Here at Oblique, we have been thinking about the relationship we have with our clients and why they work or don’t work. We know that looking for a new design agency can be a tough process, so we wanted to dive a little deeper into what is important in making that decision. We also sat down with our fearless leader, Janice Ferrante, and talked about the specifics of Oblique and what makes the Boulder creative agency so special in a firm-filled world.
Every agency is different, and is made up of a variety of different people with diverse skills. Depending on what you need, it’s important to keep an eye on those differences; they can have a large impact on your results. It is important that the agency is willing to understand your company and use your voice to create creative solutions that work.
What makes Oblique unique?
JF: “I’ve been challenged with this question from the day I started Oblique. It’s one of the hardest questions to answer. Clients hire Oblique because of two main things: the people and the creative. I know other agencies can say the same, but there isn’t another Janice in the competitor’s office (or Garrett, or Corrie, etc.). People see our commitment, drive, passion and creativity the moment they call or meet Oblique. It’s who we are, always pushing the boundaries as much as we can while still being on brand. Clients also know we just make their lives easier.”
Are there clients/projects that Oblique is specifically drawn to?
JF: “[Oblique is] drawn to organizations that are making a difference in the world. Even when we partner with clients that could be considered to work in a ‘boring’ industry, we put our hearts and souls into the work because we have developed a strong connection and relationship with their team. They make it interesting because they are sincere. They want to grow their company and they believe in Oblique to get them there.”
It is important to make sure you know what sort of relationship you need before making this decision. The right agency could very much depend on the size of the job because it’s important that the company has the right resources and time to accomplish the job with quality.
Why would someone choose Oblique (a smaller design agency) over a larger agency?
JF: “Smaller teams mean fewer layers and nimble solutions; more flexibility with limited budgets, and scalability when necessary. We are able to have close relationships with our clients (they have our cell numbers). We study their brand and make them feel like they are our only client. Fewer layers means quick turnaround.”
CLIENT VS. AGENCY RELATIONSHIP
When it comes to relationships between both client and agency, there should always be a careful balance of adaptability, collaboration, and communication between parties. A great ad agency will believe in your brand, see its potential, and therefore want nothing more than to create a successful solution for you.
In your opinion, what does an ideal relationship between Oblique and a client look like?
JF: “Why do certain people choose their friends? Common value systems, good chemistry and the fact they are fun to be around. That is how we decide if a client is a good fit for Oblique. Can we be open and honest with them? Are we passionate about their product or service? Are they fun to work with and intelligent in their industry space? Simply put: does the chemistry work? If we don’t feel a connection to the brand, service or client, that would show in our work and spirit.”
What helps you decide if a client will work out or not?
JF: “A client will work out of we have a foundation of solid communication and trust. We work well with clients who value the design process and have a deep understanding in the creative journey. The more we know about a clients history, problems and future goals, the better the outcome will be for an effective and relevant solution.”
When it comes to choosing an agency, trust your gut. Move forward with an agency that you feel most comfortable with. Also, try not to be guided by price. Remember that you are paying for the level of service you are going to receive. The more time you spend working to find the right partner, the more likely you’ll be happy with the level of service and value they provide. Ultimately you’re more likely to be successful in the long run.