Polar London – a global culture at your fingertips

Intro to Polar

Founder – Alex Birch: “In my six or so years working closely with Google, I learned the practicality and value of deploying teams at a global scale to activate and market products in local markets. I was lucky enough to absorb the skill set and know-how of working with talented people in different time zones, languages and backgrounds – all the while making sure they could plug into a system that maintained quality and consistency of output”.

Polar London is a reincarnation of this invaluable experience. It dawned on us that it was possible to manage international teams remotely to achieve amazing results. It’s a model that many traditional agencies struggle with. 

A global footprint

The ‘remote-first’ culture is one of Polar’s central pillars. With headquarters in London, Ho Chi Minh City and a global network of digital experts located in-market, we are strategically positioned to navigate nuanced digital projects, both in the local market and cross-regionally.

Our network of talent allows us to overcome time zone and language barriers, and perhaps most crucially, provides the cultural insight to ensure our international projects hit the mark when it comes to our clients’ expectations. 

Polar’s global network is best exemplified in the ongoing work with Lumon Pay. The animation’s were produced in Indonesia by a local Lottie expert animator, whilst the front and back end development was handled in Bangladesh. The producer and technical directors were based in London, supporting the client’s day to day needs and leaning on the expertise of a UX designer based in Zurich.  

Lumon website on desktop, mob and tablet
https://www.polarlondon.co.uk/our-work/lumon-pay/

This gave our client the opportunity to utilise our global network of talent to bring work in efficiently, at scale and within budget, all the time maintaining quality standards and expertise.  

Cultural nuance

One of our Pharma clients came to us with the following challenge: “We want to create a master framework for a particular novel medicine that we’re planning to launch in the UK. We want a website with a template structure that showcases the product that can be replicated at scale, the benefits and a story that ties it all together across key global markets”.

In this particular case, there were differing legal specifics in each region, which is very common when working with leading markets such as the UK, Singapore or parts of the US. Extensive cultural know-how is required to deliver these types of global websites and digital campaign activations that flex in accordance to local contexts.

Brands will often agree on and provide directives from their global HQ, to be rolled out to their sub-regions. The common recurring challenge for these regions is finding a local agency to help them execute and deploy technologies that more often than not, they have little understanding of. 

Local agencies usually experience great difficulty in understanding how the global team has set up a website or a particular digital infrastructure. The differences in culture and technical know-how result in local agencies disregarding global directives fully or in part, fitting round pegs in square holes, creating frictions and difficulties that impact all sides. 

Polar’s proposition addresses this very issue, becoming the global agency to service multiple regions and local markets at rates that are commercially viable. Our philosophy is that you don’t need large headcounts in each region. When you’ve got the right cultural and creative insight, you can do the work anywhere. Quality over quantity.

Building teams brief specific

This years’ Bench Press report outlined that one of the biggest challenges for agencies right now is accessing talent. Polar’s depth of network, accumulated over the years, means that we are lucky enough to be ahead of the curve when it comes to this particular challenge.

https://www.polarlondon.co.uk/who/

The team’s skill set is extensive; some are experts in specific technologies, some are experts from a strategic perspective, some know how to apply cultural insights at local level, and some have production experience.

Our global network is formidable and means we have the depth to build brief-specific teams, being highly targeted in the assembly of components needed to deliver on specific projects. 

When you think about traditional agencies, there are complex processes, large head-counts and numerous teams to reckon with – often resulting in inefficiency and wastage. Sometimes politics can get in the way. Seniority and hierarchy also play a key role, with bottlenecks often occurring with single decision-makers.  

We do not operate in this way. On the contrary, we might have three senior tech directors working within the businesses at any given time, which serves to deliver greater quality, flexibility and brainpower to our clients. It also means that everyone in our network has the opportunity for a vertical career path, progressing personally and professionally as a result of their merit.

Building relationships with talented people across the globe is something that is very much embedded within Polar’s culture, and happens at all levels of the agency. We actively work on building our internal network by engaging with new people every day, exposing us to new ways of thinking that ultimately serve to drive forward movement and innovation.

Globalising technological advancement

The global scale of Polar’s proposition means that we are in a privileged position when it comes to technology and how it can be applied. We help bridge gaps between clients’ expectations and the markets where certain technologies are not as widespread. Having visibility across regions allows us to anticipate trends and add real value to markets which may not yet have been exposed to particular advancements.

https://www.polarlondon.co.uk/our-work/eristoff/

Take Eristoff as a great example – the hero film was shot in Romania with local talent, introducing leading tech when it came to gamification of the ad itself was all out of the UK tech team. The campaign activation was spread across Europe with local creative, translation and activation.  

As a result, repositioning, strategy and technical decisions are easier because we know what to expect.  

Key takeaway

  • Global cultural understanding and talent is key to a diverse and scalable agency
  • Polar is dedicated to helping consumers worldwide; access, navigate and educate on key products and services that our clients offer, through best in class creative & tech ideation for website UX. Design and build to digital campaign activation.
  • As a remote first agency, Polar is strategically positioned to beat language, time zone and cultural barriers. 
  • Our global reach and expertise enable us to construct brief-specific teams.
  • We assure our clients get a first class delivery through our bespoke methodology and agency model, we provide cost-effective service and maintain quality and expertise.

For more information on Polar’s global footprint, our depth of talent when it comes to website build and digital campaign activation, drop us a line on info@polarlondon.co.uk