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The Wander Effect: Innovative Leadership in Digital Marketing

At the heart of Wander’s success story is Chloë Clover, the co-founder and CEO who has been redefining the digital marketing landscape with unparalleled innovation and creativity. Starting from humble beginnings with nothing more than a broken GoPro, Chloë has crafted a unique approach that has captured the attention of major global brands. Her innovative strategies and creative flair have consistently delivered next-level campaigns, setting new standards in the industry. This relentless pursuit of excellence has earned Wander numerous accolades, including a prestigious spot on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 and recognition by the BBC as one of the UK’s most exciting production companies. With a clear vision and steadfast determination, Chloë has successfully transformed Wander into a full-service digital agency. Today, Wander is celebrated for its ability to create consistent, engaging content and disruptive marketing strategies that resonate deeply with audiences. Under Chloë’s guidance, Wander continues to break new ground, solidifying its place as a leader in content creation and digital marketing.

How did your journey with Wander begin, and what motivated you to co-found the company?

“So, it all started back in 2017 during this wild trip to Australia and Asia with my partner, Lou. We landed in Melbourne with nothing but our backpacks and skateboards. While we were there, we made friends with some people who ran a film production company and ended up blagging our way onto set and helping out and… well, that moment changed everything!

We couldn’t afford much, so we scraped together what we had and bought a Panasonic G7. Then, we started learning the ropes and picking up our own clients. We mainly targeted hospitality and tourism companies because we were part of that whole traveller vibe.

We noticed that a lot of businesses were putting out these boring videos that just didn’t connect with people on social media. So, we decided to do something about it. We started making videos that were engaging, high energy, and just really frickin’ cool. And… It worked! While we were making a name for ourselves, we knew for Wander to develop like we were planning we needed strong roots, so we decided to come back to the UK to really start to grow.

Our mission was simple: Beat the Scroll®. Making standout, creative videos, for businesses to break through boring content online. For me, co-founding Wander was about a few things. First off, I’ve always loved telling stories and being creative and videos are such a powerful way to connect with people.

Plus, Lou and I are both from Teesside, and we’ve seen how tough it can be for some businesses here. We wanted Wander Films to be part of changing that and helping local businesses and young talent succeed.

Part of it was also about proving people wrong. I dropped out of school at 15, and a lot of people didn’t think I’d amount to much. But making it onto the Forbes 30 Under 30 list with Wander was my way of showing that you can achieve your dreams, no matter where you come from or what obstacles you face.

From just two girls and a broken GoPro, Wander has grown into a team of 20+ specialists across marketing, digital, and content creation. It’s been one hella journey, and we’re stoked to see where it takes us next.”

Could you elaborate on the core principles of Wander that distinguish it from traditional content agencies?

“Wander specialises in next level video content blowing up brands, TV & digital. The Team is made up of marketers, filmmakers, social media experts, vfx artists, graphic designers, project managers and editors, which means our clients are receiving the best quality of work from a team of creative specialists. But Wander isn’t your typical content agency. We’re a multi-award-winning, personality-first, boundary-breaking content agency, shaking up the way businesses market themselves online. Working with some of the biggest brands globally, we craft next-level campaigns and create consistent, engaging content and social media strategies.

Our core principles set us apart. We’re all about telling real stories that connect with people, focusing on authenticity. It’s not just about business either; we’re deeply involved in our community. We collaborate closely with local talent and businesses. We absolutely love that we get to work with brands all around the world from home.

When we work with clients, it’s all about creative teamwork. We listen closely to peoples’ visions and then use our creative skills to bring that vision to life in fresh and unexpected ways. Our goal is to make a real impact with the content we create, whether it’s shaping the culture within an organisation, promoting services/products or developing innovative campaigns that make people behave differently towards a brand.

At Wander, we’re always pushing forward. We’re constantly exploring new technologies and creative techniques to ensure we’re delivering the best content possible to our clients. Our approach to research and development is collaborative, maximising our cultural knowledge and creative ideation across departments.

