Rob Jennings

A is for Ambition

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A is for Ambition

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Saying something like “We are defined by our ambition” is one thing. But quantifying it? That’s another thing altogether. How do you prove something like that?

Growth. That’s the metric for ambition. You prove it with growth.

Last month, we celebrated our 10-year anniversary and the ambition that drove us from a one-person consultancy to an agency of 25, working out of offices in Edmonton and Toronto.

And today, I’m very pleased to announce that Canadian Business and Maclean’s has ranked FKA No. 150 on the 30th annual Growth 500, the definitive ranking of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies. We made the list based on an impressive five-year revenue growth of 571%.

I’ve often said that the best client-agency relationships are founded on a like-minded approach to business. And I believe our growth is the natural outcome of working with our clients, a very successful and ambitious group of Canadian companies. Like us, many of them are headquartered here in Edmonton—a testament to the entrepreneurial spirit of our city.

Wow… No. 150 on the Growth 500. What else is there to say? I’m incredibly proud of our team for numbering among Canada’s Fastest Growing Companies and I sincerely congratulate all of the businesses who made the list.

FKA X

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FKA X

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After reflecting on my last decade in business, I’ve come to a few conclusions. When starting a business, there is a tendency to define it by what it is not. It’s not going to be typical. It’s not going to be like everyone else. It’s nothing like the places you may have worked before. It’s going to be different. But the irony is that in focusing on what we are not, we all end up the same. Because it is hard to be unique. It is hard to be true.

It took me most of our 10 years in business to date to actually define what started as Starburst and has since become FKA.

Two years ago, we started the branding process that would culminate in our new name and identity. The first step in the process? An internal branding exercise in which we asked everyone individually to choose three attributes that defined our agency, culturally and collectively. The results were telling.

Number 3. Fun. Why not! Fun is good!
Number 2. Knowledgeable. Phew! That one was a bit of a relief. At least we know what we’re doing.
And number 1. Ambitious.

Wow.

I don’t think I’ve ever been prouder in my life than I was the moment I realized my team decided that we were defined by ambition more than anything else. Yeah, I have kids, I’m proud of them, all the time, every day, obviously…but this was a high watermark.

Now, if you didn’t know already, it’s probably dawning on you how we settled on our new name. Fun. Knowledgeable. Ambitious. F. K. And above all, A.

Ambition. It defines us. We’re driven by it. Relentlessly so.

Ambition drives us to grow. 571% over the past five years. From one person (me) to twenty-seven. We are now among the largest agencies in the city.

Ambition drives us to seek out like-minded clients. Many of them retail but all of them successful businesses and organizations who demand results and share a philosophy which we internally refer to only semi-jokingly as “sell or die.”

Ambition drives us to learn more. To be better. To adapt to the accelerating pace of evolution in marketing and communications.

Ambition drives our processes. At FKA, we have banished “set it and forget it.” In every project, every campaign, every tactic, we seek out opportunities to learn from the results and make it better. Advertising is research. (Research that sells, too—what better kind, really.) Act. Analyze. Adapt. That is our mantra. Ambition means a bias for action. We prioritize doing and learning.

It is ambition that has brought us here, to this moment in time, this celebration.

And I want to say a few thank-yous. First, I want to thank all our clients. We are nothing without our clients and we are humbled that so many came out to celebrate with us last night. I also want to thank all our vendors, partners and contemporaries who joined us too.

Of course, I want to thank my team. Our team. The wonderfully diverse, incredibly talented and highly ambitious group of people that make FKA what it is. It’s a pleasure and an honour to work with every one of you. I especially want to thank Kim Odland and Robert Lennon, my business partners. Their investment and interest in this agency have been instrumental.

And finally, I want to thank my wife, Mieke. She has been a steadfast supporter (and frequent critic—always constructive, of course) of everything I do and I absolutely couldn’t do it without her.

Thank you all! See you in ten years. Or later this week, more likely—we have a lot of meetings!

