BRIEF23 brings you insights and inspiration from Shiraz Khan, Founder, Spicetree Design Agency (SDA) – the full-service communications agency focused on branding, communication design and digital solutions that help brands to communicate, engage and grow.
Shiraz writes on invitation and exclusively for our special series BRIEF23, which features industry stalwarts, thought leaders, industry captains, business heads, brand custodians and other C-suite heads from diverse companies across sectors, size and scale, sharing their learnings from 2022, and guidance and inspiration to help empower professionals for the upcoming FY 2023-24.
Shiraz Khan founded SpiceTree Design Agency (SDA), a multi-faceted digital marketing agency, in June 2004. The Mumbai-based company started as a creative agency but, over the years, has evolved into a 360-degree service agency. They offer design, digital marketing solutions, strategies, on-ground events, advertising campaigns, and other brand-building services.
BRIEF23 by Shiraz Khan – Spicetree Design Agency
2022 defined : This trend started last year, and till Covid, one could see that money was the sole driving force. But post-Covid, one major shift happened: people have started to take life more lightly, indulging in activities that kept them happier. So, there has been more emphasis on work-life balance, and as we advance into 2023, I see this trend continuing.
On track, ahead of, or trailing the pack? : SDA is among India’s leading digital marketing agencies and is trusted by clients for its unique, inspiring, and impactful communications delivered through new-age technologies.
We provide various marketing and design services across digital, online, and print media platforms. We offer many services, including website design and development, conceptualizing and designing print artwork, and digital marketing, which involves SMM, SMO, SEO, e-mailers, and retargeting.
SDA started with the vision of deploying a unique mix of creativity and advanced technologies to enhance the brand presence of every client’s business. While we were already registering good growth, the world of marketing and brand communications underwent a major transformation after the pandemic.
There is a greater emphasis on engaging customers through content marketing, and we have accordingly expanded our capabilities and technologies in SEO, SMM, SEM, and various aspects of digital communications. The USP of SDA’s service is the excellent mix of creativity with advanced technologies that helps us consistently create impactful branding campaigns for clients.
Under the hood : From the outset, SDA focuses on understanding the client business, USPs, products, and services and using our creative and technical expertise to help the brands grow.
2022 helped us introduce relevant services and tools from time to time as per need. For instance, now there is a greater focus on effective communication through various formats of creativity (Audio, Video, Animation) and marketing automation, and we are helping our clients with that.
Lessons learnt : We have learned to become more flexible and stride forward confidently on the business and professional levels. Bucking the slowdown trend, SDA managed to expand its domestic presence to Chennai and Bangalore, and we have also entered the US markets. Thus, this year has been great for the company, and we have added Indian and foreign clients and expanded our range of offerings.
Who/What inspired me : My inspiration was and will always be Shahrukh Khan, just because of his journey from what he was to what he is. In totality, this man is a genius. He is intelligent, rational, and extremely charismatic. I don’t really watch his movies, but I don’t miss catching up with his interviews and public interactions.
Looking ahead : India is adapting rapidly to all the global trends; this is where SDA is moving hand in hand with agencies worldwide. Much outsourcing is happening from overseas, which is testimony to the fact that we have a grip on this game.
The market behavior and the buying patterns of markets across cities and countries are different and must be dealt with differently. This is where SDA’s expertise in having a scientific approach helps understand the TG more effectively. We do not try to please the client but always prefer to look at the result.
And here’s how we’ll do it! : Our plans include opening more offices overseas. We have appointed a team of consultants to help us take the franchise route to service more clients. As far as the internal team is concerned, we are looking for varied talents 365 days a year.
Advice: It is imperative to avoid falling prey to clients willing to pay peanuts and expect great results. Many clients still need to spend money on paid promotions but expect magical results. The ones that pay less are the ones that expect the maximum and, therefore, understand and interview the clients thoroughly before onboarding them.
One big learning/realization : Most of the time, you do things as told to you by the world around you, or you are taught things early on, but there are times when your ears go shut to all the noise around you, and you listen to your gut.
2022 was the year of recovery from the pandemic, and everyone around was desperate to cover their losses in a jiffy. However, I didn’t change the pace of what we wanted to achieve, and I felt it helped us to have a firm grounding and didn’t make us desperately make mistakes of a kind that would have harmed our process. So yes, this was unique for us.
The quote or thought that’ll inspire me in 2023 : This one truly belongs to SDA. “Growth for all, Above all.” Nothing can beat this quote to justify that we believe in doing things that only propel growth at all levels and for all stakeholders.