have to say more than once, so bearing that in mind it’s very important that you choose to work with the right one. And once that part is over, if you have chosen well, you can start to enjoy yourself.
So why choose Render Positive? Because Channel 4 did, and described them as “a truly professional and inspiring outfit to work with”? Because Symantec and Sofa Workshop think that “their ideas “have a fantastic success rate” and “they offer intelligent responses to our requests”? Because they persuaded one of the greatest living ad-men, Rory Sutherland, to spend an hour on their sofa and asked him brilliant questions? Nope. Here’s why:
I met Render Positive’s co-founder Gary Buchan last week for English Breakfast Tea at the Hoxton Hotel. Gary has a policy of only wearing Hawaiian shirts, which makes him easy to recognise. Gary was global head of digital marketing at Rentokil Initial, the pest control & textile services firm who also own a lot of other businesses, and who have 100 odd websites in operation around the world. One of them, Ambius, supplies plants to offices, but also provides the industrial scenting that you find in car showrooms or department stores. Clever and subtle, or jolly and brash? Or both?
Gary’s brother Jon had moved to London in 2006, working for various digital marketing agencies, succeeding, in the words of brother Gary, in “quitting his way to the top”, eventually ending up as head of Social Media at I-spy, one of London’s biggest ad agencies. He’s also an aspiring novelist and poet. Very cool.
On May 7th, 2010, the brothers founded Render Positive. Since then, the firm has grown steadily and now employs over 20 staff as well as outsourcing some of its work to a carefully chosen network of specialist freelancers.
Render positive prides itself on being an honest, open (and funny, read the team bios!) agency. They will try different things; if it doesn’t work, they won’t brush it under the carpet, they’ll use it to create a better campaign. They don’t do mediocrity, and they are naturally competitive. They also have a Richard Branson-esque approach to holiday leave. It’s unlimited. Kudos to them!
Render positive does 3 things exceptionally well; Branding; they will help you understand the bits of your brands personality that have been hidden from you all these years. Search Engine Optimisation; they will turn your website into a client magnet; and Sales Conversion; provided you have a decent product, they will help you to make more sales. How do they do it? Through social media management, content marketing, PR, research & data analytics, copywriting, web design, paid search, conversion rate optimisation, UX audits, user outreach, and lots of other inventive techniques that only clever marketers know.
That’s great, and ingenious, but a lot of agencies offer the same or similar services, I hear you saying, before repeating, so why should I choose Render Positive? Personally I’d pick them for the name alone, but that’s just me. Ok, in all seriousness, we’ve been looking at this from the wrong angle: what we need to be asking is not what they do, but why they do it. Just ask this guy.
Render Positive, you see, think a little deeper than a lot of modern marketeers. Social media is an easy bandwagon to jump on board of; I’ll get you more views, more followers, more reach, more blog posts etc. etc. But that’s not actually helpful unless you know why you want them in the first place.
Gary explains the Render Positive philosophy thus: “we like the idea of a cycle of incremental growth followed by a large and measurable gain. We think the reason we achieve this is because we like to work collaboratively with our clients and be transparent at all times. We like to find out what the essence of our client’s brand is; when we know our clients and their products well enough, that’s when we do our best work. We do look for our clients to have influence over the direction our campaigns take; every aspect of the campaign has to genuinely reflect the brand’s personality. It’s like painting a portrait, like art.”
Deep. Ready to go deeper? “We can all get blinded by the so called power of big data. Big data helps us to identify trends, and shows us that there are no shortcuts or tricks, no smoke and mirrors techniques to fool our clients or the public with. The personality must be genuine. What we have found, often to our bemusement, is that traditional PR has taught companies to speak in a manner that is clearly not the brand’s true voice – instead it’s staid, plain, and corporate. What is ridiculous about that is that businesses are made up of people, and people want to do business with other people that sound genuine and trustworthy.”
Hold tight! “influence and persuasion are part of behavioural economics which we have only just begun to understand over the last 20-30 years or so. It’s linked to evolutionary biology, anthropology, and other sciences, and it provides powerful insights about why people behave in the way they do. It’s about interpreting the signs correctly and creating positivity and goodwill.”
To paraphrase, Gary reads Robert Cialdini and Geoffrey Miller so you don’t have to. And you should be very, very grateful about that! Render Positive have an intellectual side that helps them understand some of the more complex aspects of Google’s ranking algorithm, for example, or how to effectively optimise a social media campaign. You sense that the much travelled Gary would be at his most comfortable sitting on the steps of the Parthenon talking shop with Socrates and Aristotle; he even ominously notes that “creativity doesn’t have a timetable” whilst pouring himself more tea, but there is a driven side to Render Positive too, one that acknowledges that they are a mainstream London marketing agency and when they need to they can move like sh*t off a shovel.
So why choose Render Positive? Not for the testimonials, not for the chance to work with staff who have proven experience at the top level, not even because they produce beautiful infographics like this one. But because they just happen to intuitively understand how advertising works. And “not a lot of people know that”. But it’s ok to ask those that do if they can make your brand stand out. Because they will, and you will be part of each other’s success. Which is really what advertising is all about.
Render Positive is a marketing agency based in Clapham, London. It was founded by brothers Jon and Gary Buchan, who both share a strong background in digital marketing. To request a free brainstorming session with Render Positive, find out how they work and how they can help your business, follow this link: