I don't know about you but I love and hate processes in equal measure. We all need them for sure, but there is always a temptation to take shortcuts or merge them especially when time is tight – but what we've learnt is, they're there for a reason and short cuts are pretty much always not worth it.
As most agencies we set out a strict four stage process we follow with every client – the budget dictates how much time is spent on each step, but the process stays fixed and here's why.
Stage one is all about insight, this is about your business, your marketplace, competitors, trends, perceptions of your company, your customers – what they really think and what they want. This is not a quick read of your website so we can quote back facts and figures that you've published. This is a thorough understanding of your world, so we can advise, we can challenge and ultimately come up with an informed solution that’s right for you, for your clients and for your business.
We recently undertook this stage with a client, the MD told us they were all about innovation, they wanted to be the BMW of their industry – first to market with new products and developments. When presenting back to them at the end of this stage we have to be blunt – you don't innovate, you don't develop products but what they did do was provide a quality service, they were the only firm in their market with leading accreditations, and ultimately they were the best and what they did and could prove it. This allowed us to come up with a unique positioning for this company, something which was built on fact, and something which they could confidently stand by.
Stage two is all about the idea. We don't get carried away in creative executions until we know the key proposition, message or ideas that sits at the heart of everything you do. This is always linked back into the insight phase and these ideas or propositions come from the facts that we've uncovered in this phase – and so are built on truth.
Stage three, once we've got the idea nailed then this is where we can really have fun and bring everything to life, get creative, come up with the weird and wonderful ideas that we love to dream up…but each and everyone tracks back to the idea and back to the initial insight. This means your creative execution is meaningful and is based on insight, and becomes less subjective.
Stage four, well this is where everything is made real, where we reign in all the weird and wonderful ideas and make these work across all of the elements that you require. This stage gets down to the detail, surnames, sizes, specs etc as important as the others though, as this stage allows us to develop the idea further and apply it across the applications you need but keeping everything consistent and on brand.
So while we're always happy to discuss budgets and work within your boundaries, we never cut corners.