1000 Companies to Inspire Britain
By Jonathan Emmins | Founder
London Stock Exchange's 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain is an annual celebration of some of the fastest-growing and most dynamic small and medium-sized enterprises in the UK. Amplify were one of the top 40 companies featured. Founder, Jonathan Emmins, answers questions for the annual.
How would you best describe what your company does?
Amplify’s approach to marketing is to focus on joining the dots between people, brands and culture.
We put the audience at the heart of everything we do. We start with real people, not demographics. By engaging with culture, we manage to bring brands and audiences together on a genuine and emotional level.
We create integrated solutions, helping brands such as PlayStation, innocent, Lexus and Converse build authentic and long-term and meaningful connections with their target audiences (and the things they love). Consumers are searching for brands that share their beliefs and values, when we tap into that personality we can create campaigns that make an impact.
To what do you attribute your company’s success?
A strong sense of collaboration. We’re focused on creating an environment where teams and brands do their best work. We believe an agency is only as good as the collective vision and the talented individuals that choose to call it home. As an agency we’re continuously striving to be better…
What have been the biggest opportunities for your company in recent years and how have you capitalised on them?
Our team has grown more than we first envisaged. At various times we’ve sworn we would never get bigger than 15/ 20/ 25 people, for fear of losing our culture. We’re now at 60+, but it’s been managed growth. Being bigger in size and reputation has given us an opportunity to grow and evolve, and to take on more exciting clients and extend our new business. Most importantly we’ve maintained our culture. Each person who has joined adds their own passion and knowledge, meaning we're able to simultaneously hone our craft and broaden our skillset.
How will your industry change in the coming years? What are the challenges and opportunities?
Audiences are constantly changing – becoming savvier and more switched on as technology improves and tastes change. It’s a challenge to keep up, but it’s a challenge that excites us as marketers. We work across multiple brands, projects and audiences so we never feel limited in how we can approach projects and campaigns.
The challenges occur in making sure we know what’s authentic – luckily, our teams love and consume as much culture as possible. We also have a network of over 280 partners, Amplify X, which means we can always call on passionate experts and make sure campaigns are always bespoke.
Through our thought leadership pieces such as FanCulture, we make sure we take research seriously and arm ourselves with as many informed opinions as possible. We’re continuing to be thought leaders with our next piece of attitude insight on millennials and Gen Z, called Young Blood.
What advice would you give to a small business starting out?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions or seek guidance. Amplify believes in passing the baton on, and helping younger talent both internally and externally – there’s no end to opportunity when people start connecting, conversing and creating together. We actively work with lots of young talent and businesses giving them time, space and a helping hand when they need it. This keeps us stimulated and also allows us to explore avenues outside of the agency, keeping Amplify focused.
For us, collaboration is key. Amplify have channelled our ambitions in co-founding other businesses, taking away the stresses that can come with running a company and freeing up our partners to focus on their talents. Examples include design agency 27, youth collective Urban Nerds and brand consultancy People-Made. We regularly collaborate across clients, and together our varied experiences make us all stronger.
How have you grown the business in recent tough economic conditions?
We started and have grown up in the recession – and that actually worked for us. The marketing landscape was rapidly changing, brands were asking more questions and looking for something new. The trick for agencies and brands alike is not to be complacent again in these more prosperous times.