What We're Becoming

04/22/2014 / in Tents / by Luke

While it's not inaccurate to classify us as "tent manufacturers," we've been undergoing an inevitable transformation over the past few years—and while custom tents remain a core part of our business, our in-house pantry has expanded—allowing us to source from a whole new list of ingredients. So what's driving this "inevitable growth?"

IT'S HEREDITARY. Take a closer look at our logo—you'll see that it says Powered by Britten. Our parent company (and next-door neighbor), Britten Studios went from hand-painting custom banners in 1984 to becoming one of the nation's largest creative production studios with capabilities spanning hardware and metal fabrication to large-format printing, architectural décor, signage and installation. Thirty years later, it's our turn to evolve.

concept illustration - adidasOUR CLIENTS.If you dissect our clients, you'll get a roughly 50/50 split between larger projects that involve us working alongside an agency and smaller one-off projects where we work directly with the brand. Over the past 10 years, our team, experience and technology have grown to the point that we're now in a position to emulate the capabilities of our agency clients—but with one key difference—we have the physical ingredients—hardware, print materials, print technology and a large manufacturing facility and talented production staff.

This doesn't mean that the agency structure is flawed but rather alludes to a new breed of agency—an agency hybrid who can straddle the marketing, design and manufacturing worlds to deliver quicker project turnarounds and greater budget control without sacrificing ideas and innovation. This new agency model also results in greater transparency to help close the gap between ideas and capabilities—a smarter and more efficient formula for success.

PASSION. We grew by more than 100% in 2013 and that rapid pace continues in 2014. A quick look at our growth and you'll see that both quality of work and high-touch service are two major attributes of that growth—however, a deeper look reveals that passion is the primary chemical in our fuel. If you're not a large brand or agency, it's our goal to make sure you feel like one—diesel at an unleaded price.

LEAN PROCESSES & TECHNOLOGY. We've also learned that in order to sustain growth, key processes throughout the project lifecycle need to be optimized and scaled. Lean manufacturing has taken center stage throughout all production and manufacturing stages. We're also building an internal project management tool to streamline workflow and information gathering between sales, project management and clients.production facility

Of course this transition begs the question—are we becoming an agency? Micro-agency might be more appropriate. Our agency partners work primarily with top-tier brands on large projects and events with timelines more likely to span 6-8 months. Moreover, their clients are often allocating six, if not seven-figure budgets to their experiential initiatives. While we can certainly plan and manage projects of that magnitude, agility and scalability are key differentiators—making us an ideal partner for start-ups and emerging brands—think INC 5000. A first-time engagement might start with a few tents while 6 months down the road we may be collaborating on event design and production for a future mobile tour or activation.

At the end of the day, we're excited about our future—from custom tents to branded environments.

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