Elliot Marcell Tan
Co-founder of Start Something Studios
16 Aug 2021·4 min read
The Early Years
2018 wasn’t that long ago, but in retrospect (especially with the pandemic and all) feels like ages past. That was the year Start Something (SS) was born. What started out as a simple idea to create games turned into something much bigger in just a couple of years.
In the beginning, it was just about two lifelong friends (Elliot and Jon) who wanted to create impossibly fun things. We started with producing our own tabletop games and found success with them locally and internationally. Yet, there was still so much more that we could do with our skills, especially in the digital space. And in 2019, that’s when we serendipitously met Darryl, who soon showed us how we could take our combined abilities to the next level.
Together, we came up with the idea to focus on gamification, digitalisation, and marketing services to serve businesses at large. We saw a gap in the market which was looking for more interactivity -- new ways to engage audiences through web technology that was less accessible way back when. Gamification provides an avenue for brands to say more than they ever could, strengthening their key messages through active engagement rather than the passivity of watching an ad.
With the amount of media exposure consumers have these days, brands are constantly asking us one question: How can their marketing efforts stand above the noise?
The New Pathway
By December 2019, Start Something evolved into an Interactive Marketing Digital Agency (IMDA). Our goal was to help companies reap the benefits of gamification, to engage audiences in ways that they never knew they could do before (even on a budget). Producing games for marketing always seemed like such a daunting task, either because they felt it was too expensive or that they had little clue on how to activate them for campaigns (or other marketing purposes).
Through the years, we’ve built in-house teams that support end-to-end campaign management, both in Singapore and Malaysia. From ideation to production, all the way to post-campaign analytics, we’ve partnered with businesses to create interactive experiences and walk the entire digital marketing journey with them.
We began to craft ‘The SS Process’ -- a journey of partnership that we take our clients through to answer their business objectives. Every business is nuanced in its own ways, and our process reflects that intricacy. At SS, we strongly believe that the first step in creating anything remarkable starts with understanding. That’s why we don’t just work for clients, we work with them.
Yet, at the heart of SS is something a lot more than just the services provided. When we initially set out to start something we knew that great ideas and great work could only come from great people. And not just in the talent sense, but in their personality.
We’ve come to dub this special quality of each person who walks through our doors as possessing the ‘SS Gene’. It started out as just a funny way to describe quirky people (eccentric even) who just vibed well with the team at large. But soon, we realised that it was something we were actively seeking.
By curating a space that could allow their ideas to thrive, a place where we see diversity and curiosity as positive traits, we believe that people are the lifeblood of the company. However, it’s not like we’re that cliche of being an office family. Rather, it’s more like we’re Oceans Eleven -- a ragtag team of professionals bound by a common cause, each unique in their own way, bringing something invaluable to the table.
Our journey ahead is still full of possibilities, and we’re constantly striving towards the next big idea. The great part about being at the forefront of web technology and digital marketing is the pace at which the world is growing along with it.
We don’t fear the changing tides of the digital landscape. We see them as exciting ways to evolve our process and approach in creating new digital experiences. If anything, it excites us in ways that push our boundaries to think, tinker, and triumph.
In a world that is gradually adjusting with the aftermath of Covid-19, now more than ever, the shift towards digitalisation and having a strong online presence is critical. We’re hopeful that SS has what it takes to meet these challenges, and not just rise to the occasion ourselves, but also to reach new horizons with our clients.
If you’d like to find out more, you can click here to check out our digital marketing work, or here to view our digital development works!