In short, Wander Films is all about authentic storytelling, community engagement, creative collaboration, impactful content, and innovation. Wander blows up brand personality with mint content, but mint content starts with mint strategy and that strategic thought and planning runs through everything Wander does. Approaching research and development collaboratively across departments maximising our cultural knowledge and creative ideation. 

But it’s not just our work that sets us apart; it’s our vibrant brand and cheeky online presence. We practice what we preach in our own viral content and Wander’s TikToks and Reels reach millions of views per month.

What significant milestones has Wander achieved since its inception in 2018?

“Since coming back to the UK in 2018, Wander has hit some pretty awesome milestones. We started out focusing solely on content, but our passion and drive quickly led us to expand our services. Now, in addition to stellar video, we offer brand personality workshops and sprints, social management, design and disruptive digital marketing.

Over the years, we’ve built up a solid client base, working with all sorts of businesses and organisations across different sectors. Our dedication and hard work hasn’t gone unnoticed; we’ve won national & international awards and been featured on the front covers of numerous business magazines.

As the demand for our services grew, so did our team. We’ve brought in more creative talent and expertise to ensure we can continue to deliver the high-quality work our clients have come to expect from us.

But we’re not just about business; our corporate social responsibility is super important to us. We speak at events, sit on boards to help the next generation & community, provide many internships and work experience opportunities and we’re involved in the local schools and universities to inspire young people to follow their passion.

Our portfolio has diversified, too. We’ve worked on all sorts of projects, from Intro Vids to Brand development to TV Documentaries, and so much more. And to keep our standards high, we’ve invested in the latest technology and equipment, so we can always deliver cutting-edge creative solutions to our clients.

Over the last five years, our team of 20+ has produced social media content for big brands like KPMG, Hampton by Hilton, BBC, McDonald’s and cool brands like RIOT GAMES, the global games developers behind League of Legends, which has over 180 million monthly active players!

Pact, the UK’s screen sector trade body, commissioned us to produce MADE, an online video series featuring 14 of the UK’s most successful independent producers of the past 30 years.

We also shot and edited all the social content for Tall Ships where the team worked shifts at the event to shoot, edit and deliver videos for the following morning! 

It’s so hard to name a few stand out projects because we’ve worked on many thousands of projects! Our work has been seen in stadiums, on TV and on social media by millions of people. 

2024 has already been a big year for us! We scored our first major BBC documentary commission and delivered a BBC Daytime commission of videos for BBC’s Morning Live. Plus, we have been working with Channel 4 digital on development and we have delivered a number of GFX projects for Middle Child for their BBC3 doc Jordan North: Truth About Vaping, and another programme to be announced soon”

Can you describe some of the boundary-breaking campaigns that Wander has spearheaded for its clients?

“At Wander, we’re all about breaking boundaries and creating campaigns that really stand out. Take our culture campaign for KPMG, for example. The main objective was to attract and retain talent, so we developed a series of innovative culture vids that spoke to people on a human level, taking inspiration from the MTV show Cribs we followed real team members as the went through their daily lives, highlighting what their jobs allowed them to do outside of just their “KPMG” role.

Plus, we have teamed up with Portwest to create the ‘Portwest People’ series where we travel the world to film with their clients, showing what they do with a super subtle nod to Portwest. These cinematic stories have had a huge impact because they aren’t trying to sell and they’re full of personality and culture. The series is getting incredible results and we’re heading to Norway with them next!

These are just a couple examples of the kick-ass campaigns we’ve created for our clients. At Wander, we’re always pushing the boundaries and delivering innovative, impactful content that really grabs people’s attention and gets real results.”

In what ways has your leadership contributed to Wander’s exponential growth and evolution into a full-service digital agency?

“At Wander, it’s all about teamwork, but I’m proud that our leadership has played a big role in our journey from a small startup to a full-service digital agency. In 2023, I decided to shake things up and split Wander into two parts: the agency and the production company. This helped us focus better, and we brought in some new faces with awesome skills to help us scale.

