We sat down with Miro Laflaga, co-founder and brand strategist at Six Cinquième, for an intriguing conversation recorded live at TechBBQ 2023. Miro's insights into branding, culture, and entrepreneurship shed light on a fresh perspective for the startup and tech scene.
The Birth of Six Cinquième: A Fusion of Creativity and Business
Miro's journey into the world of startups begins with a unique blend of skills. With a background in business management and a knack for creative direction, his path led him to Montreal, where he immersed himself in the world of assisting local artists in building their social media presence. The focus was on musical artists, where Miro's talent for styling and coordinating content creation blossomed. It was during this phase that he crossed paths with Ash Phillips, a graphic designer with a penchant for freelancing. The two entrepreneurs decided to combine their unique skills and backgrounds to establish an agency with a difference. Six Cinquìeme emerged as a response to the lack of diversity in the space, and a desire to work with non-traditional creatives in an industry that often followed conventional norms. Miro's words resonate with their philosophy:
"We come from a non-traditional background. Let's do it our own way."
Embracing the Sixth Sense: Six Cinquième's Brand Philosophy
Six Cinquième's brand name reflects their unique approach. Miro explains how traditionally we reduce the world to being perceptible through the five senses: touch, taste, sight, sound, and smell. At the heart of Six Cinquìeme's philosophy lies the concept of the artist's "sixth sense," what Miro describes as the artist's intuitive understanding, often referred to as the "aha moment,". Its this moment that serves as the guiding force behind the agency's name: encapsulating this concept representing the fraction six over five, emphasizing the unique, additional sense that artists possess. Miro shares how this philosophy not only informs their approach to creative problem-solving but also underlines the agency's commitment to unlocking that elusive sixth sense in all their endeavors, resulting in innovative and visionary solutions.
Branding as a Culture Alignment Tool
As for his presence at TechBBQ, Miro attended the event as a speaker delivering a talk on Branding, inspired by the impressive portfolio from their creative consulting projects. He shares how Six Cinquième's approach to branding goes beyond aesthetics; branding is a powerful tool for aligning internal culture. From this perspective, they emphasize the importance of involving employees in the company branding process. this involvement is crucial to both building and nurturing that intangible aspect of a business that drives overall performance: company culture. Miro believes that when employees actively participate in shaping the brand, they become more connected to it, contributing to a cohesive organizational culture. Their philosophy is to bridge the gap between creative design and the people within the company.
Branding is a tool to align your culture. Employees should have a say in it; they should feel connected to it.
Hustle vs. Balance: Redefining Work Culture
Six Cinquième's perspective on work culture challenges the traditional "hustle bustle" mentality. After first starting out as most agencies do, with the desire to please clients in all ways possible, he shares how they had no boundaries and burned out as a consequence of this. Miro acknowledges the need for ambition and hard work but highlights the dangers of burnout. Their philosophy is to maintain a healthy work-life balance while achieving excellence, a balance that takes continual effort to create and then maintain. He emphasizes the importance of preserving mental and physical well-being and says, "If you don't take care of yourself mentally and physically, it will catch up to you" And once it does... you can do very little about it.
Miro Laflaga's insights from Six Cinquième provide a refreshing perspective on branding, culture alignment, and work-life balance in the startup and tech scene. As they continue to evolve and grow, their vision is clear: staying small, agile, and intimate while creating meaningful impact in the world of branding and creative direction.