Be Careful What You Wish For

My latest Agency Post column after a long travel-filled Summer is about getting what you wish for.

This old proverb keeps going through my mind. Although I can’t seem to find attribution, I feel like it is wise and true.

Agencies often wish for their clients to bring them into the fold and share everything with them. They want to be partners in success. They want to play a significant role in the growth of the companies they support.

As the client, I often wonder why an agency doesn’t “get it”. Why do I have to be looking at round after round of creative to get to where I need to be? Why aren’t they reading my mind after all this time?

But what happens when these partnerships have grown over the years to a level of mind-reading confidence? One would think that is exactly what we wish for. I say, “Be careful what you wish for.” Mind-reading can also equate to assumptions, and assumptions can put you right back at square one…or even worse.

When an agency gets to the point where they know what a brand needs to be without the input of the client, the brand is no longer one to be grown by the client. The brand is now the agency’s brand, and that’s not what you were hired for. It can have the ability to morph into a creative show more than a brand voice. That’s not what either the client or the agency want. Yes, we all want the kind of creative that makes people sit up and pay attention. We both want the creative that makes the industry publications applaud. We both want the type of creative that makes people tweet and share on Facebook.

That comes with continual shared work and insight. As a client, I must continually expand your knowledge of my brand and customers. As an agency, you must continually ask questions, not make assumptions.

Together we can create and sustain brands that make everyone say “wow” because they produce results for all stakeholders.

Have you ever found yourself in a situation like this? How did you work through it?

Be Careful What You Wish For

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