How often do you find a designer that started in the weird and wonderful world of pro wrestling?
A successful professional wrestler or company is successful precisely because they are good at marketing their brand. They know how to craft a powerful brand that the audience can identify with and they know how to change perceptions at the ring of a bell. From print campaigns to social media management and public perception to brand development, this is where Southpaw began - in a place where success is based on your ability to market your brand. Our work in wrestling has given us a unique insight that no agency could possess.
So...professional wrestling, huh?
You betcha! The world of British Wrestling is full of interesting and colourful characters, called gimmicks (which, really, are just brands). From day one, the lesson that gets drilled into your head is that "the show must go on". Injured? Tough, you'll have to work around it. Your opponent gone off script? You'll have to try and get it back on track.
In wrestling, you have to work to a particular script, act true to your gimmick, ensure you don't tarnish the gimmick of your opponent nor the company brand, and keep to a time limit. All whilst being repeatedly punched in the face, dropped on your head, and surrounded by 800+ screaming fans. It's not as easy as it looks. But it is as fun. Trust us, we've experienced it first hand.
When we moved out of the wrestling industry, we found the skills we had learned to be extremely transferrable. Coming from a background where building your brand was the key to everything you did, brand management for clients was just second nature. For ten years we had amassed all the skills necessary to build our own marketing company; this, coupled with a passion for design, created perhaps the most unorthodox entry into the design sector.
And, sometimes, unorthodox is exactly what you need.
Working from the inside for just under a decade we learned that wrestling, at its core, is marketing. What we took away is a rounded skill set that has allowed us to provide a service for clients that challenges the old, traditional view of things. It allows Southpaw to develop and evolve brands in a way that most agencies wouldn't consider, whilst ensuring that we protect the core values and principles of the brand.
Branding isn't just a logo; branding is the way that you portray yourself in the public eye; it is the way that you are represented across all media. Branding is about ensuring that when someone sees any aspect of your company, your core values are accurately displayed so that there is no mistaking what your values are.