By Sam Jones | May 25, 2017
Before we dig in, this isn’t about the home-flipping, Californian TV personalities, Christina and Tarek from HGTV, but rather a conversation about things we’ve learned throughout many creative endeavors. Have you ever been in the midst of a project that was steadily losing its luster? There are reoccurring hiccups, revisions or reworks and bumps in the road? If you find yourself in this scenario, it may be a sign to take a step back and look with a fresh perspective as to why the process is, well, flopping.
At Worx, we’ve had the pleasure of working with all walks of life and diversity in both personality types and industries. We’ve learned that along with natural chemistry, a defined set of expectations from both parties makes for a progressive and highly enjoyable workflow. Three commonalities that we’ve found to be consistent with our most successful projects and ongoing relationships have trust, good communication and value in our efforts.
Not only are we your design team, but we warmly use the term “brand guardians.” Guardians by definition refer to someone that defends, keeps and protects another that they care deeply about. Our goal in this role is to always serve your brand by keeping its best interests at heart, designing with purpose and strategy. Often times we push clients outside of their comfort zones because we develop a solution that is new and would create different results. Trust in your brand guardians knowing that your success is our success.
In every kick-off meeting with a new client, we always ask, “What does good communication look like to you?” Right away we set the expectation that we, as a team, will communicate with our clients often and in the style, they receive best– whether in-person, via email or a good old-fashioned phone call. During a project, this is one key factor that can affect budgets and shift timelines the most. Projects, where we’ve lacked solid communication with a client, have often lead to the project surpassing budget and timelines, usually adding in confusion because conversations were picked up and dropped so many times. By having steady communication, we can keep everything rolling smoothly.
This is arguably the most difficult to face and stands as a barrier to any hopes of progression. We’ve put together some killer proposals and followed up three days later, only to hear a swift “No.” Rejected? But there are a hundred reasons why this will work! Clients that question the value in branding and marketing use terminology like “Yeah, but it didn’t work last time.” or “This online company will do the job for under $10.” These reoccurring hesitations are almost always rooted in price or failed past experiences. But as brand guardians, your design team does not work to ensure failure or past results. It is our responsibility to acknowledge your pain-points and educate you and your team on the process, how and why we came to the suggested proposal and reassure you through any kind of factual substance we can– like newsletter statistics, testimonials and sale increases to put your mind at ease.
Now, “Two outta three ain’t bad,” you might argue, but what is Destiny’s Child without Beyoncé? The three little pigs wouldn’t be the same story without the third pig’s house of bricks, neither would any good trilogy without the climatic ending. The same applies to the principles above. Without acknowledging the worth in all three you may have an alright experience, maybe even a good one, but we strive to create GREAT relationships.
Think of it this way, if while working on a project there’s trust and communication but no value, you probably won’t see the purpose in successful marketing, therefore stay inside the box, only to keep getting the same results.
If there are communication and value but no trust, this leads to too many hands in the pot, and eventually, the initial vision will become diluted- leaving the end result a muddled version of what the project was intended to be.
If there are trust and value but a lack of good communication, the project will go over time and over budget, which affects all parties involved.
Remember trust, communication, and value when going into your next big project. These are the three keys to a successful client-firm relationship and can be the difference between a successful flip or an unfortunate flop.