Foolproof acquires creative technology agency Knit

By Peter Ballard @Ballyfool

This week we announced our acquisition of Knit, an award-winning creative technology company.

Hold on, creative technology, what’s that?

In this context, it means using the newest technologies to deliver a brand experience that bridges the digital and physical world. Think of vending machines operated by social media, or notifications sent to our smartphones when we enter a store, or interactive ink turning windows into digital displays.

Knit are a team of engineers and digital specialists, who harness these emerging technologies, and work out how they can be used to build solutions that link digital and physical experiences together.

And crucially, Knit actually work with this technology on a daily basis, not just talk about its potential. Companies have plenty of consultants queuing up to paint a vivid picture about how the latest technology will instantly change their business. Very few of those actually get their hands on the technology, take it apart, and figure out how it works. To give actionable advice, you need to know the limitations of the devices, and how they can be linked to other technology to deliver a compelling customer experience.

That’s what Knit do, and in the last few years they have developed award-winning work for brands such as Nissan, Lucozade, John Lewis, BMW, HP, Asda and Volvo.

Shop window fitted with smart ink display

So why is an experience design agency interested in creative technology?

If the last decade has been about building and optimising digital and mobile platforms, the next ten years is going to be about linking the digital and physical worlds. But the lessons of the last ten years also show us that designing any customer experience without reference to consumer needs and motivations is a sure way to fail.

Too often new technology is a solution in search of a problem. Its application is borne more out of technology for technology’s sake than responding to a genuine customer need. By marrying the disciplines of insight-driven experience design with the in-depth understanding of new creative technologies, this problem is avoided.

Adding Knit to the Foolproof group extends our service into the physical world, where very few agencies currently have the skills and expertise to deliver multi-channel experiences that are genuinely joined up.

Brands already recognise that to compete they have to deliver a compelling customer experience across all channels, and this experience needs to be seamless and frictionless. Their branches, retail stores, mobile and web stores can no longer operate in silos. They need to harness the power of technology to deliver these joined up experiences, and they need help from agencies that can deliver in both the physical and digital environment.

We think the impact and value of opportunities to brands who succeed in bringing these worlds together are set to be every bit as exciting and dramatic as those created back at the birth of ecommerce.

Making Knit part of the Foolproof group has all sorts of exciting business implications for us and our clients. But our biggest motivation is to keep our eyes fixed on the horizon, and help the world figure out how all of this exciting new technology is going to find useful applications in our everyday lives.

We’re thrilled to welcome the Knit team to the family. We can’t wait to see what we can do together.



Peter Ballard

I co-founded Foolproof with Tom Wood back in 2002. Today I work across a range of clients, particularly in the roles of Experience Planner and Client Partner. In my role as Experience Planner, I ensure that our design teams have access to the right insight to respond appropriately to the business and creative challenges faced by our clients.

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