Today is our tenth anniversary in the business of creative services. That’s 3,650 days and over 2.5 million collective working hours of success, of mistakes, and of dedication to our craft. Though assumption is the killer of big ideas, we’re confident that we’ve learned a few things—and that others might benefit from our experiences.
We have a purpose here at Butchershop, which is to perfect the art of creative services. It’s vital to our mission of helping leaders turn big ideas into brands people love. From small startups to publicly traded Fortune 500 companies. Their problems might look different, but generally branding is about trajectory, growth, evolution, ideation, innovation, and/or launch. It might seem overly simple, but that’s what we try to do every day: take the complex and make it simple. And as we say, simple is hard!
We debated whether or not to publish this manual. It was intended for our crew, new employees, and creative partners, and we wondered if it was too revealing. It was never intended to be public. It’s not entirely novel, either. But in our ten years, we’ve learned the value of sharing and the hard-won rewards of betting on ourselves.
When we set out last year to define who we are, what we do, who we do it for, and how we do it, we were forced to question everything and put it down on paper. Most people are deathly afraid of this process. We were hungry for it.
Recently, I led a brand workshop with a company whose leadership we hadn’t vetted properly. I noticed one of the cofounders rolling his eyes. He snapped: “So what are your values, mission, and vision?” Without pause, I recited them. Then other members of the Butchershop team chimed in, reciting other components. For the first time, he saw power in culture—in making a team of individuals.
It isn’t shocking that most of our clients lack clarity and alignment; most of their problems are symptomatic of larger issues around leadership, brand, culture, data, and insights. So it makes sense that if we have dozens of conversations a month on these topics, we need to have our own point of view.
This manual was our way of articulating this. And it deepens our belief that while strategy is essential, without culture there is no community to support it, execute it, contribute to it, or celebrate its success. What’s more, we’ve found no better sustaining force than culture for clarity, efficiency, inspiration, even employee happiness—all of which are essential for producing great work and succeeding as a company today.
Helping people is our ethos. So after ten years, the most fitting thing we can do is share something intimate and personal that hopefully helps you on your journey. This manual is just our experience. Please share it. Think about it. Offer your comments. Steal it. Plagiarize it. Make a version of your own. And if you can’t, then maybe we can help. It’s what we do.
Download the “Butchershop Manual,” created by the Butchershop Crew, ten years in the making.