As 2023 draws to a close, I find myself reflecting on the extraordinary journey we've experienced at Ecrubox. This year has been a blend of innovation, recognition, and valuable learning, highlighting the resilience and creativity we seek and achieve within this agency’s DNA. Success can so easily be measured by financial means but alongside those, we will remember the gains we made as a unit, as a collective. Good people, always extra.

It’s been a year that kicked at many in this industry and as an employer of people, we’re proud to be comfortable and secure as we approach the seasonal break. That week of rest is very soon near!

Spring: Embracing Digital Innovation in Fashion

The year began with what felt like 'catching up' in the fashion industry towards digitalisation and sustainability. A pivot we’ve preached for some time, it was refreshing to hear it now in new client briefs, not just our responses. At Ecrubox, we adapted our strategies to encompass ‘green’ as a given, focusing on how to prove USP in a world that’s ever more blending. During this period, we were inspired by David Packard's insightful observation: "Marketing is too important to be left to the marketing department.” There is a necessary, holistic approach required in our work. The human element and the deep-dive, deep-data investments we make ahead of deploying on behalf of our portfolio drive as much success as the image or bid. Digital marketing is as much an act of empathy as it is fit. We echo the realisation the fashion tables have taken in this way.

Summer: Celebrating Technological Achievements and Team Growth

Summer was a season of proof for us. Last year we introduced invented methods to the marketing mix, which our clients will be familiar with as “The Coyote” and “The Soul of the Brand”. 2023 saw the results of those philosophies play out and clients opening more doors to our work on ecommerce strategy beyond tech and clicks as a result. Internally we made changes, going forward with one leader and putting a pedestal under a number of women here who are now driving our company rather than serving it within. The summer also saw our Female Founders events getting more popular and the roster of brands we work with expanding via similar shapes of wise start-ups in multiple sectors and hugely ambitious new names on the runway.

Autumn: Acknowledging Leadership and Client Relations

Autumn brought further cause for celebration. Heather, our agency leader, received well-deserved recognition for her remarkable work in investment and entrepreneurship. Her leadership has been a guiding force in our journey, propelling Ecrubox to be what she always sought, an authentic partner for brands, rather than an add-on. We continued those successful partnerships with major clients, retaining their strategic and management directives into next year. This period also taught us valuable lessons about client relationships in general. We learned to measure 'best fit' more effectively, leading to an amicable separation with one client that wasn't the right match for our vibe, reaffirming that sometimes letting go is a part of growing. Every week we learn more and more from the profiling we do, both of consumer audiences and each other as people. We were thrilled to have our in-house onboarding software, which handles that magic, shortlisted for an innovation award, a recognition that will be officially announced in 2024. There are always bumps but having a tech team in-house, as well as an open innovation roadmap, gives us an incredible opportunity for difference. We continue to host our internal academy on a regular basis and it gets wonderfully weirder month on month. Odd is good.

Year-End: Looking Forward with Optimism and embracing change

As we approach the end of the year, we're proud of what we've achieved at Ecrubox. From technological innovations to leadership recognition and strong client relationships, 2023 has been a year of significant success and well-earned stability. We're excited to carry this foundation into 24, continuing to blend human insight with technological innovation in our marketing strategies and campaigns. Nothing will go entirely to plan. If it does, the campaigns or the tech briefs are too straight or too narrow or lacking ambition. Adapting to change is the ultimate measure of proficiency in this world. We might not always think he’s the brightest of fellows but one of the loudest voices of 23 certainly said it well: "I think it's possible for ordinary people to choose to be extraordinary,” said Elon, and that’s our ethos too. If only he would leave the platforms alone, we might get on quite well.

Wishing colleagues, clients and friends, a very Happy NY.

Alex Sass, Head of Magic, Ecrubox