Lorna Burt: Every Brand Is Looking To Grow, but Not Every Brand Is Looking To Do It in the Same Way

September 11, 2022

We’re Orange Panther Collective – the advertising agency that turns new things into next big things.

Every brand is looking to grow, but not every brand is looking to do it in the same way. Some are happy with incremental gains, slow and steady. We’re not for those brands.

We are for the ambitious, the hungry, and the new. We work with scale-ups with high growth ambitions that are ready to find the next million customers, become a household name and dial up their marketing.

Tell us about yourself? What is your background? What made you get into this line of work?

I fell into advertising after university.

Which always makes it sound like I couldn’t think of anything better to do but in truth, I was only able to fall into the industry, and role, because it fit me so well.

I did politics at University, which didn’t give me any tangible skills, but did make me very good at constructing an argument on very little sleep – which as it turns out was quite good practice for being a 21 year old strategist in an ad agency.

Flippant jokes aside, both advertising and politics are about people, their motivations, and how to use your understanding of both to communicate ideas and intentions in order to change behaviour.

If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

Simon (my now business partner) holds the key to your future happiness in work, don’t make him wait so long before you give him an answer about whether you’ll jump on board.

What problem does your business solve?

Advertising is proven to grow brands, and no brands are looking for growth like scale ups.

But big ad agencies are too cumbersome and expensive to service them, and small agencies generally focus just on performance marketing, or logo design, or another small piece of pie. They don’t have the big brand thinking needed to help a new challenger turn up in the world like a serious player.

We bring the experience of building and maintaining some of the biggest brands in the world, blended with a start-up culture and way of thinking that drives us to do things disruptively, with a model that makes it all accessible for younger businesses.

What is the inspiration behind your business? What inspired your business? What problem are you trying to solve and for whom?

We’d spent a lot of time working with hyper-cautious and conversative businesses, putting in a lot of effort to drive tiny changes.

We’d both experienced working with scale-ups, directly with founders, and people that truly believe in the product or service they’re delivering – and been inspired by it.

Meanwhile we’d both seen agencies’ inability to cater to that segment of client.

What it all boils down to is the desire to work with committed people bringing brands, products and services into the world that make it a better place than it was. Not in a big, grandiose capital-G good way, but brands that improve the lives of those they serve.

We just want more of those brands to grow and succeed. And believe that marketing, brand and advertising is a vital part of doing that.

What is your magic sauce? An outline of your magic sauce. How do you differ from the competition?

Our model and our people.

We are a collective. That means we have a group of really, ridiculously smart people at our core who guide every project, and we then scale up our teams with the right people in the right skill sets for the brief at hand. It means every client gets grown up brand thinking and service, and then exactly the skills and people they need, and only that.

That kind of flexibility, and the fact that people choose to work on the brief at hand (rather than just drafted in from the back-benches of the agency), mean that our attitude is different too. Our thinking is more diverse, our output reflects their passion, and our processes are laser-focused.

What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve? What is the vision?

I want to look back and have some of the most interesting, successful scale-ups of the last five years on our client list. And to know that we’ve played some, very small, part in their success.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far? What has made you have to change course? What issues have you run into?

Two challenges – one demand, one supply.

On the supply-side; we are constantly on the hunt for great people. When the world is rosy and the economy is growing, you can have your pick of the industry. When things look a little more bleak, and people want the security of a long-term gig, it can be harder to find quality people. And unlike some other businesses, ours lives and dies by the quality of the thinking and the craft, the brains and hands that create it.

On the demand-side; our proposition is pretty tight. Whilst we can help with everything from building a brand identity to identifying audience segments, from creating a social campaign to your first TV ad, there are some businesses that will get more value from what we do than others.

Scale-ups who know the next big leap in growth will come from building their brand, and investing in advertising at scale, are our perfect fit. Businesses who have hit the ceiling of what performance marketing alone can deliver. Brands who want to be famous.

But finding those people, in that sweet spot, is tough.

It’s almost like we could do with a little advertising ourselves…

How do people get involved/buy into your vision?

We’re looking for scale ups with big ambitions. Scale ups that are ready to take that next step, and believe that brand thinking, grown-up marketing and fame-driving advertising could be part of the solution.

If that’s you, send us an email.

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