Thought Leadership

Focus on Edinburgh – Juliet Simpson, Managing Director and Founder of Stripe Communications

Tom Holmes

Founder & Chairman


Following our recent feature City Brand Leaders – Edinburgh, we interviewed a select group of leaders from Edinburgh’s top agencies to help focus on the Edinburgh brand and consider their own agency vision.

Creativebrief Founder & Chairman Tom Holmes talks to Juliet Simpson, Managing Director and founder of Stripe Communications

Juliet Simpson, Stripe Communications

TH: What does the Edinburgh brand stand for?

JS: We’re in the enviable position of living and working in one of the world’s most iconic cities. Whilst steeped in history and heritage, Edinburgh also has a hugely modern, vibrant and cosmopolitan side – it’s a city that constantly changes and one where everyone has a slightly different experience.

TH: How do you think Edinburgh should position itself?

JS: The danger for Edinburgh is that it becomes complacent in an increasingly competitive City marketing landscape. Everyone knows we have beautiful buildings and a rich history, but the city needs to continually reinvent itself to be relevant to new audiences. I’d like to see Edinburgh portrayed in a more inspiring, emotive and contemporary way and moving away from the obvious.

TH: Are the city’s brand values reflected in your own agency culture?

JS: As a relatively new agency we don’t have the history or heritage quite yet, but we do have a youthful, modern and dynamic culture which fits with Edinburgh’s more vibrant side.

TH: Does being based in Edinburgh influence your creative output? If so, how?

JS: It’s difficult not to be influenced by your home town, but for us creative success lies in having an outlook and attitude beyond your home turf. Stripe’s team come from all over the UK, not just Edinburgh, and many of us have worked internationally, which adds to our melting pot of ideas and influences.

TH: What makes your agency offer different?

JS: When we set Stripe up in 2006, we had big ambitions. We set out to change the way people think about PR agencies by doing things differently, thinking strategically and always going above and beyond. With a single minded focus on the consumer, our integrated approach and passion for building standout ideas, creates compelling campaigns that make a real difference to our clients.

TH: Why should clients consider sourcing work from Edinburgh agencies?

JS: The Stripe team is full of incredibly talented and passionate PR people who have worked all over the world and just happen to call Edinburgh home.

For us location isn’t important – 60% of our clients have a UK or international remit. We are never complacent and strive to deliver over and above, for us failure just isn’t an option.

Juliet Simpson, Stripe Communications

TH: What sort of clients do you want to attract?

JS: Our client portfolio spans a range of sectors – FMCG, retail, leisure & tourism, utilities, public sector, social marketing and not-for-profit, but the one thing they all have in common is a ‘Stripey’ mindset – a strong sense of spirit, a challenge to overcome and the passion to make a difference. It’s those kinds of clients that we love getting out of bed for!

TH: What work have you done recently makes you really proud?

JS: We believe you’re only as good as the sum of your parts and so have many reasons to be proud of 2012. We achieved our sixth year of double-digit growth; were awarded the highest PR agency accolade in Scotland, CIPR PRide Outstanding Consultancy; successfully competed against London agencies to win a number of major UK accounts; delivered client campaigns that fuelled the nation’s imagination and grew the team to be the largest consumer agency in Scotland.

Without a doubt one of our proudest years yet.

TH: What Scottish brands do you most admire and why?

JS: There are lots of brands and businesses to get excited about in Scotland, and we’re passionate about helping them to think and act differently in order to achieve their own ambitions – whether that be at home or beyond the border.

TH: What business would you most like to win?

JS: We already have an enviable client list but we get excited about building brands and businesses who are ready to go on a journey and grow and evolve with us – whether that’s at the beginning of their life or at a point where they want to push boundaries and do things a bit differently.

TH: Thanks Juliet.

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