How we’re different...
to ad agencies.

Okay, let’s get real. Meerkats is all about truth. And the truth is, if all you’re after is new brand campaign or sales promotion; there are a handful of terrific ad agencies in the cities Meerkats operates in that are just as good as us. They’re modern, clever and pretty fast too.

But if you want to get off that rollercoaster of sales spikes and dips that come with an addiction to advertising, then Meerkats starts to become a little more unique. Our income, for example, is not predicated on making advertising outputs. We get paid for making a difference to our clients’ business. So we don’t leap to advertising as a solution for every business problem.

And that includes the most modern of definitions of that word “advertising”, which today can include brand rejuvenation, customer experience, employee incentive, promotional product design, packaging, store fit-out, and so on.

As the advertising industry’s profit margins get ever more squeezed by new technology and clients taking creative services inhouse, agencies are scrambling for new income streams. But to our eyes, they are still focused on communicating value to consumers, as opposed to helping companies create value.

That’s what we prefer to do before any communicating occurs: help our clients create genuine value in their products and services.

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How we’re different...
to management consultants.

Here’s another hand-on-heart truth: we can’t do everything that the big consulting brands of this world do. The global giants of management consulting have enormous teams of specialists to help organisations with the complex mechanics of commerce: production efficiency, operational cost cutting, new market analysis, management structures, and so on.

And they’re very good at it.

Where we observe they struggle is in the area of creativity. Imagination. Inventiveness. At some point, when you dig deep inside an organisation and find its authentic purpose, you’ll find yourself staring at a blank canvas. This canvas is the untapped potential of the people in that organisation. The commercial possibility of genuine inspiration. The as-yet unrealised inventiveness of a unified group of newly motivated human beings.

We’ve found that if your DNA is management consulting, with all its flowcharts and organograms and spreadsheets, it’s hard to unleash that innately human creativity. But take a group of professionals whose DNA is 100% in the field of envisioning and modelling creative business solutions, such as a purpose-driven ad agency, and you start to get a different kind of advice on business growth.

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How we're different...
to brand consultants.

Purpose is the new black in business. Everybody wants one. Which is good, because when we started Meerkats in 2004 the word wasn’t on anyone’s radar. But also bad, because now purpose is already being mass produced instead of custom made.

The truth is you don’t need a purpose, you need your purpose. Unlike brand personas and archetypes, your purpose is yours alone. There will not be another like it. And how can there, when the make-up of humans in your company, the intention of its founders and the history of its growth is utterly unique?

We’ve observed that brand consultants will often do two things that we believe is counter to this belief:

One, they often give clients a brand meaning from a choice of just 12 or 16 standard archetypes. The universally-accepted personas such as Explorer (“You’re like Jeep”) or Sage (“You’re like Google”). When you’re not ‘like’ anyone.

Two, they will spend considerable time finding white space in the consumers’ mind map and placing you there. This desire to be commercially appealing right now sometimes glosses over some inconvenient truths about the genuine value of your current offering. You are tempted to move straight into brand communications mode (simulated value) when there is still work to be done to unlock improvements to your products and services (true value).

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