Many of our newer clients might not believe it, but for a long time, Lima Bean’s creative offering was very much limited to user interface design. Our wireframes and designs have always been good, but mainly pitched as specs; a means to an end in order to deliver “the system”.
We were, in our starting years, “unashamedly technical”, taking on challenging and big system builds, but shying away from strategy, marketing and creative undertakings.
How this has changed. The creative team has, in the past three years, grown into its own powerhouse and when measured as a distinct entity, one that is profitable, viable, growing and delighting customers.
We’ve grown the division slowly and organically, not taking on too much work and making sure we knock the work that we do take on, out of the park.
We have helped enterprise clients form their digital strategies, lead big digital marketing campaigns, have integrated with chat bots, have cars driving around with branding designed by us, have spray painted murals in Soweto, organised fashion shoots in Long Street, re-designed a physical store and more.
Our creative team now not only contains UI/UX experts, but digital strategists, copy writers, videographers and digital marketers.
So what on earth is The Yard? Why make it it’s own brand under the Lima Bean stable?
It all goes back to the question of “where does innovation and creativity happen”.
Let’s start with Innovation.
Where is the best place for a business to “place innovation”? If you put it within your mothership, it is liable to be stifled. There may be rules and processes that don’t aid, but harm innovation. Too much oversight and red tape. Conversely, if a business places it’s “innovation arm” completely outside of the company, it may as well be seen as a startup; and as we know, startups tend to fail.
The sweet spot is to intersect the “innovation division” with the parent company. Giving leeway for innovation to occur, but providing soft landings should they be needed.
Which brings me to creativity. The brand persona of Lima Bean is very much one of striving for perfection and excellence; every single time. If we do ten jobs, we expect to execute perfectly on all ten. There is no room for error or failure. Our work has to be slick, spotless and right; every single time.
How does creativity fit into this? With some difficulty. Creativity, by its definition, requires trying things that have not been tried before; things that are entirely new or a variation of the existing. And in the act of doing so, you end up with either failure or magic. Creativity is not always polished, not always perfect. It cannot be. When pushing the boundaries, mistakes will happen.
So back to the question of how do we let our creative team offer true innovation and creativity to our clients? The answer is by intersecting an “innovation arm” with the mothership; and The Yard is born.
Why the name, it’s mission and what it aims to offer, Lou has written about here.