I’m always bursting with ideas and don’t have the patience to go slow. I don’t wait for opportunities. But it’s not just about me and Lou; it’s about the amazing team at Wander. I’m all about helping them reach their goals. Everyone at Wander has a development plan and has access to the best training because I believe it’s so important to invest in our personal growth, too.

I’ve always been big on supporting young talent and startups. Since we started, I’ve helped our team grow and develop their skills, and we’ve won loads of awards along the way.

Culture is super important to me. That’s why I’ve introduced things like Mental Health Days, where everyone gets an extra day off every quarter on top of their holidays and Fanta Fridays where every Friday we finish early and hang out as a team, playing games and getting to chill and chat nonsense! I think it’s really important to look after the team and each other.”

What factors do you believe led to your recognition as one of Forbes 30 Under 30?

“Making it to Forbes 30 Under 30 was a massive deal for me, and there’s maybe a few things played into getting that recognition. First off, I’ve always been super passionate, hella determined and sometimes stubborn as hell! I’ve never been one to just follow the crowd, I have this vision, this strong pull to keep pushing boundaries. I’m convinced that with enough belief in yourself you can achieve anything. That, combined with my refusal to give up maybe aha!

But I couldn’t have done it alone. Massive shoutout to my partner, Lou Tonner. Lou is the calm, steady rock in my electric storm I think. We did this whole thing together and I wouldn’t be here without her for sure. And of course our amazing team. Together, we’ve all put in the graft to build our company and shake things up in the world of content creation.

I reckon one of the reasons I made the list is because I’m Teesside, proper Northern lass through and through – full of grit, always up for a challenge, and never afraid to take a risk. I’m a high school dropout, I’ve faced my fair share of challenges but you can’t let anything hold you back.”

How does Wander differentiate itself in the competitive landscape of content creation and digital marketing?

“Wander is like no other in the content creation and digital marketing world. We’re not your run-of-the-mill agency. We’re a full-service agency with the power of a TV production company. We’re super unique (like a cool content unicorn) – from killer creative and social stand out to stellar strategy to high level film production and authentically human storytelling.

What makes us really stand out is how our agency and production company work together. It’s like having two superpowers in one. This lets us come up with fresh ideas and create content that really does #beatthescroll.

We get that social media is a big deal in TV production these days. People want to interact with their favourite shows online, and we’re right there with them. Whether it’s behind-the-scenes sneak peeks, interactive social media campaigns, or just giving fans more of what they love, we know how to keep audiences hooked.”

What sets Wander Films apart as one of the UK’s most exciting production companies, particularly in its work for BBC & Channel 4?

“I think what makes Wander Films so special is our vision for the future. Sure, we make awesome content, but we’re not stopping there. Our goal is to be the top content marketing agency in the world, working with even more major brands and always staying ahead of the game with new tech and ideas.

We’re also shaking things up in the TV world. Instead of just hiring freelancers, we’re building a full-time team. Our vibe and culture are a huge part of who we are, and we want to keep it that way.

We’re on a mission to not only be players on a global and national stage but to support our roots to bring TV to Teesside. More investment, more jobs, and more training – that’s what we’re all about. We’re aiming to have a team of 30 within the next 18 months and increase our turnover by 80%.

We’re also disrupting the TV industry. Big-budget productions, post-production services, and our very own project management platform – we’re doing it all. We’ve already worked on some big projects, like doing the GFX for a vaping documentary on the BBC, and we’re in talks for our own broadcast series.

And we’re becoming the go-to company for TV advertising. We just got the Clearcast Agency Training distinction, and we’re teaming up with AdSmart from Sky for an event that’s gonna be massive.

We’re a whole ecosystem. Wander Films, Wander the agency, our GFX/VFX branch, post-production house, advertising agency, and SaaS platform – they’ll all work together to help our clients and other companies in our industry kick ass.

With our unique approach and ambitious plans for the future, Wander is changing the game in content creation, digital marketing, and TV production. And we’re just getting started!”

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