It’s funny, but – until the late 1800’s – the original meaning of opportunist had a positive allusion, meaning a person who takes advantage of opportunities as and when they arise. Around the turn of the 20th century, it came to be associated only with opportunities where the opportunist sacrificed ethics or morals.
At the risk of being cheeky, we like to think of ourselves as opportunists in the classic sense. And to be effective opportunists – to truly recognize opportunities as they arise – demands a global social view tempered by wisdom, which we believe is the combination of experience and expertise. This is what sets Spiralgroup apart.
Having served clients on six continents, our experience has taught us that opportunity comes from all directions every day and takes many forms. Having served a global client base has helped us recognize opportunities such as how to achieve branding success in China, how to effectively launch a UK hit in the US , or how to leverage the clash of cultures to bring a story dramatically to life.
Global cultures are not just geographic. There are hundreds of cultures with unique rules and mores – business cultures, technology cultures, gender-based cultures – that are further individualized within the regions they are located. By understanding the interrelationship and overlays of various global cultures, we have a unique capability to uncover and address multiple kinds of opportunities. There are geographic opportunities, such as helping Rhodia create a brand that uniquely addressed Chinese nationalist pride. There are market opportunities, such as when we disavowed Blinkx of templating their UK market intro in the US and – in fact – convinced them to precisely the opposite in the US. Technology sector opportunities, such repositioning 3PARs network storage as the mechanism that made the cloud work. Even gender-based opportunities such as Gay.com, where our unique understanding of the semiotics related to how men and women communicate helped us make the site the go-to resource for big businesses wanting on-the-fly market research.
Opportunities can also be positive, such as when Apple needed a proof pint for their initial augmented reality product (that our client just happened to make), or negative, such as when we anticipated the App Store may evict our client and we had a pre-packaged response plan that helped them prevail. And they can be serendipitous or even unintended.
The key to seeing opportunities is to think like an opportunist. And at Spiralgroup, we see opportunity all around us.