Brave Creative, Defined

When you walk into Savage HQ, one of the first things you’ll notice are the words ‘Brave Creative’ graffiti’d on our wall. By ‘Savage HQ,’ we mean where twelve of us gather Monday through Friday, toting our caffeinated beverages of choice, to do what we do best; and by ‘graffiti’d,’ we mean a floor-to-ceiling decal inspired by Milwaukee’s beloved cream city brick.

‘Brave Creative’ is literally behind everything we do (see photo), which means we’d better know what we’re talking about.

So, what do we mean by ‘Brave Creative,’ exactly?

We broke it down into five key components. ‘Brave Creative’ means…

1. Being Honest with Ourselves and our Clients.

We all need to know what we’re up against. That’s why we hold Discovery Meetings. Not only do we want to get to know our potential clients; we believe it’s essential to clearly communicate expectations – theirs and ours – right off the bat. If we’re excited about a project, our clients will know, and on the flipside, if we know we’re not right for a particular project, well, that’s when we’re tasked with…

2. Saying “No.”

We’ve had over a decade to learn how to spot the difference between clients who are right for us, and those who aren’t the best fit. And it isn’t personal. In some cases, we may have to say “No” simply because we’re already working on a client that is similar. Saying “No” is never easy, but sometimes it’s necessary in order for us to continually improve and build brands we love. Of course, we’re much happier…

3. Saying “Yes.”

Clients we say “yes” to are clients whose goals align with ours. They want to create an unforgettable brand. They want to build or grow their platform. They want to do something that’s utterly different than what’s already out there or what’s been done before, and they’re willing to venture into exciting, uncharted territory to make it happen. This is the kind of work we love, because it means…

4. Challenging Ourselves and our Clients.

We dismiss the status quo, and encourage our clients to do so, too. We launch an in-depth investigation that includes diving into and learning everything we can about an industry we may know nothing about. We ask a lot of questions, including the one we always ask ourselves: How can we make the most positive impact? Building brands from the ground up is no easy feat, which is why it’s so vital that we’re always…

5. Keeping our Eyes on the Target.

We’d be lying if we said we didn’t know there are a lot of talented agencies out there – a fair share of them in our neck of the ward, even. Of course, we do our comparative research, but instead of concerning ourselves with what others are doing, we remain hyper-focused on building our own clients’ brands and creating an exceptional experience for their customers.

How do we ensure everyone, from creatives to account executives, at our mid-sized (but mighty) agency lives by the principles of ‘Brave Creative?’ It starts with leadership.

Says Owner + President, Cory Savage: “Whether we’re partnering with existing businesses looking to realign how their brand is expressed, or new businesses who want to create the ultimate brand experience, we challenge our clients to think beyond the obvious and build something truly special.”

So, why the words ‘Brave Creative?’

Well, in our industry, everyone’s watching. And everyone’s a critic. We know that whatever it is we create – a website, a logo, product packaging, a campaign, a music video to one of Tracy’s 80’s songs – will be critiqued.

Working in the creative sphere isn’t for the faint of heart, because at Savage, we put our whole hearts into everything we do. To quote the artist Henri Matisse, “Creativity takes courage.”

Good thing we’ve got a lot of it.