Business Visit to Flamingo by Avery Chih-Ying Liao of MSc Brand Leadership


Background of FlamingoAfter a business trip to a lovely town at Brand Learning in a warm atmosphere, we visited Flamingo in London which situated in a very modern-style business building. The atmosphere came dramatically different between Brand Learning and Flamingo not only by the layout or surroundings of the office but also by the feelings from the employees. Flamingo is a global insight and brand consultancy which now has seven offices around the world and specializes in marketing research with quantitative and qualitative methods. With its outstanding performance, Flamingo London has just won a prize as best agency and best place to work at this year’s MRS Awards.

Avery on a recent trip to Wolff Olins
Avery on a recent trip to Wolff Olins

We learned: different concept, different statement, but all about people.

In the beginning of the visit, Flamingo showed us its core concept as caring about “people, culture and brands” the most as the big idea to be different from other brand agencies. Thus, Flamingo concentrated on the connection between brand and people by the influencing factors of culture, values, consumer behaviors and needs. To get to know the secret of people’s mind, Flamingo has created a very cozy environment to make interviewees feel as comfortable as at home and sometimes Flamingo even goes into people’s life in order to understand them. This explains the office layout for the employees at Flamingo that they do not have their permanent office cubicles because they have to travel a lot to different countries for interviewing or experiencing culture differences. Flamingo stated that to have employees with global perspective and understanding for various cultures are important as their skills to manage their projects. The working area of Flamingo is modern constructed but with an easy-going atmosphere in a comfortable way. The kitchen and the open space are for employees to relax for a short break or simply just to talk to each other for inspirations.

Something extra: digital world in the future. 

At the end of the visit, we had a great discussion about the recent event called “Ice Bucket Challenge”. This event started to become popular and worldwide through celebrities and their share on social media. This event was mostly considered to be a huge success in raising money and the awareness to the public. However, more controversial issues were being raised afterwards such as the effect of the celebrities, the true meaning of the event, the sustainability of the influence by social media, and the quality. Those issues were argued in a good way to understand the pros and cons of this event. We can only concluded for sure that people nowadays are more comfortable of filming themselves and humans are much more addicted to social media. With the rapid innovation of technology, digital product has made social media even more inevitable in our daily life. People at Flamingo stressed that “digital” is transforming virtually in every business, thus it will influence consumers and their clients in a new perspective way. Brands should look at things through digital lens and reflect on their actions to talk digitally to people. In conclusion, I have learned more about the ways that marketing research can be done differently and interestingly with a group of intelligent people in branding through this visit to Flamingo. I am very grateful that we can have this chance to see how the communication works with people through marketing research approach and experience the unique culture inside of Flamingo!

The brand leaders class of 2014-15, outside FITCH on a recent study visit
The brand leaders class of 2014-15, outside FITCH on a recent study visit

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