Origins are key to any powerful storytelling.
We can’t have Spider-Man without knowing about Uncle Ben, or a Tyrion Lannister without knowing how he was treated as a child; these histories make the present all the richer. The same is true for The Four. Our origin is essential to our present and guides our actions even now, 4 years later.
So, how exactly did we begin?
Well, it was not as simple as receiving a letter to prestigious wizarding school. Long before we were The Four, we were just a community of creatives, each of us working as writers, developers, designers, and everything in between. However, we all came across the same problem: a disconnect between marketing and identity (i.e. bad storytelling).
To us, every business had a great story that could be told in an unlimited number of ways, so why were so many failing to tell it and how should it be done?
What was keeping websites from having compelling marketing?
We focused on what gives a return on investment (ROI) based upon creative and valuable content, but at the same time communicates a brand's authority through a emotions.
The quest to answer questions like these bound us together and would eventually compel us to create The Four. We explored this question to challenge ourselves, share ideas, and to become the best at design as a communication.
In the months before the agency’s formation we talked a lot over basecamp, sent emails, shared examples of work we loved or hated, and began what would be one of the best brainstorming sessions of our careers.
Somewhere in a storm of whiteboard ink and blue post-it notes, we created three fundamental values needed to make a company's story great:
Design, Measurement, and Character.
And for those long-time fans, these values are now familiar. Each is now applied to our four services, but more about that later.
We see design, measurement, and character as essential to creating a compelling and engaging story for a company, no matter how the story was told (app, webpage, brand, product, etc.).
We call it The Relationship Triangle. Using The Relationship Triangle leads to a successful business partnership that provides balance to the services/ ROI model that we use.
Design was needed to create a delightful app, webpage, book cover, or other product and to make people effective.
Measurements were needed to judge success, identify pain points, execute on trends, and make intelligent decisions.
Character is essentially the nostalgia that makes marketing feel familiar and speak to a precisely targeted audience.
With the creation of these fundamental principles we realized that we could fix a problem, the missing link between all one’s marketing channels (social, web, ads, and content).
Thus The Four Design began.
It’s amazing to look back and to see how we started and where it has led us. We began with one promising client, a small team of creatives, and the passion for solving a problem. Today we have helped 50+ companies develop their stories beyond simple marketing.
What makes us different is the tying together of all marketing and branding needs into one place. Today brands aren’t simply advertised, it takes all channels firing to truly make a difference. No longer can you just have a website and receive traffic...
You must pay for traffic
You must create intriguing and valuable content for your audience
This is what brought us together, we address both.
To commemorate our humble origins, ambitious future, and everyone that helped us along the way, we are planning a massive give-back celebrating all things The Four Design has learned along the way.
Look for new blogs, case studies, design guides, and much much more.
Hope you enjoy the show and thanks for being a part of The Four Design.