Larkin Meehan is this summer’s Creative Intern. We asked her to share some of her thoughts on her first few weeks at BrandJuice.
In college, I worked for my school’s newspaper as one of the advertisement designers/managers. All four of the designers sat in a separate room from the rest of the office. I don’t think I could even tell you the names of everyone on the staff. Fortunately, I liked my design team so it wasn’t the end of the world to be stuck in a small room with only three other people twenty hours a week, but it was definitely a bummer that I never got to learn the ins and outs of the rest of the advertisement staff.
So imagine my surprise when I walked up the stairs on the first day to discover that BrandJuice doesn’t have separate rooms–besides, of course, the conference rooms downstairs. Instead, everyone’s desk is laid out on the same floor, providing the perfect environment to ask questions and bounce ideas around.
BrandJuice’s work strategy in general tends to be an open-floor plan. We take advantage of the fact that the company has a lot of smart people all working under one roof. Everyone speaks up and is heard, no matter their job position. The creative process, BrandJuice has found, works best with all hands on deck.
Design is typically the aspect of a project that hangs out behind the scenes. Designers are hidden away in their separate room with their separate task lists, rarely asked to connect with clients directly.
Not at open-floor BrandJuice. Everyone is a part of everything from the very beginning. I’ve sat in on a few company meetings at this point, and it’s still shocking to me how easily people of different job titles jump from one aspect of a project’s development to the next. The designers provide insight in terms of brand strategy, sales and client interaction, and the strategists offer their perspectives and unique insights when it comes to packaging and color choice.
The clients that we work with are doing such interesting things with such high levels of excitement, that you can’t help but want to be part of the project as a whole; you want to be 100% invested. BrandJuice sees new projects as a whole, as opposed to a breakdown of parts. Everything, from product innovation to website development to core brand strategies, is related and unfolds in an order unique to the project itself. There’s no hiding a key portion of the project’s development in a back room somewhere. Everything is laid out in the open, and everyone is expected to pitch in at all stages of the process.
In less than a month, I’ve learned more about business strategy and project development than I did in all four years at college. I’m a pretty big fan of the open-floor plan. (And cheesy closing lines, apparently.)