Dux just turned 7, and here’s what I’ve learnt in the last two years


Key points on this page:

  1. Building a business is hard, even when you're passionate about what you do.
  2. Our purpose and values have remained the same, but the changes have been a lot more incremental.
  3. So... where to next?


Dux is 7, and this is where we’re at – still learning, still changing, but ultimately doing what we love.

Two years ago, I wrote a piece about Dux turning 5.

Since publishing it, it’s become one of the first things that new clients and job candidates mention when they meet us.

It outlined why we’d made a change to focus on working with businesses that are doing good in the world and what I’d learnt from being in business for 5 years.

The first 5 years of Dux felt like a monumental change from where we started, to where we were post website launch and declaration of our new purpose and values.

The 2 years since have been less seismic, in the sense that our purpose and values have remained the same, but the changes have been a lot more incremental.

If you build it, they still might not come

I often think of the quote from the Field of Dreams movie: “If you build it, they will come.”

But often, building it takes time, and the process can be long and gruelling.

Have we been inundated with new business enquiries since we announced our push for purpose? No. But does that make us any less passionate about supporting the organisations we do? Absolutely not.

It does pose this question, though: How much does being purpose-driven really matter to organisations?

I’ve been asked by a few people in business if being purpose-driven really matters to most organisations when they’re looking to engage with a digital agency such as ours.

How much does purpose really matter?

In my experience, the smaller organisations, often not-for-profit, are run by passionate people who will seek out agencies like Dux who share common values.

But the larger organisations don’t do that (or don’t currently). Being a purpose-driven agency is more of a nice-to-have, rather than a key criteria for their decision making.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as I can see that it’s important for an organisation to select an agency based on experience, ability, and budget, rather than purely warm fuzzies.

But times are changing, and research shows that ESG is becoming more and more important.

91% of business leaders say that they believe their company has a responsibility to act on ESG issues, and 76% of consumers say that they will discontinue relations with companies that treat employees, communities, and the environment poorly.

In the past two years, we’ve taken the time to evolve our messaging, learn from the feedback we receive, and speak to people in other agencies, clients, and other purpose-driven businesses on how they perceive the need for alignment.

We’ve used these insights to refine our messaging and, late last year, we launched our new website, which allows the purpose and passion behind Dux to shine through.

Times are changing, and so are we

In the past two years, we have been fortunate enough to work with some amazing purpose-driven organisations. We’re about to launch WA Wildlife’s new website, and we have welcomed Fly2 Health, Thriving Futures, Child Australia, and Moodle on as clients.

Also, we’re now in a position where we can turn down work that doesn’t align with us. Saying “no thanks” to mining money is hard at first, but ultimately, we’re not the right fit, and in the end, the client wouldn’t get the best result for them.

While it’s clear that there’s a misalignment with the way that organisations prioritise profit over purpose, it’s also important to realise why there’s a business case for choosing a purpose-driven company.

Purposeful organisations are proven to be more action-focused and resilient. And that also means being honest and accountable. We’re determined, we’re loyal to our customers, and we’re focused on doing great work.

Over time, we’ve evolved our services to make sure what we offer reflects what our clients need – rather than what we think they need. We’re always interested in what we can do or learn to make our services better.

So… Where to next?

Nothing revolutionary here… Just an ongoing desire to continue our mission and grow in a sustainable way that will allow us to work with people who are making a difference in the world.

Here’s to another seven years 🍻