Brand responses

Does the creative sector need to hit reset?

With the creative industries experiencing seismic change, Stuffs founder Sophie Amono, Reset Sessions co-director Hanisha Kotecha, and creative activist Dan Burgess come together to discuss where brands, agencies and creatives can go from here

The last few months have caused society, and by extension the creative sector, to be put under the microscope. The year began with the outbreak of Covid-19, which led to a pandemic that has turned the world upside down. More recently, the Black Lives Matter movement has gained global traction following the police killing of George Floyd in Minnesota. This has seen brands and organisations infiltrating the discourse around the movement with messages of solidarity, prompting public backlash and “raising the issue of intentionality”, as Leonie Annor-Owiredu wrote for CR.

The role of brands and agencies in society have come under close scrutiny as a result. These events have exposed the weakest points of the creatives industries, in particular the way creatives are ignored, mistreated or starved of support – whether falling through the gaps in Covid-19 financial support schemes, or organisations’ discriminatory recruitment and subsequent treatment of staff.

A recent virtual panel held by BIMA Beat brought together figures from across the creative landscape to discuss whether the industries can use this disruption to the status quo as as an opportunity to reset. “We’re in this crazy time and actually what’s going on right now is businesses are floundering, they’re not sure how to cope with change,” says Hanisha Kotecha, co-director of Reset Sessions, a pop-up brand consultancy that she recently launched with Nicolas Roope to help brands adapt in the face of a crisis.

In the panel, Kotecha spoke of the need “to reset from a leadership team’s point of view, and to really think about how you can come back in a much more positive way than when you left,” she says. “We’re all a bit different now compared to how we were in January – we care about different things, and taking that on board it’s only right that your brand and your culture have time to adapt to suit those needs.”

So many leaders have just been stuck in a rut and done things the same old way. People don’t move very quickly when they’re comfortable