We Launched A New Business During The Pandemic. Here’s Why–And How You Can Too

When we opened the doors to our agency, INVNT, at the height of the 2008 recession many thought we were crazy. Launching a business during uncertain times is one thing, but the fact that we were doing so in a sector where budgets are typically one of the first to be cut back was a whole other.

Twelve years later and we grew INVNT into an award-winning global agency with eight offices in five countries, and a team of more than 100 of the industry’s most talented people to boot.

But, we felt there was more to be done.  

So, we launched [INVNT GROUP] in June 2020, a portfolio of complementary disciplines that serve clients at every and any stage of the storytelling cycle. There’s brand strategy firm, Folk Hero, branded content studio, HEVĒ, creative-led culture consultancy, Meaning, and global live brand storytelling agency, INVNT, our most established and profitable business.

But why launch a new business now?

Over the last few years, more and more clients have been coming to us not only for their live physical and virtual event needs, they are seeking us out for integrated campaign solutions, content focused work, consultative services around employee engagement, and pure brand strategy support.

We’d subsequently been developing the strategy and positioning for [INVNT GROUP] over the last two years. When the world experienced the outbreak of COVID-19, instead of placing a firm halt on the project like many might have done, we continued to move forward.

Not only because we’re passionate about challenging the status quo; as soon as the pandemic hit, we encouraged clients not to go quiet on their audiences, but live and breathe their purpose and support them at a time when they need them more than ever. We chose to live and breathe our purpose, too, by expanding our offering and helping our clients help theirs.

Furthermore, with INVNT’s specialty being live physical events, we needed to pivot, and pivot fast. With the expertise of the GROUP’s complementary brands, we’ve been able to do so in creative and compelling ways. On many fronts, COVID-19 accelerated the launch.

Why this? What makes it different?

In addition to the above, we’ve found clients want fewer layers, fewer gaps, and to spend less time on those confusing inter-agency structures often found at larger holding companies.

As an independent company, we offer a solution to those bugbears with our smaller, multi-disciplinary teams of specialists. The brands operate on their own – each is a challenger in its own respective industry, and highly potent storytelling underlies what they all do – and we also share resources when its right to do so. There’s one P&L, so we cluster services around the needs of clients, working as an integrated team.

We’re committed to remaining a ‘big small agency,’ one where even though we might grow, we’ll maintain the scrappy start-up, challenge everything mentality we had when we launched INVNT all those years ago.  

How can I do the same?

First and foremost, aim to embrace a challenger mindset: a bold attitude that combines a disciplined, self-directed vision with the drive to take convention-busting, “blow-sh*t up” risks.

If you have the stomach for this, you already have a competitive advantage. It will keep you out of the safe lane, ensure you’re constantly challenging yourself, your peers, and your clients, and in doing so, producing more effective, more impactful, heavy hitting work.

Secondly, this year is one where we can’t be complacent. All businesses need to evolve if they are to survive and thrive in this rapidly changing world. So, take the time out to re-evaluate, re-calibrate, and re-consider your purpose, offering, and the ways you communicate with your customers, and make the relevant adjustments accordingly.

There is no better time to re-define who you are – and hey, launch a business if you identify that’s what your customers need – than now.

We Launched A New Business During The Pandemic. Here’s Why–And How You Can Too
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