The single greatest thing about still being in the womb in the ‘80s was that I skipped out on having to decide between baggy “MC Hammer” pants or yellow leggings with pink leg warmers. Phewww.
The single greatest thing about being a child in the ’90s, (aside from butterfly hair clips and Hey Arnold’s football shaped head), was R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps series.
Now, as an adult in the 21st century. the single greatest thing would surely have to be the internet. I mean who wouldn’t agree, we can now learn how to calculate Pi by throwing frozen hot dogs, buy a life size wall decal of an asian businessman or take a moment to watch someone eat ice cream off their scalp. What a time to be alive.
The internet has fundamentally changed our world. For better or worse, I’m yet to decide. But there is certainly no denying that it has simultaneously made our lives so much more efficient, and yet so much more convoluted.
Frankly, it’s a love/loathe relationship for most people. But when you get it right, technology can truly be your best friend. Smack Bang would not be the business it is today without technology, in particular our love-to-loathe friend, Skype.
As it currently stands, we work with over 500 clients worldwide and have birthed 2,000+ projects in over 20 different countries.
Yesterday alone I went to four different countries (through my trusty phone). At 8am I had a meeting in Toronto about a new retail store opening up, at 10am it was a bakery in New Zealand, at 5pm it was a marketing agency in Copenhagen and then, early evening, it was a random 70 year old’s landline in Double Bay because I dialled the wrong number.
There really has never been easier to connect with our fellow globetrotters, so for anyone thinking about embarking on some cross-continental business relations, let us assure you how easy it is:
- Remote teams can be even more productive
These days, the term ‘digital nomad’ gets thrown around like a trolley in a grocery store. As the founder and creative director, I actually steer the Smack Bang ship from 90 mins drive away from the majority of the Sydney team since moving to the tranquil South Coast. Meanwhile our Creative Strategist, Holly, plays her part from Bangalow NSW (a 9 hour drive or 1 hour flight away from our Surry Hills HQ). But we are all only ever a G-chat apart and now really think about agendas and outcomes before scheduling meetings, which has made them so much more effective. Plus, there’s also the added bonus of having Smack-Bangers on the ground in other business markets where we have a number of current (and prospective) clients.
- Online communities totally transcend borders
So many of our – and no doubt your – favourite modern brands break down any concept of borders in their customer experience. A great meme, a great product or service, and a great heart can be a common denominator no matter where they come from. We now have direct access to fashion labels in LA, art galleries in Amsterdam, tech in Tel Aviv and pretty much anything/everything you desire through Ali Baba – all from the comfort from our own home, where they arrive on our doorsteps a week later!
Australian label, Spell, was born from the (then) small town of Byron Bay. Now its co-founder, Elizabeth, attests 70-80% of their business is purely via online store from every corner of the planet. Swapping local market stalls for blogging their earliest photoshoots catapulted their exposure from just the immediate geographic community to a whole wide web of global eyeballs – and wallets. Big thanks Kevin Systrom – we too owe you a beer!
- The creative landscape is well and truly ‘globalised’
Less than 50% of the SBD audience are in fact based in Australia, the other 50% is made up of a colourful array of other countries around the world. US in second place and old Blightly is number three, followed by NZ, Canada and Germany. Danke schön!
We recently learnt quite how wide-spread our people are while getting acquainted with the new GDPR changes in the EU. (Shout out to our buddies in Latvia and the lovely Anna who bought Baskk from the tiny island of Symi in Greece. Next Euro-trip, we’re coming to visit!)
It makes us so warm and fuzzy to hear about SBD’s footprint spreading far and wide. Design is a language that transcends dialects and this uniting nature is one of the many reasons we love working on it day in, day out.
- Distance makes the heart grow fonder
There area number of resources and tools we use to make interstate and international business work like a dream. Skype aside, our top three must be Calendly, Dropbox and Google docs. God bless the cloud! So much so, many of our all-time favourite projects have been for international brands whose HQs are thousands of kilometres from our own. Namely, Ranavat Botanics (California) Evereden (NYC), One Fine Day (NZ), Mukti (Queensland), One Seed (SA), Fella Villas (Bali) and many more.
It’s safe to say that we are now living in the future, a time when chatting to someone on the other side of the world no longer requires a town crier, a pen and paper, a horse or a freight ship. Technology has advanced the pace of our communications and the sooner our business relationships can use it to our advantage, the better we’ll all be for it.
Chances are you may be reading this from another time zone – and even hemisphere. If so, please let us know where in the comments below. We love to hear from you, and even more, love to work together. You know where to find us!