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Thinking without borders

Joost Renson
Founder & CEO
Plant a Flag Brussels, Belgium
Last September we set out for Vancouver, Canada, on a mission to explore the possibilities of expanding our business with an office on the other side of the globe. I know it might be hard to understand why a marketing agency based in Brussels is looking to venture out into Canada, of all places. Especially because we’re so focussed on empowering local SME’s and organisations. But bear with me, you will learn that we have good reasons to do so.

First off, I must admit that it has always been a personal dream of mine to expand Plant a Flag across borders one day. Not only because I see myself as a global citizen—and by extension consider Plant a Flag to be a global company—but also because I firmly believe that one must 'think without borders' in order to achieve local impact .

Besides all that, this decision also makes a ton of sense from a business point-of-view. Let’s dive into just some of the reasons why.

Becoming one of the best marketing agencies requires a unique way of thinking. Being part of a global community helps us to become better marketeers. It opens up our senses and it helps us to understand markets and human behavior, as it induces diversity. A topic we will elaborate on in one of our following posts.

As a creative agency, we feel an obligation to give our creatives the possibility to develop themselves as best they can.

We believe it’s a great way to attract talented young creatives. One of the main goals of Plant a Flag is building a strong team in order to better service our customers, so finding the best people for the job is essential. We want to be a top employer for young talent, and we believe that providing our employees a global professional experience is a major asset in achieving this goal.

Working in a global context provides unique advantages. One of the most interesting things of moving to another part of the world and meeting local people and businesses is that they often introduce us to a new point of view, an interesting new way of looking at things. We consider these encounters to be incredibly valuable, as they teach us new ways to overcome problems and challenges.

Pieter Van Leuven & I in a meetup with the Brussels team while visiting Vancouver.
Pieter Van Leuven & I in a meetup with the Brussels team while visiting Vancouver.

The time difference allows us to create a global team that can function virtually all day. We’ve been laying down the groundwork for this over the past year, and are now fully organized in a way that allows us to work with remote teams and people all around the world. In order to be able to work this way as a marketing agency, we have made transparency a core value at Plant a Flag.

Having teams on one continent pick up where teams on the other continent have left off allows us to get projects done quicker, which will strengthen our clients. It helps us to enforce our clients in their fight against the corporates in this world. Because speed is one of the most important assets when enrolling a new strategy.

Finally, we believe Vancouver is the perfect place for our first overseas adventure. Being consistently ranked in the top 3 cities that provide the highest quality of living. It has great food, a diverse pool of creative talent, a thriving SME-culture, amazing outdoor life, and a climate that’s pretty similar to that of Belgium.

We firmly believe that providing a working experience across continents and cultures will give our team the edge over their peers—and by extension will allow us to help our clients make a bigger local impact.

Our focus remains to become one of the best creative agencies in this world for SME and Social profit. It’s going to be an adventure.

More small businesses could benefit from thinking without borders. Marketing based on values and principles helps organisations to become future proof. Want to know how we could help ? We are always up for a free brainstorm. Drop me an email at joost.renson@plantaflag.com. Always eager to talk and grow.

Cover illustration by the extremely talented Ann-Sophie De Steur.  We’re always on the lookout for talented illustrators to brighten up our Labs articles. Just get in touch if you'd like to contribute!