BRANDTHINKMarketing Agency in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 59200
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Being bold and focusing on impact are our lessons on teamwork. It’s hard to grasp around this thought initially as it usually refers to our own individual achievements.
However, the thing about teams here is that we expect everyone to be leaders in their own right, harnessing individual achievements for the collective good. It’s about teamwork, to each other, downwards to juniors or upwards to supervisors.
It’s a tough challenge. Working as a basis of a team. It’s not a hig...h school situation where everyone just wants to have fun and enjoying oneself is the goal. It’s not about being a shoulder to cry on or an ear to complain. No, that’s not a real team mate. On the contrary, it’s about challenging the team to aspire to greater heights, praising the ones that do and holding to account those that won’t. It’s about achieving something great together, and making real impact, most importantly to each other’s work. That takes a combination of our entire value system: the ability to lead yourself exceptionally well, the willingness to act maturely, being better every single day and challenging others to do the same.
Being bold and open means being open to criticism and bold in our endeavors to overcome and learn. The hope at the end of the day is real impact in the collective work. So that the sum of who we are and what we do has meaning.
There’s a habit we’ve developed here at the agency, is the pursuit for the best ideas. Sometimes, a better idea means looking at the brief and saying, “there’s a better way”. The focus is on better work and better result.
Doing this means throwing out a whole bunch of preconceptions, among them the thinking that we are mere suppliers, or that the client is always right, or that we have the monopoly on all facts. We have to embrace that we are advisors hired for our expertise..., that there are times the path forward is not as written in the brief, and we might not have all the facts. With that, pursuing the best ideas is an important first step towards great work, but it’s only part of the picture. The second part to that is to let those ideas win. Which means doing everything in our power - from resources to planning and commitment to execution - to make sure it’s successful. Having great ideas isn’t enough. We have to let it win.
“Can’t be done.” 3 words that seems too easy to throw around. Do we really want to wait for somebody else to turn “can’t be done” to “we did it”? Why not let that somebody be us.
About 8 years ago, our agency was invited to pitch for a fairly substantial account with a large scope of work. Due to its size, about 12 other agencies also tendered for the work. The team lead simply announced that a win would be impossible and that we wouldn’t be good enough to compete for the cl...ient. There were too many bigger players and we have never done an account like this, both in scale and in industry. So, we let that go. The sense of regret came almost immediately after.
When the opportunity came 2 years later to pitch for the same client, we jump on it. With a new team lead, we stared “impossible” in the face and created a plan that radically depart from the norms of the industry at the time. We thought, we don’t need to compete with 10-12 others who would be presenting different variations of the same plan. We took advantage of our “never done this before” and wore it proudly on our sleeves. That was 6 years ago and we’ve been pushing the boundaries together since.
Was it a painful process? Yes. Was it challenging? Yes. Did we felt like pulling out our hairs and scream? Yes. But our entire history is filled with instances where we have done something we have not done before, or we do not know how to do, or have yet figure out how to get it done. If we listened to the voices of impossibility, we would still be right at our desk adapting different sizes of magazine layouts.
We would not have dared to dream to achieve something different. We would not have created new ways to get results. We would have not helped our clients grow in unprecedented ways.
Impossible, is now just a challenge for us to overcome. Impossible is now a test of our collective will and resourcefulness. Impossible is what separates the diamonds from the dirt. Impossible is the starting point.
Imagine the feeling: you, the go-to player. The MVP everyone wants to be on the team. The task force everybody sends for the most high value mission. You’re a go-to player for a reason. It’s because you’re the best. That’s what we want to do every single day, be the go-to person whenever someone needs a solution to a problem.
Innovate. Grow. Learn. Pioneer. Forward. Advance. Amplify. Mature. Pioneer. Propagate. Increase. Multiply. Our idea for being great is about being better every single day. It’s not about perfection - none of us is ever perfect - but it’s about growing. We have to be better than we are today. That’s the path to greatness.
When a problem hits, the common reaction of most people is to place the blame on others. Tai-chi they call it. It’s an instinctive self-preservation of our own hide that we look to place the fault squarely on somebody else’s shoulders. “Not my problem”. So it’s pretty hard for us as a team to practice this value yet the importance of this cannot be understated. While others sought to deflect blame, we seek to find remedies. When thoughts circle around who else must go down fo...r this, our minds are zeroing on who will stand up to fix this. At the core of things, a problem that occurs elsewhere affects the entire team, no matter how big or small. Our entire history is made of people who are willing to stand up and find solutions to problems, even if the problems are not of their own making. Our successes can be traced to many stories of individuals as part of teams that decided that they cannot sit idle and watch the world burn. Our legacy is defined by the willingness to stop talking, and start taking action. Nothing at brandthink is somebody else’s problem. It’s ours. And it would be our responsibility to remedy it.
Often times we come across people who seek managerial positions, or are looking to step up to become leaders. Here at BRANDTHINK, we advocate one key secret to leadership: the most clearest way to demonstrate the potential of leadership is the ability to lead yourself exceptionally well. The values you hold close to your heart, the thought processes that guide your decisions, the beliefs that govern your emotions are demonstrated most clearly in your actions.
Work culture is constantly changing. As the entire workforce switches gear to attract younger talent, there is one value that remains timeless. The idea that no matter at what age, young or old, we must act maturely. Maturity is a trait we value highly in our culture.
One of the most important questions we get asked by talents looking to join us is the nature of our culture. We operate on 11 key values that shape the basis of our culture. Each talent adds (or subtracts) to our culture. That’s why we cling onto these values, each a lesson learnt from our 18 years striving to achieve great work for our clients. The top of the list? The idea that each and every single one of us, is part of a single company. Not multiple companies, multiple brands or multiple departments. One single company.