Monday, May 07, 2012

which agency knows the 'brand' best?

One of the conundrums when making the switch from big agency land to small agency land is realising that the business development boot has landed squarely on the other foot.

In my big agency days I quite happily trotted out the following statement to clients who's account was with said big agency [me], but whose heads were occasionally being turned by the advances of smaller boutique or specialist agencies who had a sniff of one or more parts of the client's marketing budget [them].

'We [big agency] understand the brand. Why would [client] risk handing over any part of the marketing to [small agency]? They don't get the brand.'

The reality of this statement, looking at it now from the challenger viewpoint rather than the incumbent viewpoint, is that it is utter tosh.

If the brand manager and the big agency are the only parties who 'get' the brand, who 'understand ' the brand, then clearly they have not been doing their jobs properly.

If they had been doing it properly then everyone should understand the brand.

Everyone should be clear on the values, meaning, purpose, image and voice of the brand.

If they - brand manager and incumbent agency - have been doing their jobs properly then there can be no doubt about what the brand idea is, so the door would therefore open for any agency to have a valid point of view on how those values, meaning, purpose, image and communications should best be expressed.

In this scenario then, it's clear that best relationships, people and then best strategies and ideas should win.

For [big agency] to claim that the criteria for keeping the account is that they are the only agency to really understand the brand, is the best case I've heard for them to be fired, immediately.

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