Post by Kirsty Favell

Nick Applin
Norwich Creative Republic

Norwich Creative Republic is already proving to be a real success in the Norwich digital scene. So, we thought a quick Q&A with founder Nick Applin would be a great idea. Cheers! *pops cork*

Why did you decide to set-up Norwich Creative Republic and how is it different?

Norwich Creative Republic is a new type of ‘virtual’ creative agency. Organisations previously had two choices when it came to outsourcing their marketing: they could either go to a creative agency and get it done all under one roof or they could outsource it in chunks to numerous freelancers.

Creative agencies often have huge overheads and large teams of personnel on their payroll – so they have to charge sizeable fees just to make ends meet. Which has its benefits if you are an organisation with a large marketing budget – but not so good if you are a start-up or SME.

Likewise, it can be more affordable to outsource your marketing work to freelance designers, copywriters, website builders and printers but you have to manage each relationship individually and achieving joined-up projects can turn you into a project manager, creating more work when what you are trying to do is lighten your workload. Neither option is great for your average sized local organisation.

Norwich Creative Republic provides the best of both options. We project manage for you and have all the creative talent you need (and then some) but without the large overheads of a creative agency. We’re a network of creatives – we don’t all think the same way or have the same backgrounds and we think that’s a good thing. There’s no limited places or ‘if your face fits’ with us – the more diverse, the merrier as far as we’re concerned. What counts is the quality of the work we do for our clients.

How will Norwich Creative Republic benefit the people of this fine city?

Norwich Creative Republic will benefit its clients by providing them with a huge range of experience and creative talent at a much more affordable rate than a traditional creative agency and in a much more streamlined, joined-up way than if they used multiple freelancers.

It will benefit local creatives by creating opportunities for them. We would encourage any creative types in Norwich to get in touch with us, regardless of whether they are an Arts graduate or a self-taught artist with a day job. We know there’s loads of talent out there and not everyone has had the opportunity to formally qualify or pursue their creative goals for financial or other reasons. So we will be giving people an opportunity to build up their portfolio and get paid to do what they love.

In addition, there are plenty of people in Norwich who love the freedom of being freelance but would like the added support of a team on certain projects.

Finally, Norwich Creative Republic is a network and, like any other business network, will generate more work for everyone involved.

“I’m also excited about the reputation that Norwich is gaining nationally for creative work”

What are you most excited about for the future of both Norwich and Norwich Creative Republic?

I love that students who come to university here are sticking around more and more so there is always a fresh flow of talent into Norwich, working alongside our fantastic home-grown creatives. I like seeing the student-led start-ups that are springing up across the city and the infrastructures that continue to support them.

I’m also excited about the reputation that Norwich is gaining nationally for creative work. Many of the agencies here (including my son Max’s agency ApplinSkinner) are not only working almost exclusively on really big national brands, but often international names as well – picking up awards and accolades as they go. But I also like the fact that Norwich isn’t London and doesn’t try to be either.

Norwich Creative Republic already has some case studies to be proud of and I’m excited to do some really leading-edge work with local brands. I am looking forward to seeing a flow of really inspired, attention-grabbing creative work from our team – and also the results of collaborations from people who wouldn’t normally work together. Because we have such a different set-up, I think our work is really going to set our clients apart from their competitors too – which is what it is all about.

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