Meet the Springer Chris
BY Chris Abbott | Journal | 09/05/2023
A BRIEF INTRO
Hi I’m Chris, Managing Director and Co-Owner of Spring.
Why should you care? Good question! Well this post isn’t really a lengthy bio about me, but more of a way to open the door on to the characters you may someday work with or meet at Spring, whether that’s as a delivery partner, potential client or even joining the team.
I spent years working in junior, mid management and senior positions in both corporate and SME businesses. I ran my first business in 2005 and have experienced everything including financial market crashes, and the highs and lows that go with leadership roles. I fell naturally into a sales role early on in my career and have a long history in marketing and the digital world.
So if you fancy taking two minutes to peek behind the curtain and find out what running an agency is like, my personal values, and how brand impacts my personal life – read on!
GETTING DOWN TO BUSINESS –
WHAT I LOVE ABOUT IT!
When you think of running a Creative Agency you might envisage a job spending endless days thinking up wacky ideas with no boundaries, generating funny videos that might get a few laughs on TikTok, fluffing the beanbags ready for those creative zen sessions that end in meditation, replenishing the bowls of Haribo and worrying about who’s getting the next round of Kimchi in!
While there’s some great parody posts on social media that might reflect these fun-filled days and there are some wacky ideas, the reality of running Spring is much like running every other business out there. Half of your time you’re doing the thing you’ve spent years honing, in my case the strategy end of brand and marketing, and the other half with an eye on fourth quarter performance, checking in on the balance sheet, deciding where to invest time and money next, while battling the inner demons that go against all of that great advice from those endless books about running a successful business … oh and the odd curveball that we all love walking head first into!
This might sound like a real drag but I thrive on it. Solving problems goes with the territory, and there’s actually an added benefit for me because many of our clients are owners and directors who face these decisions too. So it’s often easier for me to empathise with those challenges and find solutions that not only drive their business forward but work for them. Being a creative agency isn’t just about providing our clients with beautifully effective design or copy (although of course we do that), it’s about thinking creatively when presented with those daily challenges too. Building that trust with a client is the ultimate goal for me! Working so closely that we can make recommendations that feel more business strategy than creative strategy, and seeing the smile when they know it’s working.
I’ve worked in corporate environments where “we’re a real partner” and “we really want to understand your business” were thrown around flippantly in the sales pitch. As a young salesman in the ’90s, for me this conversation felt exciting and one with real purpose. Unfortunately in practice it felt impossible to deliver as volume and speed were what made the machine tick. Now, years later, sitting at the helm and guiding the ship, taking the time to truly understand businesses and the nuances each new business brings are not only the key ingredients to deliver meaningful results for them, but it’s the part I love most as I know it’s the foundation for future success.
Having said that, those early conversations can at times feel odd for owners, talking about their business, sharing their deepest ambitions and often talking about what keeps them up at night, but they’re often just the challenges that keep me up at night and ones that we’ve helped solve many times over. The sense of achievement for Spring and what we achieve for our clients is the driver behind why I do what I do.
WHAT DO I VALUE?
I grew up in the late seventies and early eighties watching parents who worked hard for everything. My childhood was awesome really, but I vividly remember much of my time spent with my dad was at work – we were either on an adventure in a truck delivering fruit and veg to Spitalfields Market in the early hours of Sunday morning, or on the farm shifting hay bales. My mum was the same, she worked hard in tough jobs to give me what I needed. I thank them both for instilling the values of commitment and accountability in me, and so needless to say positive attitude and work ethic are right up there in things I value. My kids get fed up with me saying it, but it really is all about the attitude. I believe that nothing comes easy and if it does it’s often short lived, but anything is possible and I’ll put in the effort to make it happen.
WHAT I GET UP TO OUTSIDE OF SPRING AND HOW CERTAIN BRANDS PLAY A BIG PART IN MY LIFE
Family is hugely important to me. I have invested some serious time into being a dad, and so top of my list in life are my wife and two boys. As the boys grow and want to spend more time with friends, I cherish every opportunity to get time with them, and being present, whether that’s a duo match on Fortnite, keeping up on the cycle track at Twisted Oaks, doing homework together or learning the bass guitar … I’ll do it all if it means getting that extra bit of time with them.
As a long time motorcycle fan, any opportunity to watch motorcycle racing is time well spent for me. Even this year’s family holiday to Italy involves a day trip to the hometown of nine-times world champion Valentino Rossi, where I’ll be like a teenager hoping to meet Harry Styles for the first time. The global VR46 fan family is tribal – I’ve seen the branding all over the world and in the strangest places, but immediately feel connected when I see the recognisable number 46 on a car window as I pass them on the road, or on someone’s cap while in the supermarket or on their luggage at the airport – at that moment they’re immediately awesome in my opinion. It’s the power of that brand!
If you want to get to know more about Spring by all means give me a call or drop me a line. Thanks for now.