There was no masterplan when we started. No market analysis that informed our strategy or business model. Just an idea that was taking shape in our heads.
Vaguely at first.
Such ideas are easy to ignore. Because usually there are safer options. Or easier ones. But sometimes an idea becomes so clear and dominant that suddenly it’s all you can think about. And you just can’t ignore it anymore.
For us, that moment came in late 2017.
Having worked in the area of digital transformation, first as business consultants and later as agency executives, we found that very often it’s not a lack of ideas that keeps progress from happening. Or a lack of strategic advice. It’s a lack of collaboration and discourse. We knew there had to be a different, a better way.
The best solutions aren’t made in silos.
Consultancies and business strategists are great at processes and management. But they don’t necessarily stand out for thinking out of the box and making stuff happen fast.
Agencies and creative studios on the other hand thrive on ideas. But they often lack the rigor to turn them into long-term business solutions.
Unfortunately those two usually talk to different people on the client side. And too often they don’t talk to each other. Which leads to siloed approaches and insular solutions. Our aim was to bridge that gap between linear and lateral thinking, between logic and magic.
We envisioned a place where we would gather a multidisciplinary group of thinkers and makers, collaborating in small, effective teams to help our clients solve their most pressing problems. People from the fields of strategy consulting, design, advertising, branding and technology, working together with the client teams — not just for them.
So in early 2018 we turned our vision into reality and founded BEJOND. Not in a garage, but in a kitchen. And instead of a clear plan we had a set of shared values and beliefs that we cared deeply about and that form the foundation of BEJOND until today.
Guts and commitment
Since we’ve been working together at a boutique strategy consultancy years ago, we’ve built a personal relationship that’s based on integrity and honesty. We are not afraid to disagree. We often do. Among ourselves and with our clients.
But what others would consider difficult, is our greatest strength. Because at the end, what brings us together is our uncompromised commitment to fight for the best possible solution. No matter what.
That’s why we don’t employ yes-sayers but people who have the guts to speak out — for the purpose of creating brands, products and services that actually matter. We foster a culture of creative and intellectual discourse. Because it leads to exceptional results and positive change. And it’s more fun as well.
We approach each project with an open mind and by questioning everything. For our clients that means we will be challenging, sometimes even uncomfortable. But we won’t leave before the job is done. In fact, we’d like to stay and do the next one. It’s that type of commitment that we believe builds to long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with the people we work with — as partners, employees and clients.
Vision needs craftsmanship
From the very beginning we knew we wanted to make things happen — not just theorize about them. Informed strategic vision, paired with brave creative thinking leads to novel solutions. But functional experience and proper craftsmanship bring them to life.
We put a lot of effort into studying and fully understanding the problem at hand from any possible angle — first and foremost the user’s perspective — before we begin to design a solution. Because we firmly believe that doing the right thing starts with thinking. But: strategy without execution is meaningless.
That’s why we’ll bring in senior experts from any required field to the table from the beginning on. In all our previous roles we were lucky to work with some amazing people from multiple disciplines. Often, they got involved too late, too short or too little. Some of them we brought to BEJOND. Others we’ve formed close partnerships with. So if we can’t do the job ourselves, we’ll partner with leading specialists from our network. Or yours. Because at the end of the day, it’s the result that matters — not the egos.
Prototypes trump Powerpoint
We try to avoid long-winding decks and having hour-long meetings where possible. Those are part of the world where we come from. At some point, we even felt that charts and graphs were everything we produce. But often, it’s not the most effective way to move forward. We wanted to establish a more open-ended, hands-on approach to problem solving.
That’s why at BEJOND we favor small, multidisciplinary teams that get stuff done fast. The released time and energy we rather invest in actual product development and design. In most cases that saves a lot of budget, motivation and space in everyone‘s trash folders. And again: it’s more fun, too.
However, there are times when you don’t get around the obligatory slide presentation. In those cases we’ll keep it sound and concise. Promise.
Founded for those who dare to go BEJOND
Sure, we had our doubts. But we’re happy we dared. Since our humble beginnings in January 2018, we’ve moved out of Jenny’s kitchen into our own spaces in Düsseldorf. We’ve opened a second studio in Hamburg. Stockholm will follow soon. We’ve almost doubled our revenue and build some truly remarkable brands, products and services for some truly remarkable organizations like CHRIST, Huawei, thyssenkrupp, Sparkasse, paydirekt and Cygnus. For example.
At BEJOND, we’ve brought together different minds from different disciplines that believe in the power of discourse. Sometimes, that drives us crazy. But most of the time it makes us proud. It’s been worth it. Thanks.
Jenny & Tim
proud founders of BEJOND — a creative consulting firm