Notepad’s Naeem Alvi-Assinder on model technique and inclusivity


Naeem Alvi-Assinder is the Founder and Managing Director at model technique and design company, Notepad. I chatted with Naeem to search out out extra about Notepad, its ethos, and what he thinks are among the key components for model progress in 2022.

Picture: Naeem Alvi-Assinder

Inform me about Notepad – what was the motivation behind beginning the corporate?

Notepad is a model technique and design company proudly primarily based in Birmingham, England, and operates worldwide.

Having spent most of my profession working in ‘agency-land’ I’d seen first-hand the nice, the unhealthy and the gut-wrenchingly ugly of our business. In 2017, I made a decision sufficient was sufficient and set about constructing a model company which did issues proper by its individuals and its purchasers. An company that tackled points round variety, inclusivity and gender bias head on, whereas making a working tradition which fostered belief, creativity and empowerment.

Breaking it down, the philosophy is fairly easy. By constructing an company that treats individuals properly, we will appeal to good expertise, which in flip results in wonderful work and nice purchasers. 4 years into our journey, we’ve constructed a 50/50 gender cut up group of 15 insanely gifted inventive and strategic minds. And, we work with a complete roster of nice manufacturers like WWF, Glenmorangie and iomart.

What are some key components for model progress in 2022? What differentiates the winners from the losers?

Whereas there may be nonetheless a tonne of purpose-washing in our business, over the previous few years we’ve seen extra demand for manufacturers to behave ethically, and actively display their values of their actions and communications. Most not too long ago, it’s been fascinating to observe greater manufacturers select to actively help efforts and folks in Ukraine while pulling operations out of Russia, and as a development I feel (and hope) we’ll see extra of this aware model behaviour this yr.

I feel we’ll additionally see extra of a blurred line between digital and bodily work. The Covid-19 Pandemic has positively accelerated our adoption of know-how (welcome again QR codes!), and the extra inventive manufacturers are discovering methods to make use of bodily channels to deliver individuals into their digital worlds. The Coinbase advert at The Tremendous Bowl was an amazing instance of this.

What’s been your favorite model marketing campaign from the previous yr and why?

I’ve all the time believed the easiest model campaigns provoke an emotional response, whereas speaking a transparent and genuine message. As an business, I’m undecided why we now suppose “being courageous” is one thing to aspire for, when it used to only be the established order.

With that in thoughts, I actually preferred the latest work by advert company, CPB London, serving to to boost consciousness round gender bias on Worldwide Girls’s Day. Through the use of quick and sharp copy, the marketing campaign unpicks our unconscious gender biases and forces us to suppose. It’s clear, thought-provoking work that sticks with you.


What branding and advertising traits do you see coming to the forefront within the subsequent 12 months?

Whereas it’s nonetheless buggy, troublesome to make use of, unhealthy for the planet and a feeding floor for hackers, blockchain know-how has opened up a tonne of latest alternatives. Whereas there may be nonetheless loads of hype and buzz round issues like NFTs and the metaverse, all of those are simply indicators that we’re shifting in the direction of a world of digital possession and I feel we’ll begin to see increasingly more fascinating purposes of this coming to life in issues like music, movie, gaming and artwork.

Exterior of the metaverse, the final couple of years has proven us all that we additionally all want human contact. I anticipate we’ll see a robust resurgence in manufacturers creating methods to deliver individuals collectively at occasions and bodily experiences.

What’s subsequent for Notepad?

After I began writing the marketing strategy for Notepad I made a listing of every little thing that’s improper with our business, after which tried to discover a method to repair it. Whereas we’re in no way excellent and we nonetheless have an extended method to go, our present large focus is switching from a Restricted firm to a B Company – which means we’ll deal with a triple backside line and legally have to point out how we’re balancing revenue with individuals and the planet.

I do know that most likely sounds fairly excessive and mighty however it shouldn’t. I’ve all the time considered companies as automobiles for change, and as an business which is paid to suppose and act creatively, we’re well-placed to point out the world what nice companies ought to seem like.

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