As I glance past my computer screen and watch the traffic lights change and the cars go by from our new offices overlooking College Avenue in Appleton, I can’t help but look back at the last decade in business. We recently celebrated our 10-year anniversary in October, and it helped me take time to remember how much I have to be thankful for in the weeks following Thanksgiving.
It all started in 2006 when Writing by Design was hired for its first national assignment by Kimberly-Clark Corporation to help them launch a new product—thin, discreet protective underwear-like briefs, now known as Depend® Silhouette & Real Fit products. Since then, we have worked on many new product launches, earning a reputation for strategic, focused new product concept writing that has achieved outstanding results both qualitatively and quantitatively for our innovation clients.
Today, on the national and international level, our concept writing is designed to get CPG companies from ideation to launch more quickly and with fewer failed attempts using proprietary tools we have developed. Additionally, by aligning Writing by Design with key strategic partnerships—a nationally-renowned researcher in New Jersey and a big-agency creative in Chicago—Writing by Design now helps companies bring a more full-service approach to its innovation clients with the help of Laurie Tema-Lyn (Practical Imagination Enterprises) and Bruce Duhan (Duhan Creative). Locally, Writing by Design packages up all of the experience we have with large corporations to provide a big-company approach to marketing and communication projects for our local clients, assisting them with strategic marketing plans and helping to fulfill their day-to-day writing and communication needs.
As I reflect on our 10 years in business, here are a few of the things I’m most thankful for:
1. Our Clients. We’ve been blessed with good clients who believed in Writing by Design and have invested in us over and over again. Repeat business is the hallmark of good work, and we are pleased to have a great track record with our long-standing clients.
2. Talented employees. During the past decade, we’ve had the pleasure of working with dozens of subcontractors who shared their talents in graphic design, writing and marketing to keep this engine humming. In 2014, we hired Writing by Design’s first full-time employee (aside from the owner)—a communications specialist—and recently added a communications/SEO specialist and a graphic designer to the team. This team will provide the critical mass we need to bring robust solutions to all of our clients.
3. A new place to work. In 2016, we moved our home office from Neenah to an office building in Appleton where we are enjoying new views and a vibrant workplace.
4. Getting to do what we love. We spend 90,000 hours at work (according to a Business Insider report), and we get to spend that time doing what we love—writing.
5. Projects that challenge us. Every project we are asked to help with comes with its own unique set of challenges. The work is always fresh and new—never the same old, same old. This helps us all to achieve new heights in our careers as we are constantly learning something new every day.
6. Sharing our talents with the community. We’re proud to be part of the Fox Valley, and happy to share our talents and expertise with nonprofits like Learn 2 Fish, St. Mary Catholic Schools and The Trout Museum.
7. Friends and family. With 96 percent of businesses failing within the first 10 years, I know I couldn’t have done it without the support and encouragement of my friends and family. Thank you for believing in me!
I’m truly filled with gratitude at the close of 2016, and am looking forward to seeing what the next decade will bring for Writing by Design!
Patti Purcell has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and 25 years of marketing and advertising experience. She provides clients with professional, business-minded solutions to copywriting assignments. Established in 2006, Writing by Design has worked with small businesses and Fortune 100 companies alike to help develop language for new product concepts, taglines, radio commercials, website content and more.