Every year we hold a 3-day company “summit” off site at our family lake house. While we have several important items on the official agenda (besides tubing and eating fresh Maryland crab!), one exercise really stood out to me this past get together. We took pause from our work and asked the following question:
Who is Idea Planet?
In other words, what kind of company are we? What business are we in? What do we do? These may seem like simple questions, but in actuality, they’re not. When you claim to “bring ideas to reality” that sandbox is pretty big. Which makes it hard for our employees (I’m not a fan of that word – it’s so impersonal) to describe and for our potential customers to understand. Therefore, it makes the perfect blog topic! So let’s begin with how our folks (a much nicer term) answered this question – Here’s a sampling of what they said:
“We’re a cool company that does gaming, technology, production, entertainment & marketing”
“We bring in-game items to life, create innovative kids meal toys and bring other companies’ stories to reality, from concept to actualization”
“IP is like the Swiss army knife of the marketing & innovation world”
“We are in the business of ‘wow’ and bringing that ‘wow’ to our clients”
“We make cool shit. We are in the activation business. We put life into things!”
“IP is in the business of fun”
“We are a marketing production agency that designs & produces both kids meal toys and collectibles for video games”
“We are a diverse group of innovators & inventors”
“We can change lives of Kids and Families”
“We deliver goods, insights, ideas, consultation”
“IP is an idea and critical thinking company”
Surprised? I sure as heck was! We got many different answers – but the interesting thing is that they’re all correct. Allow me to elaborate. Technically, yes, we make things. Amazing things, in fact. But Idea Planet is not just a crank-it-out-with-high-quality-on-time-and-on-budget manufacturer. We come from a different place – a unique mindset – in which we immerse ourselves into the hearts of our target audience. Whether that audience is kids under 10, Costco shoppers or Call of Duty hard-core gamers, we garner insights into their thinking, their passion, their inspiration, their goals, their pet peeves – you name it. Rooted in this deep, empathic understanding of our audience, we brainstorm creative ways to connect with them from their point of view.
If you think about it, our name, Idea Planet, embodies this approach. What can we do that’s never been done before? How can we make this artifact seem more real? In other words, how do we take something that lives in a movie or video game – that is technically not possible in real life – and make it real? Exactly like it appeared right out of the game? How can this experience “wow” our customers and make a difference?
We got a lot of diverse answers for who Idea Planet is, so we asked the team another thought-provoking question:
What is our mindset?
How do we think? What are our key personality traits, as a company, that make us good at what we do? My perspective as a leader of our organization is one thing, but I wanted to know what our front line team members thought. They live and breathe Idea Planet and are responsible for delivering on our promises. Again, let me share with you their some of their responses:
“We do what we have to do to get the job done”
“We are solutions-minded & curious – we innovate”
“We think ahead but work in the now”
“Each of us is invested in the projects we work on which reflects our quality of work”
“High quality standards – we don’t accept mediocrity in our products or employees”
“Bring it – we’ll get it done”
“We are a melting pot & each person is given the freedom to express themselves & their thoughts/ideas”
“Everyone contributes to the process which is why our ending result turns out spectacular”
“We think to develop the stories of our clients in an engaging way, which their customers, in turn, will desire”
“We are nimble, creative, transparent & hard working”
“Collaborative, innovative, creative”
Ok, I have to admit, at this point, I had a moment. What a wonderful unfolding of the Idea Planet mindset – again, really more of our approach to doing business and why clients return to us for project number two (and three😄). We did ask one more question, a very important one.
Why should potential customers choose Idea Planet?
I wish I could post the entire list of answers here – it’s a marketer’s dream! Suffice it to say that the summit turned into a bit of a rally for the company! We definitely got everyone pumped up! Here are a few of my personal favorites:
“With offices in both US & China, we can react real time”
“We’ve learned a lot from every single project and have come up with improved, better designs”
“Attention to detail, every detail”
“Our quality and safety standards set us above the competition”
“We do this as a career and not a Hobby”
“We don’t just look to do a good job, we do the BEST job”
“Our ‘hands on’ style”
“We offer excess in client communication – we are very transparent”
“We care – we’re not just in it for the bottom line”
“Constantly evaluating & reviewing processes & procedures to make it better”
“We put ourselves in the clients’ shoes and go above & beyond to provide solutions to problems they may have”
“We have history to prove our wide range of abilities”
“We’re damn good at what we do!”
I’ll stop here. It’s not my intention to make this blog a brag fest, although I concede it has somewhat turned into that. The real reason for this topic is simply for you to get to know us better. Idea Planet does not have a ginormous advertising budget. We don’t spend tons of money to buy a booth at Comic-Con. So it can be hard to find us and really understand who we are, or more importantly, why we are!
I could have pulled out the corporate “elevator pitch”, but isn’t it far better to learn about Idea Planet from our very own people?
You can go to our website and see our range of clients and the scope of our work. Hopefully, you’ll also recognize the unsurpassed quality of that work. But what you may not get is a true sense for who we are. Not so much who we are as a company but who we are as individual contributors.
You’ve likely heard this before, but in a service business, such as ours, people make all the difference in the world. They are our most important resource. They literally make it happen. They create schedules and manage budgets. They build creative files and track shipments. They solve problems. They set the standards for quality. They keep sight of the big picture while wrangling all the details.
Our people. They are the answer to "Who is Idea Planet?"
While you might not ever meet each one of us, I’m optimistic you now have a feeling for our collective pride in our work – our collaborative, transparent nature, our innovative, creative spirit and our relentless, can-do attitude. You read it here, straight from the horse’s mouth – no rehearsed new business team speech. I will add that our people are smart, experienced, diligent, ambitious – and fun. I’m very proud of them all. We love what we do, and that makes for a group of passionate people who enjoy the Journey.
Thanks for sticking with me and making it to the end of this blog.