All Weather Windows (AWW) makes high quality, beautiful, durable doors and windows, and has been for the last 40 years. But this kind of work can seem seasonal, so a key question must be posed: How can you convince Albertans to remove and replace their doors and windows once the weather starts to turn?

AWW and their direct-to-consumer branch in Alberta All Weather Windows Renovations (AWWR) has been a client of FKA for over five years. In 2016 they posed this question to us with the challenge of helping help them boost sales during their fall window and door replacement campaign. Despite their renovation services team rarely needing more than a day to complete the work, Albertans are understandably nervous about removing their doors and/or windows during the chillier fall months. To make the task a little more complicated, AWW also wanted to target Edmonton and Calgary — two places that were hit hard by the economic downturn in 2015.

We realized that a great offer or financing rate likely wouldn’t be enough of a motivator with this combination of factors at play. So we chose a more powerful motivator than money: fear.

Working with Mediactive, we developed an integrated multimedia campaign that leveraged our collective disdain for (and fear of) winter in a fun way to generate leads for All Weather Windows Renovations.

We took an admittedly tongue-in-cheek approach that dramatized Albertans’ natural trepidation about the winter season. We made winter into an over-the-top foreboding force, and we added a limited time offer to spur “frightened” homeowners to action. This played really well on radio!

The radio was accompanied by direct mail that was sent specifically to neighbourhoods in Edmonton and Calgary where the majority of homes were built over 20 years ago, making them more likely to need window and door replacement. The creative featured an ominous path in a wintery wood and aligned visually with our melodramatic approach on radio.

The visual creative was also applied to digital display and paid social ads on Facebook. We used remarketing list targeting to push primed and interested homeowners further down the sales funnel. All of our tactics featured unique phone numbers and web addresses, ensuring that we were able to track results and optimize the campaign in real-time.

And the results? Well, it turns out fear of winter is a powerful motivator!

FKA has levelled up!

| Careers, News

FKA has levelled up!

| Careers, News

We’re very happy to announce that new characters have joined our party. Get to know them below.

Kylie Robertson

 

Experience Points: 9 years

Character Class: Communications and Content Strategist

Primary Skills:

  • Creative and technical writing
  • Quick thinking
  • Super synthesizer of information

Secondary Skills:

  • Master chef
  • Beer league hockey forward

Adrienne Leung

 

Experience Points: 1 year

Character Class: Account Coordinator

Primary Skills:

  • Organization wizard
  • Determination
  • Positive can-do attitude

Secondary Skills:

  • Photography & videography
  • Martial arts

Danny Siman

 

Experience Points: 5 years

Character Class: Account Manager

Primary Skills:

  • Empathy
  • Reliability
  • Conqueror of adversity    

Secondary Skills:

  • Ikea furniture assembly
  • Cat whisperer

Join Our Team!

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Join Our Team!

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You’re looking for a change.

We love that.

We’re built on change.

We are obsessed with optimization. Our results are driven by our agile process — we’re always looking to learn from our work and make it better.

Simply put — we Act. Analyze. Adapt.

We’re always looking to make things better — our work, our processes and our team. That’s where you come in. We are recruiting for five new positions: Account Lead, Full-Stack Developer, Communications and Content Specialist, Senior Art Director and Account Coordinator.

We’re seeking individuals inspired to innovate new ways to help our clients reach their objectives and solve their business problems. From morning scrums to cross-discipline mentoring, we’re dedicated to a collaborative environment fostered by a culture of support. The people you work with matter more than anything else. At FKA, you’ll get to work with great people from all of our departments — creative, interactive, communications, media, and account service.

FKA offers competitive compensation and a comprehensive benefits program. We provide our team members with many opportunities for training and professional development. Interested applicants are asked to send their cover letter and resume with your position of interest (above) in the subject line to recruitment@fka.agency no later than 5pm on Wednesday, May 23rd.

We are formerly known as Starburst — we are FKA.

Edmonton’s newest marketing communications agency with over 170 years of experience.