How to make a living in an industry you love…and be true to yourself.
Today, my company, domo domo Marketing is celebrating 25 years in business as a woman-owned creative firm. Recently I read only 1 in every 1,000 creative agencies in the US was founded and is led by a woman. How can that be? I’m still trying to grapple with what we were 25 years ago – 1 in 10,000? 1 in 50,000?
Women are the most powerful consumers in the world.
Over 80% of all product purchases are made, or influenced, by women. And yet – most creative agencies working on products targeting these consumers are not led by women. Branding and package design is a subtle and nuanced process guided by data driven decisions and design aesthetics. As female designers, we have an instinctive feel and understanding of that which appeals to women – something we cannot learn – it’s something we simply know.
I did not set out to be a gender trailblazer. I wanted a life – to be able to work in business I love and still have a balanced life. I was driven by bigger things: creating a company propelled by purpose, operating with integrity, embracing work/life balance, and giving back to make the world a better place. Success – always measured in client satisfaction, positive impact of their business, and excellent work we are all proud of…not just agency profits.
When I look back, I see the evolution of not only me but also the business. Over the years of working with a wide range of clients, brands, projects, and colleagues, there are some recurring themes:
1. Be Authentic
Be true to yourself, stand for what you believe and always deliver what you promise.
2. Always Keep Moving Forward
Be a seeker – looking for better ways to develop and deliver your work, operate, and expand. Own your growth as a business owner and company by continually challenging your thinking and investing in the business.
3. Embrace Transformation
Business is not static. The world and nature are not static. Learn to love and embrace change and keep evolving your business and brand. All brands have a life cycle – a bell curve that peaks, and then eventually comes down into what is called the “milking phase.” At that point – either refresh your brand or retire.
4. Make Space to Think, Seek Clarity
Know your core competencies and what you deliver. In our industry – many creative agencies – try to be and do all things for all brands. That is not realistic, nor appropriate. It’s a difficult challenge – to distill down and articulate what you do best – and is the only way for customers and clients to know where and how your firm can add value to them.
After 25 years in business – the domo domo model is even more relevant than it was when I started the company. And I am happy to say I know who I am: Grateful entrepreneur. Creative catalyst. Environmental activist. Believer in the power of design, transformations, and empowering others.
It’s an exciting time to be a female business owner. Come join me.