Hub member Dan Godkin is the founder of creative specialist agency United Yeah. Read on as he shares his journey as a founder and how his own business identity has evolved as well as the identities of his clients.
The origins of United Yeah
In 2006, I started a brand design agency called The Creative Co. that ran for 12 years.
Around 5 years ago, I realised that the type of work we were doing and what we wanted to be doing was starting to differ – we knew we wanted to be a different kind of agency.
We had a lot of clients doing generalist pieces of work, starting from brand strategy through brand creation, developing ideas, but then we’d lose a client because that type of work had finished, and we would also see a lot of our ideas not come to life.
Moving away from the traditional model
The way that the ad agency models work is a very traditional approach. In 2014, we decided to craft a new offering which then became a new agency: United Yeah.
Now we’re more tailored around brand being at the core of everything we’re doing, and we’re focused on bigger ideas to solve brand problems.
We really wanted to find a way of making branding work purposeful and meaningful to us by creating things rather than running an agency and spending energy trying to find billable hours.
The whole offer was about really wanting to craft something where we worked in partnership and directly with clients, as opposed to going through the account services approach, where there’s a hierarchy of creative director, account manager, client.
Working towards collaborative goals
At United Yeah, we form teams that work on a project with a client.
We’ve crafted that model to get it to a point where what we’re really trying to do is get to a partnership where we get that feeling in your stomach that tells you “Yeah, we’ve done it. We’ve achieved it.”
We really want to collaborate, and unite, and deliver
on a goal or a purpose.
That’s how we became United Yeah. We wanted our name to be optimistic, friendly, and move away from The Creative Co., which didn’t really show that personality or what we’re about.
A big part of what we’re about is trying to create quality change. Our purpose is helping people do that.
A space to fit the United Yeah brand
For us, it forced us to have a look around what we were doing – we’re a boutique agency with a small team, so the idea of having a big space that wasn’t overly utilised and meant running all the expenses and everything ourselves.
We loved the idea of coming into one space that shared their resources, a vehicle that was good for people and good for the planet. That’s a big part of what we’re about, and Hub Hyde Park’s product aligned with a lot of those decisions.
We’ve moved to sharing a printer, shared facilities for water waste and electricity – everything gets shared, a whole community philosophy is aligned to what we’re about.
We’re a boutique agency, so being a place where we can collaborate and meet lots of people was more in line with who we were compared to having our own space.