The benefits of improving client and agency collaboration

30th November 2018

The key to a successful client-agency relationship is collaboration – after all the agency is trying to help the client achieve their goals and offering advice and guidance on the best way to do that so working together to achieve the outcome is vital.

Unfortunately, the relationship doesn’t always go that way in the world of brand and design, with clients not having a complete grasp of the kind of work that goes into every project – which can lead to miscommunication and misunderstandings.

But there is a simple solution – getting everyone face-to-face in a room together and really talking about issues, ideas and expectations. Clients shouldn’t only deal with account managers, particularly at the beginning of a new project.

Talk to the creative team face-to-face

It’s important for the creative team to have face-to-face time in the room as well, to explain ideas, concepts and solutions which could achieve the client’s goals. And clients should expect to be challenged when it comes to their perception of their own brand. It’s not negative it’s the agency looking at things from a different perspective.

Sometimes a client will feel lost and jaded in their work due to financial pressures or heavy workloads and trying to deal with that, and then quickly brief a design team over email. This doesn’t always work as the passion and drive they have for their product or service just won’t come across.

Collaborate together in a brand or creative workshop

However, a brand or creative workshop with everyone in the room will let an agency like Frost Creative to access why they started their business and why their product is unique and it can fire up the passion that may have been dormant.

This type of in person workshop can change the energy and drive the creativity both for the client and the agency as well, helping to develop a new way of thinking and a whole variety of ideas – this type of face-to-face collaboration is invaluable with a client-agency relationship.

It also helps the two sides to get to know each other and to decide if they do actually trust each other enough to work together, or not. If the decision is not to, then both parties can walk away with no problems.

Understand roles and responsibilities

We are not saying we need to hold face-to-face workshops and meetings all the time as we know clients are busy, but certainly at the beginning of a relationship there is no other way to spark that creative connection and build rapport. It also helps everyone to know faces and names rather than just seeing them on email.

Developing a brand identity for a client takes a lot of work by a lot of people—on both the client and agency side and it really helps to get the process moving, if everyone knows who everyone is and what they do.

Communication goes both ways

For genuine client-agency collaboration the communication needs to go both ways, with ongoing sharing of ideas and suggestions, and the opportunity to listen and support each other throughout the project.

Here at Frost Creative we want to work collaboratively at all times and have an open studio policy that extends through the duration of a project, allowing our clients to come to the studio to discuss the progress on their work and chat to the team.