Studio Or Agency - What Do You Want To Be?

Words have power


One of the things I get asked frequently is: Why is your company called Mermaid Studios? The Mermaid part is easy to explain: Because we are going to unknown depth with our workshops, exploring new areas and dive deep into the projects we are working on. 


But what does it mean to be a Studio? Does it even matter if you name yourself Studio, Agency or something else? As the blog post is not ending at this point you might guess that the answer is yes.  


Words have power. We associate different terms even if they are synonymous with different meanings, behaviors and attitudes. Somehow, some are more fitting in a certain context than others. Just think of the different forms of addressing someone in an e-mail and how this can give you a vivid picture of the relationship two people are having. 


Studio, not agency 


We decided to be a studio, not an agency. What does that say about us? We associate certain behaviors and attitudes with agencies that do not reflect our team and our working style. For us agencies are like a genie in a bottle, they fulfil all your wishes. Which sounds awesome at first, but the hook with genies is, that they only give you what you want and not necessarily what you need. 


But this is not us. We decided to be a Studio, we want to co-create with our customers and not only for them but for the humans that in the end will be using our solutions. It also means that we are questioning how things are done at the moment and that we create something new not following a standard procedure but being flexible to changes and new insights. 


Who you want to be? 


In the end, it is not about the wording, but what is associated with it. Of course, you can be a small, agile agency that creates innovative products, but how do you transfer that to the outside? Your name is a sign to your customers and job candidates that shapes their expectations. So, you need to choose wisely who you want to be.