When we opened egg in 2002, a purpose-centered focus was our reason to be, but we also wanted to improve on parts of the agency model that seemed outdated and inefficient, like large teams, high overhead, high turnover, and low morale. For example, economies of scale for the benefit of the agency’s bottom line seemed to compromise the quality and focus of the work, and inhibit client flexibility.
So we blew up the classic agency model and re-imagined it, with everything from flexible, right-size-and-fit teams, to virtual digital work groups with flextime schedules.
And that’s just getting started.
From extending our brand and food experience into product development for new foods designed for the conscious foodie, to leading the way as a founding B Corporation member, establishing a new standard for the corporate charter, egg is constantly restless about what defines us in the realm of marketing, and more importantly, what doesn’t.
To begin with, we’re not just an ad agency or a design firm. egg focuses on brands as foundational to everything else, and we use all kinds of communications tools to build brands — those imagined, and those as yet unimagined. From apps to chocolate bars, installations to parties, and websites to ad campaigns, we direct our strategic brand planning process to create brand experiences across the media channels and applications that best serve the business challenge. And because we’re structured to be idea-centric instead of media-centric, the best ideas more easily rise to the top, and can then be integrated into digital, social, and traditional channels.
Rethink the structure
Instead of building large billable teams under one roof, we operate in nimble, digital and semi-virtual formats, with senior full-time team members steering account management, strategy and creative from our Vashon Island office, and the rest of our virtual partner contract team working around the clock from Minneapolis and Austin, to New York and San Francisco. Led by egg’s account, strategy and creative directors, each team is entirely unique and designed to fit the brand and client’s exclusive needs. Less overhead means lower costs, and flexible, tailor-made teams mean better work.
Rethink the employee
We’ve found that when you empower the people that work with you, and treat them with a mutual humanistic respect, amazing things happen. We follow a ROWE management model where people are evaluated on performance, not presence. Inspired by mavericks like Ricardo Semler, we eschew all the standard workplace strictures that were created a hundred years ago to keep the factory worker in check, and that have no place in a contemporary creative culture. With a focus on results only, we are cultivating a healthier environment for people to manage all the demands in their lives, including work.
And we offer progressive benefits that range from profit sharing and paid externships, to compensation for mass transit and even fresh produce from our organic garden.
Rethink the office
Let’s start with Vashon Island, a 20-minute foot ferry ride from downtown Seattle. We moved our main office here to disrupt our thinking and expand our creative minds. Challenging convention, we settled into a large comfortable house and studio, in a peaceful pastoral setting on an island replete with artists and organic farms. Following our lure to natural settings, and the creative class out of the stressed urban environment, we experience a completely new energy and vitality around problem-solving and creativity on Vashon. Come visit. You’ll see.
And when the hustle-bustle of the artists and organic farmers on Vashon becomes too much, we work out of a high-desert casita near Santa Fe, surrounded by lizards, coyotes and the occasional rattlesnake. We’re fascinated by Garreau’s “Santa Fe-ing of the World” concept — digital everything allows us to work remotely and live in harmony with nature and ourselves. We spent millions of years evolving in nature; why would we shut ourselves up in fluorescent-lit boxes all day long?