There’s no question that 2021 is a year we’ve all been waiting for. A fresh start is familiar territory with a new year, but after the unexpected way 2020 unfolded, flipping to a new calendar with new opportunities was more welcome than ever.
When we gathered in Chicago for our biannual meeting to kick off our vision for 2020, the world was a very different place. Within weeks, we all transitioned from daily face-to-face time in an office to working remotely and meeting over Zoom. We didn’t know it at the time, but March 2020 was the start of a whole new world view, not just at Identity, but for the global community.
Meeting virtually for our January 2021 biannual a year later, one thing is clear: The world has changed, and we must continue to evolve with it. And, as marketers, we believe we must lead it.
Among many things, 2020 showed us the importance of visionary thinking, flexibility and adaptability. These are characteristics we’ve always embraced as the DNA of our agency and as experts: Reacting to breaking news and real-time crisis situations, thinking big, infusing innovation and technology, and charting new, groundbreaking directions for our clients and partners.
As we look ahead to 2021 and beyond, we’re confident that our culture of performance is responsible for our success. Our expectations of ourselves and our love of the game matters. In an environment where experience, quick thinking and ability to articulate vision has truly never mattered more, we’re focused on how to elevate the game as change will be constant.
Growing Through What We Go Through
No matter what industry you work in or role you have, we faced challenges in 2020 that we never could have expected. Personally and professionally, we were all thrown outside of our comfort zones. There was a learning curve, and it was steep and quick. Expectations were high.
In 2020, as a true sign of adapting to the moment, we made our planned agency growth happen with more work happening in Chicago, the Midwest, and even globally, despite the unavoidable disruptions of COVID-19. We continued to structure and execute programs through the lens of our Modern PR Mix. We continued to rev our development engine and bring in exciting and meaningful work that inspires our team.
More importantly, as a team we became smarter, sharper and more creative, diagnosing issues and quickly developing solutions. We developed bigger tanks. We accomplished more than we ever thought possible, in a drastically different environment than ever before. We learned more about our roles and strengths. And we know we’re not alone in this.
One of the conversation points during our biannual meeting this year was that our best days and our worst days are our best days. Even the hardest days matter, because we’re pressed to step up, rally and make it happen. We know we’re better for it.
The Future Does Not Fit in the Containers of the Past
This statement sums up how we are looking at 2021. The future is going to look different than yesterday, especially before we all experienced such a monumental shift in how business is done and how we interact with each other.
For us, there’s no “getting back to normal.” We believe strongly in the power of what could be. We believe this thinking process opens doors for new, exciting ways of doing, executing and imagining. We know it leads to the good stuff: better stories, more effective campaigns and new, exciting opportunities.
That means looking differently at how we spend our time as a team, and refining our culture. Our #gamelover mentality has been transcendent and we couldn’t be prouder of our team who prides themselves on great work and their connectivity to each other.
Part of being adaptable means being flexible and embracing the journey. Now more than ever we’re seeing this to be true in how we work and live, with a flexible structure built on performance and life and work integration. Our future is bright and we’re inspired by our vision for connectivity, creativity and being bolder than ever before.
The New Evolution of Great Work
As we look ahead, we’re entering what we consider a new era of great work. We are thinking big and doubling down on our ability to craft compelling strategies and stories people want and need to hear.
Our ability to drive vision, define critical messaging and make moments happen across all of our disciplines is where we believe great work lives.
It’s more than kickass media stories (even though that’s a huge part of it!). It’s color pallets and animations. Display ads and cool social campaigns. Influencer partners and effective media buys. Activations and virtual events. The moonshot moments. The big dreams clients have to help make their organizational goals a reality. Combining all these elements together makes a company story shine in a memorable and lasting way. This is at the heart of what we do. It’s The Identity Way.
Delivering great work is who we are and who we’ve always been. For a team of gamelovers, it’s what inspires us.
Join us as we evolve, learn and continue to bring amazing ideas to life.