Discover the interview of Anton Isakov from Unibe Branding Agency in Moscow, Russia.
How did you become designer ?
Open a branding agency, change life and improve the surrounding visual environment.
The history of the agency begins in 2013, in one of the regions of Russia, in the city of Yekaterinburg.
Once you realize that you are not doing something, everything you do is not what you want. There is a desire to change something, to improve, to contribute to the improvement of the environment, to watch and create ideas and visual solutions.
That is how the first Branding Agency appeared.
Having no start-up capital and investments, not having an office and staff – it was decided to create an agency by any means and forces that would work not for monetization and profit, but for the sake of projects, for the love of design, branding.
The first steps of the emergence of the agency – you start to communicate with all your friends and look for possible options for the first office, where the first employees and managers can be located. You agree for the first time to stay with friends on barter. The agency is provided with an office – for the place of rent – you help with the development of promotional materials.
So, an office has appeared and you can begin to make an agency development strategy, create your own brand and recruit a team to the staff.
Again, you are looking for friends – who can draw, who have received a higher architectural or design education and are offering them a job.
After 3-4 months, when you have 3-4 employees in your staff, you have your own brand, you have corporate mail and a phone, you start looking for clients in all possible ways, by phone, on the Internet, through social networks. All clients treat the agency with distrust – since you do not have a portfolio and you cannot show your skills and your level. Of the 30 clients with whom we were able to communicate, only 1 client agreed on absolutely terrible working conditions at that time. “First make a project and then, if we like it, we will pay you.” – it was the first anchor client of the agency, one of the federal banks, for which we changed positioning and updated the visualization of all banking products, the design of cards and promotional materials. With this client – we continue to cooperate and communicate not just as an agency – client, the communication is very warm and even friendly.
The agency begins to appear the first work that can be put in the portfolio, you begin to think about the “free PR” and begin to publish the first cases of the agency on various Internet and offline resources. Also, you connect to this process familiar editors who agree to make a news item or an article about an agency that conquers the regional market and works for metropolitan clients.
Gradually, international and global clients start to emerge from small projects at the agency. One of these customers, who believed in us, trusted our approach and project management – became the company Lindt. At that time, the 2013-2014 year, the Company opened its first office in Russia and needed a partner agency to design layouts for magazines, handouts and, of course, packaging design for the Russian market.
The agency is already beginning to understand the seriousness of international brands, to treat each trifle, every element on the packaging very responsibly, to improve the skills of its specialists.
After 1-2 months of work on the first international project, the product appears in federal retail chains. All employees of the agency – solemnly go to the first distribution network and look at how the product looks on the shelf, how it stands out against the background of other competitors. The most pleasant moment for the agency is when a consumer takes a product from a shelf to which you have a direct relationship in design. This feeling is beyond words.
Every year the agency grows, the team gets stronger, you decide to move the office to the capital of Russia – where life is in full swing, so where there is a lot of competition among agencies, where every client and every project will be even better and stronger.
At the moment, the agency is located in Moscow and has a large and professional expertise in the field of branding and works in two main areas:
- Corporate branding (branding services and retail branding)
- FMCG (packaging and label design, launch of new brands to the market)
How would you define your vision of design, your style ?
The style of the agency is determined by its managing partner and the experience of the creative director. The agency always tries to try something new in design, based not only on insights and research, but also on their own experience, the experience of foreign colleagues and of course, on communication with the client, are they ready to try to do just that.
You or agency staff travel a lot and of course, we pay attention to current trends in other countries and other cultures, what is there in the trend and how the product is provided on the shelf in the store and how it communicates with the consumer. The synergy of all these moments helps to develop an agency style.
For the future, what are your professional projects ?
For the near future, the agency plans to more actively enter the international market, try to attract as many foreign clients as possible, share our expertise and create not only beautiful but also effective design. Any advertising is aimed primarily at efficiency! If there is no result from advertising – then why is it needed?
What do you like the most in your job ?
As a managing partner and owner of the agency, in the process of work, I like to take part in brainstorming and feel pleasure when the product that was developed at the agency appears in the sales network.