The Naeem Alvi-Assinder Story: How Model Technique And An Inclusive Company Tradition Got Us Kavasystems


Naeem Alvi-Assinder is the Founder and Managing Director at model technique and design company, Notepad. I chatted with Naeem to seek out out extra about Notepad, its ethos, and what he thinks are a few of the key elements for model development in 2022.

Picture: Naeem Alvi-Assinder

Inform me about Notepad – what was the motivation behind beginning the corporate?

Notepad is a model technique and design company proudly primarily based in Birmingham, England, and operates worldwide.

Having spent most of my profession working in ‘agency-land’ I’d seen first-hand the great, the dangerous and the gut-wrenchingly ugly of our trade. In 2017, I made a decision sufficient was sufficient and set about constructing a model company which did issues proper by its folks and its shoppers. An company that tackled points round range, inclusivity and gender bias head on, whereas making a working tradition which fostered belief, creativity and empowerment.

Breaking it down, the philosophy is fairly easy. By constructing an company that treats folks effectively, we will entice good expertise, which in flip results in superb work and nice shoppers. 4 years into our journey, we’ve constructed a 50/50 gender break up group of 15 insanely proficient inventive and strategic minds. And, we work with an entire roster of nice manufacturers like WWF, Glenmorangie and iomart.

What are some key elements for model development in 2022? What differentiates the winners from the losers?

Whereas there’s nonetheless a tonne of purpose-washing in our trade, over the previous few years we’ve seen extra demand for manufacturers to behave ethically, and actively display their values of their actions and communications. Most lately, it’s been attention-grabbing to look at greater manufacturers select to actively help efforts and folks in Ukraine while pulling operations out of Russia, and as a pattern I believe (and hope) we’ll see extra of this aware model behaviour this 12 months.

I believe we’ll additionally see extra of a blurred line between digital and bodily work. The Covid-19 Pandemic has undoubtedly accelerated our adoption of know-how (welcome again QR codes!), and the extra inventive manufacturers are discovering methods to make use of bodily channels to deliver folks into their digital worlds. The Coinbase advert at The Tremendous Bowl was an awesome instance of this.

What’s been your favorite model marketing campaign from the previous 12 months and why?

I’ve all the time believed the easiest model campaigns provoke an emotional response, whereas speaking a transparent and genuine message. As an trade, I’m unsure why we now suppose “being courageous” is one thing to aspire for, when it used to simply be the established order.

With that in thoughts, I actually appreciated the latest work by advert company, CPB London, serving to to lift consciousness round gender bias on Worldwide Ladies’s Day. By utilizing quick and sharp copy, the marketing campaign unpicks our unconscious gender biases and forces us to suppose. It’s clear, thought-provoking work that sticks with you.

What branding and advertising tendencies do you see coming to the forefront within the subsequent 12 months?

Whereas it’s nonetheless buggy, tough to make use of, dangerous for the planet and a feeding floor for hackers, blockchain know-how has opened up a tonne of latest alternatives. Whereas there’s nonetheless lots of hype and buzz round issues like NFTs and the metaverse, all of those are simply indicators that we’re shifting in the direction of a world of digital possession and I believe we’ll begin to see increasingly attention-grabbing purposes of this coming to life in issues like music, movie, gaming and artwork.

Outdoors of the metaverse, the final couple of years has proven us all that we additionally all want human contact. I anticipate we’ll see a powerful resurgence in manufacturers creating methods to deliver folks collectively at occasions and bodily experiences.

What’s subsequent for Notepad?

Once I began writing the marketing strategy for Notepad I made an inventory of every part that’s fallacious with our trade, after which tried to discover a strategy to repair it. Whereas we’re in no way excellent and we nonetheless have a protracted strategy to go, our present massive focus is switching from a Restricted firm to a B Company – which means we’ll concentrate on a triple backside line and legally have to indicate how we’re balancing revenue with folks and the planet.

I do know that in all probability sounds fairly excessive and mighty nevertheless it shouldn’t. I’ve all the time considered companies as automobiles for change, and as an trade which is paid to suppose and act creatively, we’re well-placed to indicate the world what nice companies ought to appear like.

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