R&D reliefs support agencies that work on innovative projects. The reliefs are designed to encourage innovation and are a valuable source of cash for agencies to invest in accelerating their R&D, hiring new staff and ultimately growing.

Many agencies don’t realise that they qualify for R&D relief, or they are not claiming their full entitlement. Chris Gunn, Co-Founder & Managing Director of LoveGunn, an award-winning branding and design agency, initially ruled LoveGunn out of being able to claim R&D reliefs until we had a conversation with him. Here’s what he had to say about working with Wow on his R&D claim.

Tell us about your agency, LoveGunn

We are an award-winning branding and design agency. We specialise in creating brands that transform customers into fans. We uncover the “who, what, why, and how”.  We start with big ideas and bring brands alive across a multitude of touch-points like their website, print design, video, and animation.

What led you to make an R&D claim?

We hadn’t actually heard of R&D before we started the project we ended up claiming for. A lot of what we do is digital, and we’re used to naturally being innovative when we bring brands to life. We hadn’t stopped and realised that a lot of the things we were naturally doing on projects was overcoming uncertainty technically – which of course qualifies.

Tell us about the project that qualified

The project was for a large football team, and the brief from them was to improve their fan engagement, globally.

We achieved this by creating a digital tool that allowed fans to build their own visual assets for their social media channels. They could download ‘club approved’ imagery easily, from anywhere in the world. Fans could also add text to the imagery to make it their own, without needing any knowledge of photoshop or any other design software.

We designed and built the tool uniquely for this project, which is why R&D applies. What was handy for us, is we could claim R&D on what we had “planned to do” instead of just “what the outcome was”. During the project, this tool took many different shapes until we got it right. We were able to claim R&D on the time this took to test and innovate, even if some of the initial features weren’t included in the end product.

Why did you choose to work with Wow?

We’ve known about Wow for a long time and knew you specialise in working with agencies, so you were the obvious choice to speak to.

What advice would you give to an agency who are looking at R&D?

Map out the projects you’ve done over the last couple of years and really think hard about how they could be deemed as tech innovation.

We’re a design agency on the face of things, so we don’t get involved with too much tech. However, we always want to innovate and do things differently, which is what led us to claim R&D.

I was shocked at how easy the process was! You guys handled everything –  including the submission, which was accepted within a month. It was a seamless process, and one we’ll definitely be doing again!

Chris Gunn